Major Spoilers Below
This is my second review for Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s The Lodge–the first consisted mainly of praise for the movie–though this time I really dedicated myself to an interpretation.
The first time around I also didn’t want to spoil it for anyone who hadn’t seen it, but it’s been on Hulu for about a month, and available on VOD (video on demand), so if someone hasn’t seen it implies they either don’t have Hulu or they’re unaware of it.
Which, especially if you’re a fan of horror is a pity because it’s one of the best psychological horror films of the past decade.
As I’ve said in the review below that despite it feeling vaguely supernatural, The Lodge is in actuality closer to something you’d see on Lifetime, which is to say a uber-dysfunctional family drama.
What makes if feel supernatural are it’s many references to Christian iconography–crucifixes and paintings of an unnamed saint play a significant role–as well as the moodiness of it’s settting.
Though the only ghosts reside firmly in the psyche of it’s characters.
As you can probably tell from the title of this article, the movie revolves entirely around the father, Richard Hall (Richard Armitage) in the sense that he’s barely present in the lives of either his children, Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh), his estranged wife, Laura (played by Alicia Silverstone, who I thought was Elizabeth Shue) and wife-to-be, Grace (Reily Keough).
And while Aiden and Mia love Richard, they also blame him for the breakup though when Laura kills herself–in a particularly gruesome manner–after learning that Richard wants to remarry things really go off the rails.
This inspires Aidan and Mia to come up with a plan after they search for Grace on the Internet and learn she’s the only survivor of a suicide cult similar to Reverend Jim Jones‘ People’s Temple.
Now, the movie gives the impression that Richard is aware of this, though he made no effort to tell the children. This could have been an issue of timing (because their mother died relatively recently) though why he’d assume that they wouldn’t investigate on their own–and assume the worst when they found out–is a bit odd and buttresses my thesis.
They use this knowledge in an attempt to drive her insane, sort of in the vein (pardon the pun) of Let’s Scare Jessica To Death.
It’s worth mentioning that Aidan and Mia are children and their plan was, well, childish. Ironically, that’s why–combined with the massive trauma Grace underwent being the lone survivor of a suicide cult and the loss of the drugs that helped her regulate her condition, hidden by Aidan and Mia–it worked as well as it did.
Though it’s worth mentioning that the only reason that it worked is that Richard managed one more to not be present to provide guidance for his children or the support that Grace needed.
The Lodge is essentially a very grim fairy tale, made all the more so because while “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings,” so are children.