The Lodge, a tale of dad’s new girlfriend trying to warm up to the kids over a snow trip gone horribly wrong, is an ambitious swing at the plate in the horror/suspense genre. But, thanks to a strong lead and some real uncertainty surrounding what we might actually be watching unfold, it manages to connect successfully with it’s audience.
Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) stars as Grace, a young woman with a horrible past, who has to win over her fiance’s kids just months after a tragedy of their own. She suggests a Christmas holiday in a secluded snow lodge in an effort to bond with her future stepchildren. When mysterious events start occurring at the lodge during a blizzard, Grace has to try to maintain her sanity while protecting future stepson, Aldin, and stepdaughter, Mia.
No way this film works without Keough crushing this part.
We have absolutely no idea what’s going on in her head, or what actions she’ll take next. Is she the hero, the bad guy? It’s unclear. There is an excellent chance you’re not going to figure it out and that’s because she plays a woman in crisis, stuck with these kids that don’t like her, out in the middle of nowhere, so well. Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, also give us some great visuals throughout the movie, and when it’s time to bring the pain, they make it count.
The problem is that they make us wait too long for a payoff and there is a lot of unnecessary fat that could have been trimmed along the way. This could have been a tight 90 minute feature and some audience members will get inpatient for sure. The conclusion of the story is also sure to be controversial and I could see some applauding, while others throw popcorn at the screen. There is also a lot of borrowing from “Hereditary” in the visuals department. They had better send Ari Aster a check.
Still, “The Lodge” is fine and this five person cast, led by Keough, and a wonderful Alicia Silverstone supporting role, overcome any unnecessary detours the story takes.
Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes