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Review The Lodge (2019): Doesn't quite meet it's potential but worth a watch!

genre: horror, thriller, drama

The Lodge is one of those films that is filled with potential. But perhaps out of fear to be conventional tries real hard to avoid horror cliches. In my opinion this is a mistake.

The setting and the premise right from the bet is an infuriating one. But it's one with impact and intrigue. The most ridiculous thing is the fact that Richard (played by Richard Armitage) must be among the most ignorant of fathers put on screen. Not only does he fail to be there for his two kids. He also fails to be a good partner to his mistress / girlfriend, Grace (played by Riley Keough). First of all, you should never ever force your new girlfirend upon your kids. Not even if they like her which definitely is not the case here. That in itself is pretty traumatic. Second, there is a special circumstance concerning Grace that makes it clear she is not up for the task of motherhood. Especially when the kids aren't ready for her in the slightest. Acting on part of these kids and Riley is real good. They do a perfect job of selling you the terror. You also never quite know who to root for. One minute it's the kids, the second Grace and then the kids again. Now it's not an elaborate cat and mouse play. Yet it adds to the tension and suspense.

The Lodge takes it's time to set you up for what is to come. Even if you could predict some events I doubt you will be able to predict the main one. It's bold and clever. Mind you in hindsight they could have taken it a lot further. If only to amp up the creepiness factor to a maximum. And yes, let's be clear. The Lodge is very dark and creepy. But doesn't have to resort using cheap tricks to achieve it. Most of the darkness comes from the setting, the characters and the atmosphere. Still there are some flaws. We never get to see the kids or Grace in a normal situation. It's incredibly vital for their development to be shown in a different light. Plus I think the impact of key events would have been bigger. I do have to add the fact that The Lodge does have some pacing issues. I get why the build up is slow. Only certain key moments pass you by so quickly you run the risk of missing them. Missing such moments are a detriment to the whole viewing experience. It's here where the film should have asked for your attention by sound cues. The Lodge is pretty quiet and to it's credit it's what makes it effective. Still, if certain events slow down so much that I lose attention you aren't doing a good job. 

While I acknowledge that The Lodge definitely can be disturbing in some ways it only scratches the surface. For whatever reason they didn't want to take it further like with Hereditary. But I was invested in the film to the last second. So yes, it is worth watching for sure!

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