The Lodge (2019)

The Lodge
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2019

Grace (Riley Keough) plans to spend Christmas with her fiancé Richard (Richard Armitage) and his two children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) in their lodge. It’s supposed to be a way for the children and Grace to get to know each other better and to get used to each other a little more – especially because the kids don’t accept her. But Richard has to leave for work, leaving Grace alone with the children. They get snowed in to boot. And their relationship is put to a hard test when strange things start happening around them.

After Ich seh, ich seh, Fiala and Franz had a lot to live up to and with The Lodge, they absolutely did. It’s an atmospheric, gorgeous and above all gripping film that will have your eyes glued to the screen.

The film poster showing a window from a cabin in the snow, three blurry humans can be seen inside.

The Lodge starts off with a bang and it wouldn’t have been surprising if it couldn’t have kept up the strength of that start. Actually, though, the film grows stronger with every minute, building tension and keeping me completely enthralled – also due to the excellent sound design and music, as well as the beautiful cinematography. With the strong performances by everybody involved, it was easy to get invested in the characters’ story.

In Ich seh, ich seh, I caught the plot twist pretty quickly, but in The Lodge, I did not see it coming. I was completely convinced of everything until the reveal – and it’s always nice when a film gets the better of you in that way (although a good film doesn’t rely on the surprise and I think that The Lodge would work equally well if I hadn’t been surprised – just like Ich seh, ich seh did).

Grace (Riley Keough), Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) sitting at the dinner table.

There was just one thing I struggled with completely and that was the utter assholery of Richard: leaving his fragile girlfriend with two kids alone without a car or any neighbors around, when the kids barely know her and have only just learned that their father will marry her – after they tragically lost their mom. Over Christmas. I mean, I know there are assholes, but this is a whole new level. At the same time, I can actually see it happening, so it certainly didn’t take me out of the story. And Richard has a proven track record in that regard, given the way he met Grace in the first place.

In any case, it didn’t change the fact that I was at the edge of my seat throughout the film, breathlessly waiting for what would happen next. A deserving kick-off to the /slash Filmfestival.

Mia (Lia McHugh) playing with a doll in the snow.

Summarizing: Excellent.

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