The Lodge has finally come to Europe. Fellow fan Yve who is a regular commenter here on this blog, went to a screening of the film last weekend and has offered to write a summary and review of the film for those of us who won’t get to see this film – or who would like to know more about the film without having to subject themselves to a horror movie. I am going to post Yve’s review below the cut. The text is all hers, I have only added a few pictures for illustration.
Beware – the following text is a summary of the film and contains MASSIVE SPOILERS! Do not read if you are planning to watch the film yourself. For those who are hesitant about horror content: The summary and review are safe to read imo. Here comes the cut.
Once more: massive spoilers ahead. I am going to mark the review bits in italics and leave the summary bits in regular font.
The evening started promisingly, the film makers Veronika Franz and Severin Faila were present and came out on stage to announce a Q & A after the showing. The writer was also in the audience, we applauded.
Sadly the film did not live up to my expectations.
The film starts off well, the wife’s heart breaks when she realises her marriage is over and her husband wants a divorce – felt real. The little girl, Mia was disconsolate after her mother committed suicide but the father completely failed to comfort her, after stroking her hair in a repetitive and robotic manner she shrugs him off and tells him to leave (which he did). Poorly done Richard.
Six months later and the children still haven’t accepted their father’s new girlfriend Grace; and are horrified at the prospect of spending Christmas in a remote lodge. Richard knows Grace’s past and we see scenes after the mass suicide, we see the shrouded bodies with tape over their mouths and hear voices crying out ‘repent’.
The atmosphere in the lodge is strained and Richard’s attempts to jolly them along are pretty pathetic, he says Grace is a bad cook so they can all eat junk (I wondered if this was a RA ad lib)
Outside Richard urges the children to have ‘fun’ but he doesn’t play with them, he shovels a little snow which is completely futile. Grace walks across the snowy frozen lake supported by two wooden poles using them as crutches, when she goes too close to a fishing hole she falls in. Richard hauls her out.
Richard has to leave the lodge to return to work (honestly no one in their right mind would leave this sad bunch together and I kept hoping this was some plan to test Grace, no such luck, he was just an idiot) But before he goes he gives Grace a revolver and gives her a shooting lesson, however she doesn’t need it as she is an expert. Amazingly Richard doesn’t ask her any questions about her prowess.
Aidan and Mia look into Grace’s mysterious past on the web and prove to be very clever; they ‘mock up’ a newspaper report of their collective deaths. Now we move into a part when items start to disappear, all the food from the fridge, their warm clothes and the Christmas decorations disappear. The generator fails and they rely on a log fire for heat. Grace is busy popping pills but when Aidan fakes his suicide by hanging, Grace is tipped over the edge.
There are lots of religious paintings and crucifixes around the lodge which seem to bother Grace. She removes them then puts them back, very tedious.
Eventually Grace decides to leave the lodge and walk to the nearest town! She sets off covered in a carpet, remember the coats have disappeared. She comes across a weird three storey derelict house which she can’t enter, gives up and carries on to find, surprise surprise, she is back at the lodge.
Back at home we see Richard staring into a dolls house where an effigy hangs from the ceiling. He is unable to contact anyone by phone so he drives back to the lodge; a convenient snowplough clears a path.
The children are cowering in the attic while Grace stomps around screaming loudly. Richard tries to talk to her as she is threatening to kill herself, she holds the gun to her head but the hammer falls onto an empty chamber, then she points the gun at Richard and shoots him neatly through the heart.
If RA did the stunt of falling down the stairs he did it very well.
The children try to escape but cannot start the car, Grace stands in front of the vehicle and they meekly return to the lodge and quietly sit at the dining table with their dead father. Grace starts to sing in a thin reedy voice, eventually the children join in, and this seemed to go on forever!
Grace then tapes their mouths shut with parcel tape with the word ‘sin’ written on it. She does the same to herself then the camera settles on the revolver on the table. The End.
A third of the audience stampeded for the exits before the Q & A and I heard one man complain crossly that he had driven four hours for THAT!
In my opinion the film lacked emotion; the viewer should have been made to care what happened to the children. The film was short on jeopardy and suspense leaving only a sense of inevitability. Perhaps this was the filmmakers’ intention but it didn’t make for a good film.
Many thanks to Yve for writing this up for us. I found it really interesting – because I am a total scaredy cat and am no way able to sit through a horror movie. Reading the plot on the page, however, was insightful and didn’t scare me at all. It also meant that I finally understood what a lot of reviewers have said about the various plot twists. It has also made clear to me that Richard’s role in this was probably
just supportive – sounds as if he is not present for most of the action, even if he is somehow the instigator of the horror (by bringing his children together with his fiancé). Umph – and btw: yet another chaRActer who dies. 😬
Anyway, thank you for your account Yve! Much appreciated.