I couldn’t have chosen a better day to watch The Lodge. In terms of the weather that is. On that particular day, the wind was fierce; the rain was pouring hard; and I nearly busted my a** walking on a couple patches of hidden patches of ice. As miserable as this sounds, I tried playing an optimist. And really, watching a movie about a blizzard on a cold and dreary day was pretty perfect.
I didn’t go into The Lodge with any special expectations. All I knew was that the trailer looked promising and hinted at some kind of cult situation; who doesn’t love a good cult? I didn’t expect to stumble upon one of the best horror movies of the year. And so early into 2020. But that’s precisely what happened. Maniacal, cunning, and thrilling, The Lodge has found a special place in my heart and thoroughly chilled me to the bone, I simply cannot give it enough praise.
The Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala directed film follows Grace (Riley Keough) who tries to win over her soon-to-be step children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) on a holiday vacation in a remote village. Just when the tension between Grace and the kids begins to thaw (get it?), Grace’s fiancé Richard (Richard Armitage) is called away for work. When a blizzard leaves the trio snowed in, things take a sinister turn as Grace begins to hear voices. Things go bump in the night, items go missing, and cryptic patterns appear in the snow outside.
Could this be the work of a malicious spirit? Or does it has something to do with Grace’s mysterious past?
This eerie thriller certainly left me plenty to digest afterwards. More so, after a second viewing, it raised an interesting question for me: What does it take to consider a movie a “classic”? Does it have to do with directorial technique? The big stars attached to the project? From a film lover’s perspective I’m entitled to believe both of those things have something to do with it. But not everything. In a 1992 issue of the Director’s Guild of America, executive Diane Carins gave an interesting perspective on what makes a flick a classic, describing “A film that captures a past generation’s heart, challenges a present generation’s mind and nourishes a future generation’s soul.”
I believe it has a lot to do with feeling as well. It’s like when you taste your favorite dish for the first time. You just know that not only is this going to be a part of your life for a long time, it’s something you’ll never get sick of. No matter how many times you experience it. And much like my favorite dish (Mac N’ Cheese, thanks for asking) I knew my first experience with The Lodge would be the first of many to come. The phrase ‘instant classic’ doesn’t even scratch the surface here. I’m gonna need a DVD copy, merch, and the whole nine yards.
This truly twisted slow burn is guaranteed to keep viewers on their toes, unlocking a certain prose that leaves one feeling incredibly high strung yet desperate to know everything. No matter how horrified it may leave you. What starts off a story with all the trimmings of a campfire haunt, gracefully morphs into a bloody cautionary tale that belongs in the same book as Hansel and Gretel.
Experience the terror that is The Lodge now in select theatres!
Wicked Rating: 9/10
Director(s): Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala
Writer(s):Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala and Sergio Casci
Starring: Jaeden Martell, Riley Keough, Lia McHugh and Richard Armitage
Release: February 7th, 2020
Runtime: 108 Minutes