THE LODGE Begins as an Unsettling Nightmare But Ends Up Seriously Jacked Up - Sundance Review

One of the things I look forward to most about the Sundance Film Festival is seeing what kind of horror films end up being screened. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re down-right awful. 

The first horror film I caught at the festival this year was a great one and it was super-freakin’ disturbing! The movie is called The Lodge and it packs a disturbing punch to the gut. 

The Lodge isn’t for everyone. There’s no real redeeming value to it. It just tells a story, that at first is a very unsettling-type nightmare, but then it escalates into something that is seriously jacked up. 

One of the things that I loved most about this film is that it got you believing that you know where the story is going. It even plays on those ideas! It totally messes with the audience and then all of a sudden something snaps in the film and the direction changes and ends up going to a place of darkness that you aren’t expecting. It was really quite surprising.

I don’t really want to get into the details of that because I don’t want to ruin the experience for you, but I will give you the basic premise that is laid out in the official plot synopses. 

Devoted to their devastated mother, siblings Aidan and Mia resent Grace, the younger woman their newly separated father plans to marry. They flatly reject Grace’s attempts to bond, and they dig up dirt on her tragic past—but soon they find themselves trapped with her, snowed in in a remote holiday village after their dad heads back to the city for work. Just as relations begin to thaw, strange and frightening events threaten to unearth psychological demons from Grace’s strictly religious childhood.

An unblinking study of human frailty, The Lodge offers a haunting exploration of the traumatic aftershocks of religious devotion while positing that some evils just don’t die. 

In terms of the tone of the film, I’d compare it to last years Sundance hit horror film hit Hereditary. The stories are very different, but it has that same slow burn tone that escalates into complete madness.

The movie was fantastically directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala and they created something quite disturbing and claustrophobic. The film stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) as the father, Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) as his ex-wife, Riley Keough (Mad Max) as Grace, and Jaeden Martell (IT) and Lia McHug as the two siblings Aiden and Mia who don’t like her. All of these actors deliver outstanding performances!

This is the big popular horror film to look out for this coming year. If you’re a horror fan that into so seriously psychologically disturbing shit, this movie is for you.

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