The Lodge (2020)

by Film Notions

The Lodge is a new psychological thriller that, in the best way, borrows from films like Hereditary, It Comes At Night and The Shining, but at the same time carves out a personality all of its own. The Lodge is unsettling, disturbing, and wickedly moody.

A family heads to their winter cabin for Christmas, as part of a ‘get to know you’ for the kids and the new girlfriend, Grace. Grace (Riley Keough) has a dark past, and the kids really don’t trust her. When they arrive at the lodge, something isn’t right, and when the Dad has to leave for work, everyone starts feeling it’s effects. But, It’s not what you first expect.

One of the reasons The Lodge works so well, and there are many, is how it takes it’s time to set the mood and tone for the film, while being intriguing and entertaining. There’s a brilliant use of sound, which will inevitably make you jump out of your seat a few times, and the film is beautifully and meticulously shot. I really loved how this looked, and this is where the comparisons to It Comes At Night come from.

Austrian writer/director duo, Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz previously brought us Goodnight Mommy. While I enjoyed Goodnight Mommy, it was partially ruined for me by ‘Scariest Movie Ever’ tropes it was receiving at the time. I didn’t find it scary at all, and definitely found it more of a mood piece. This is what Fiala and Franz do and they do it well. With The Lodge, they have created a film that is again a slow burn, yet it never drags. Not once did my mind go elsewhere.

Riley Keough is excellent in this. There’s more than a couple of layers to her character and she plays them with ease. The two children actors, Jaeden Martell as Aidan, and Lia McHugh as Mia are also great. We’ve seen Martell before in Midnight Special, It 1 & 2, and more recently in Knives Out, but it was Lia McHugh (see her in the upcoming, Eternals) that really stood out. She is exceptional in this. She has some confronting scenes and she nails them all!

I really liked this film. It’s overall tone and mood get under your skin in the best possible way, and I really didn’t see where it was ending up.