Friday, 8 February 2013

The Lodge (2008)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Brad Helmink, John Rauschelbach

Written by Deb Havener

Stars: Elizabeth Kell, Owen Szabo, Kevin McClatchey, Mando Kreisher.

Release: DVD (UK) 14 January 2013 Courtesy of 101 films.

Steve Davey of 101 Films was kind enough to send me a screener of recently released The Lodge and due to the creepy artwork and nods to some truly great horror films I was excited to see what the movie had in store for me.

The plot is ultra-simple. A young couple, Julia and Michael (Elizabeth Kell and Owen Szabo) trying to get away from it all, hole up in a luxurious cabin to enjoy each other’s company and the fresh country air. It becomes extremely evident from the offset that something is horribly wrong as the cabin manager/owner appears suddenly, not seeming at all familiar with the area or the cabin he is supposedly in charge of….. Things go from bad to worse when the creepy guy, Henry (Kevin McClatchy) steals items belonging to them and they then make a startling discovery. From here the film launches into action with the young couple fighting against a macabre situation in an attempt to escape it alive. There are some pretty decent tense scenes once the truth has dawned on Julia and Michael and this was an element I did enjoy about the film.

The more disappointing aspects of The Lodge come mainly from its apparent lack of inspiration or originality. It’s totally fine to make a film, with a theme that has been touched on many times, however to keep many viewers interests nowadays you have to throw something else into the mix. Now while this is a criticism for the most part of the movie, The Lodge does redeem itself towards the end with a gruesome reveal related to the character of Desi (Mandi Kreisher) a young girl discovered by Julia and Michael. For the more patient viewers, this reveal should provide a well needed surprise which definitely works considerable favours for the film. For other viewers I fear that half an hour or so in and they may decide they have seen it all before and switch off…which is a shame.

Another plus point for the film is that the actors all do a really good job. Elizabeth Kell and Owen Szabo are very natural in their roles as a slightly over sexed and loved up couple, Kevin McClatchy was suitably creepy as Henry and Mandi Kreisher’s role was just great…but I don’t want to spoil anything here.

While The Lodge certainly has its shortcomings and I cannot exactly tip it as a must see, it does have its moments, particularly towards the end. I would still be very keen to see what the directors and writer of The Lodge might come up with next as there are some really good ideas mixed into what I would say is a generally unevenly paced movie with not enough bite to really keep an audience glued to the screen.

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