Published Feb 28, 2020Horror movies have continued to move away from traditional mechanics, like jump scares and practical effects, in favour of finding dread in the everyday. This has meant plenty of satisfying work, but we're verging on peak topicality as we're bombarded with monsters that represent seasonal depression or a ghost that serves as a stand-in for the shingles.
The Lodge is also guilty of being very obviously about something — generational trauma — but it's explored with sufficient restraint to the point of delivering some serious chills.
After tragically losing their mother Laura (Alicia Silverstone), brother and sister Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) are struggling to connect with the mysterious new fiancé Grace (Riley Keough) of their journalist father (Richard Armitage). After picking through their dad's computer, they discover that Grace is the sole survivor of a twisted Christian suicide cult, and he met her through his research.
Despite their reservations, Aidan and Mia agree to escape the city with Grace to the film's titular cabin and, as could be expected, things take a bone-chilling turn for the worst. There are plenty of strong twists in The Lodge that aren't worth delving into, lest they spoil the surprises. Then, in the end, it proves to be even darker than one could have anticipated.
It's not really the narrative, nor the social commentary, that makes The Lodge a winner, however. Ultimately, it's everything else. Aesthetically, the film offers wonderfully immersive cinematography, a sinister score and fantastic performances (with Keough, in particular, at her career best).
That's what sets The Lodge apart from its fellow socially conscious horror films. Even if it wasn't painted with a hue of generational trauma throughout, it'd work as a satisfying psychological thriller in its own right.