Recently streamed on Amazon Prime, The Lodge, is a chamber drama that revolves around only four people at one remote location which at times feels like a polar desert. The mail conflict comes from the intention of two kids who have to deal with their father’s (Richard Armitage) new girlfriend Grace (Riley Keough) after their mother’s (Alicia Silverstone) self-slaughter. The latter was driven to her destiny by her spouse’s desire to speed up divorce proceedings so that he can speed things up with Grace.
Alicia has an odd calmness in her disposition in the moments leading up to her death which is really disturbing. The kids are supposed to stay with Grace in the eponymous lodge. When Grace enters their lives, she becomes that ‘evil stepmother’ who destroyed the family. The kids’ cold reaction along with her capricious nature, is what generates most of the tension in the entire movie. Grace is constantly tormented by her dark past. Her unsettling memories manifest themselves in weird ways.
During a particularly testing situation, Grace runs into a cross-shaped house. There is a creepy painting that makes her uncomfortable which is a reference to a satanic cult, and how only one girl — Grace — survived it, takes the film in surreal directions. At one point, one of the characters wonders if they’re dead. Such questions make the film colder than it already is — and it only gets colder as we move further.
There is a lot of silence, usually disrupted by a jarring piano score, a creaky door, or a fallen frame. A lot of thought has been actually put into the production design and staging by the filmmakers.
The movie ends with an ambiguous final shot that also appears at the beginning of the film. In order to understand what kind of horror the movie is actually dealing one needs to sit till the end of the movie.
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