When their father (Richard Armitage) announces his intention to wed Grace (Riley Keough), the attitudes of his children dramatically sour. In a bid to cut through the ice, he suggests they all spend Christmas together in the family snow lodge. However, things go from bad to worse, when he is suddenly called away. Things move, objects mysteriously disappear and Grace starts to doubt both herself and the intentions of the children. Are they playing tricks on her or has the past she’s so tried so desperately to conceal, decided to reassert itself?
… hastily hangs any interest you might have had in anyone’s survival.
Winning much praise with their first feature ‘Goodnight Mommy’, the directing duo Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala again return to pedophobic pastures for their English language debut ‘The Lodge’.
Drowning in similar silences to the ones that so marked out Yorgos Lanthimos’s ‘Killing of A Sacred Deer’, ‘The Lodge’s’ melancholic tone immediately tells you that tragedy will not be far away. Sadly though, by constantly throwing in contradictory clue after contradictory clue, the on-screen character’s disorientation quickly also becomes the audience’s. Unsure of who to sympathise with, ‘The Lodge’s’ loyalties abandon both its characters and the tale it’s telling in a long succession of flourishes that never burst into flame.
Like a cat on a cold tin roof, Richard Armitage’s underwritten father later returns to witness a hysterical descent that neither reveals nor rewards. A victim of its own intention to dangle your disbelief to breaking point, ‘The Lodge’ becomes a horror movie that hastily hangs any interest you might have had in anyone’s survival.
Its characters having ultimately reaped what they’ve sown, filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala also become complicit victims. So closely wedded to their previously successful premise, this latest tale of familial distrust quickly cools in comparison to their ’Goodnight Mommy’ and the classic cabin fever of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’.
Whilst Riley Keough gets to impressively builds on her resumé, filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala sadly re-heat theirs. What could have been, is unfortunately not to be and ‘The Lodge’ becomes a follow-up that never strays from the previous path that led us here.