The less you know going into The Lodge, the better. This psychological thriller is best enjoyed in a state-of-mind where the surprises can come swiftly.
I’m not going to get into the details and nuances of the plot, but to say it has elements of heaven and hell, fire and brimstone, and explores death, the family unit, and repenting for your sins.
I have not seen co-director Severin Fiala’s Goodnight Mommy, but the praise for that film loaded theatre # 5 at Park Lane Cineplex for a 3 p.m. showing of his new one. He and Veronika Franz create an atmospheric, intense film that will keep you thinking.
The screenplay, from Fiala and Sergio Casci, will take you places you never imagined. Just when you think you have it figured out, it veers in a different direction. It borrows and plays homage to the greats, while dropping genre convention on its head at the same time.
Performances from the two young leads, Lia McHugh and Stephen King adaptation It actor Jaeden Martell are powerful. Alicia Silverstone is disquieting and genuinely surprising, shedding her good girl demeanour.
But this film lives and dies on the intense, provocative and jarring work from Riley Keough, who performs on par with horror greats like Toni Collette in last year’s lauded Hereditary.
The ambition is present and this film will take you to places you’d never expect. It’s the biggest, most effective and affecting surprise thus far in FIN 2019.