The Lodge

The Lodge (2019)

The Christmas Countdown (Day 17)


The Lodge is unavailable in the United Kingdom but is available to rent or buy in the United States and Europe.


In 2014 writer/directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz brought us one of the best horror films of the past decade with Goodnight Mommy. But, they were far from done with nerve-shredding horror, and in 2019 they teamed up with screenwriter Sergio Casci to bring us the Christmas from hell. From the outset, The Lodge wraps us in a feeling of quiet and cold discomfort as Fiala and Franz revisit the themes of family, trust and innocence found in Goodnight Mommy. Here the audience is taken on a trip into the icy depths of psychological terror, where the divide between victim and predator is never clear nor straightforward.

Richard (Richard Armitage) has recently left his wife Laura (Alicia Silverstone) for a new partner Grace (Riley Keough). However, the couple’s separation was anything but harmonious, as their young daughter, Mia (Lia McHugh) and teenage son Aiden (Jaeden Martell), found themselves caught in the middle of the turmoil. However, that turmoil is about to become even more complicated as Mia and Aiden’s mum shatters the family unit, leading both kids to move in with their dad and his new girlfriend.


READ MORE: GOODNIGHT MOMMY


Seeking to build bridges and help Mia and Aiden settle into their new home, Richard plans a traditional Christmas break at a secluded lodge in the mountains. However, while Grace may view the break as an opportunity to bond with Mia and Aiden, the weather has other plans, leaving her stranded and alone with the kids. And as the snow gets deeper and their isolation grows, Mia, Aiden, and Grace find their Christmas replaced by a deep, dark, mysterious nightmare.

The Lodge slowly crafts an exquisite sense of isolation and claustrophobia that consumes the viewer. Here the warmth of the wooden hunting lodge with its roaring fire and Christmas lights clashes with the stark white and blue of the surrounding landscape. But the real horror comes from The Lodge’s ability to make us question what is real? What is psychological? And what is a dream? The resulting movie is a Kubrickian-inspired maze of no escape.


READ MORE: SAINT MAUD


Meanwhile, the film’s performances enhance this deep and overwhelming sense of unease and trepidation. Here, the doe-eyed innocence of Mia and Aiden hides pain and loss, while Grace’s vulnerability and fear haunt her present. The result is a profoundly unsettling cinematic experience embedded in loss, anger, faith, and manipulation. The Lodge is an icy blast of psychological horror that is gripping and terrifying, making it even more unfortunate that this festive shocker never made it to U.K cinemas.