The Lodge Movie Review

Written by Karin Crighton

Released by NEON


Directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Written by Sergio Casci and Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
2019, 108 minutes, Rated R
Released on February 7th, 2020

Riley Keough as Grace
Richard Armitage as Richard
Alicia Silverstone as
Jaden Martell as Aiden
Lia McHugh as Mia

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Aiden and Mia hate Grace. She’s the reason their parents separated. She’s the reason their mother took her own life. She’s the reason their lives have been turned upside down. When their father forces them into a Christmas vacation all together at a lakeside lodge they plan an offense of silent treatment and guilt trips. Richard does his best before he has to head back to town to do some last-minute work, but as soon as he’s gone odd things began to happen. The dates of the clock change. Their clothes and food go missing. Grace sleepwalks around the house, waking standing over the children in their beds. As time passes, the trio strain to the breaking point. Can they survive on their own until Christmas when Richard comes back?

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The Lodge could be called The Slog for how long it takes to go anywhere. (The Slodge? We'll workshop it.) The opening sequence setting up the children’s resentment of Grace is completely unnecessary. It goes well past the average and expected ten minute mark, while it could be told in four: Their mom dies, their dad wants to remarry six months later = angry kids. That she’s a cult survivor is icing on the cake. Done. We don’t see the titular lodge until twenty-three minutes in.

Dramatic action is sparse. For every scare or creepy sequence, there are twelve shots of Grace staring out the window, scenes of Aiden pretending to be asleep, Mia playing with the doll made up to look like her play. The pensive sequences of Mia’s dollhouse and gentle folds of Grace’s sweater swaying are beautiful, but after forty of them it feels like an unsuccessful attempt to inject artistic eye instead of plot. And a desperate grab to mimic Hereditary. Now, that movie is slow, but damn does it make up for it in growing creep factor and an explosive ending. The Lodge goes nowhere and by the time we learn the whole story we’re too tired to care.

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My main beef with this movie is: what the hell does The Lodge have to say? In a gratuitous grab at low-hanging fruit, Grace “needs her pills” and when deprived of it she gets dangerous and begins to terrorize the children. That’s a shitty take on mental health. The children being so disgusting cruel to Grace that she goes to self-harm leaves a gross taste in the mouth: are they supposed to be justified because they’re grieving or does The Lodge warn we underestimate children or does it just really hate them? If it’s trying to say divorce is always terrible and Dad and Mom should have stayed together because Catholic God wants it that way, this movie has lost its damn mind.

With no momentum, no message, and nothing to care about, The Lodge is a beautiful waste of time.

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Movie: 1.5 Star Rating Cover

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