The Lodge Parent Guide
A slow burn of a horror movie that develops characters whose fear comes right off the screen to grab the audience. Far too scary and violent for kids or teens.
Parent Movie Review
Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) have been having a difficult year. Their parents’ divorce has gone catastrophically wrong and they find themselves living with their father Richard (Richard Armitage) who wants them to accept his new fiancée, Grace (Riley Keough). To encourage his children to warm up to Grace, he invites her to Christmas at their remote cabin. Unfortunately, he is called away on business for a few days, leaving Grace alone with the children…
Horror movies have to decide very early on what kind of horror they are trying to create. Some films in the genre provide two hours of uninterrupted tension and jump scares. These movies ramp up the terror pretty quickly. More subtle films rely on the audience forging an emotional connection with the characters so that every time something goes wrong the audience feels the characters’ fear at a visceral level. The Lodge is definitely the latter type of film.
This movie is a slow burn, with events unfolding languorously in the cold, unforgiving wood-paneled lodge. Tthe characters don’t even get to the lodge for about twenty minutes, so the movie can take its time introducing its cast of likeably flawed and sympathetic characters. The payoff for that character development is enormous and is enhanced by a solid cast, all of whom play their parts wonderfully. Or terrifyingly, I suppose. Some of the set-up for one of the plot twists was a little hard to swallow, but frankly, at that point I was too scared to complain much.
The Lodge is emphatically not a film for children. First, because it’s absolutely nightmarish, and I’m not even sure I’ll be sleeping much tonight. Second, because it’s a little slow, and even though that is a benefit, kids don’t tend to have that kind of attention span. Third, because it’s riddled with depictions and discussions of suicide, contains two scenes of nudity, and oh yeah, is terrifying. The language is less extreme than you might expect from horror films, but a handful of sexual expletives are still a good deal more than none.
This is easily one of my favorite scare-my-pants-off films of late - even if I did have to suspend my disbelief a little more than I wanted to. It’s a movie that makes a point of being emotionally difficult. It forces you into the position of the characters, and even in a theatre full of people, makes you feel isolated and trapped. It doesn’t rely on jump scares to get you; it simply illustrates Jean Paul Sartre’s famous quote: “Hell is other people”. The remoteness of the location and the ferocity of the blizzard mean that literally nothing exists outside of the small cabin, which focuses all of the horror on its inhabitants and their interactions. This is not a movie to watch before going on a camping trip. Unless, of course, you just enjoy staying up all night nursing your raging paranoia and hoping the wind in the trees isn’t the start of a blizzard.Directed by Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz. Starring Jaeden Martell, Riley Keough, and Richard Armitage. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release February 7, 2020. Updated September 27, 2019
Watch the trailer for The Lodge
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Lodge rated R? The Lodge is rated R by the MPAA for disturbing violence, some bloody images, language and brief nudity
Violence: There are several depictions of suicide in the film. An individual is shot. An animal is shown frozen to death. Several scenes from The Thing are shown, which include individuals being attacked by mutilated corpses.
Sexual Content: On two occasions a woman is shown briefly nude getting out of the shower.
Profanity: There are fewer than ten uses of profanity, most of which are extreme.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An individual is shown drinking a glass of wine.
Page last updated September 27, 2019
The Lodge Parents' Guide
This really isn’t a family film. If you think it’s suitable for kids, we need to talk…
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If you enjoy the trapped-with-a-crazy-killer vibe but want a much lower gore level, try Agatha Christ’s classic murder mysteries: And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile.