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Review: The Lodge

The Lodge is thick on atmosphere. Like writer-directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz's previous film Goodnight Mommy, the logic is fuzzy here but the execution is masterful. The Lodge opens with a shocking scene and then quickly builds a sense of dread.

Riley Keough plays Grace, the girlfriend of Richard (Richard Armitage), who joins him and his children on a Christmas getaway to a remote cabin. The family has recently suffered a tragedy and Grace's presence isn't exactly welcomed by Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh). They let Grace know pretty early on that they won't be warming up to her so when Richard has to leave for a few days to take care of work, things get tense.

The Lodge is built around a twist that many seasoned horror films will at least consider well before it is revealed. It doesn't really matter as the film has plenty to enjoy until then. This includes a great performance from Keough. She deftly swings between a sympathetic character, Grace was the lone survivor of a cult's mass suicide, and someone more sinister. Martell is also good showing that he can play a less innocent character than that of Bill in It.

Directors Fiala and Franz keep The Lodge aa mood piece. They never throw in a cheap jump scare relying far more on methodical camerawork and an unnerving score. The film's logic is problematic but I don't think it undoes what works in the film. Only afterward did the twist start to unravel for me. Otherwise, this film had me entranced.



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