The Lodge

The writing and directing team behind 2014’s Goodnight Mommy step up to actual Hammer Horror with The Lodge – where Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz continue their cold Austrian dissection of fatal family matters. Never mind Riley Keough’s fragile turn as single gal Grace, who’s struggling with being squirreled away in a remote location with two children traumatized by their parents’ recent divorce. The film’s real villain is the idiot father who thinks it’s a grand idea for his kids to spend days in snowbound isolation with his new girlfriend – who, you know, was the sole survivor of a death cult as a little girl, but seems to be doing perfectly fine nowadays. Mommy managed a deft turn as a festival favorite, but The Lodge is built like a lumbering guilt trip that’s totally committed to going off the rails. It’s kind of impressive how the screenplay keeps daring the audience to give up in disgust at several points. By the final moments, though, the story spirals into a claustrophobic closing with all the impact of a true creepy classic. Horror fans just have to be willing to settle in for a weird stay.