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BeitragVerfasst: 26.01.2019, 17:17 
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Wow!

Zitat:
A@fierysadness

The Lodge is going to be the best film of 2019 I think


https://twitter.com/fierysadness/status/1089094667172564993


Zitat:
Perri Nemiroff @PNemiroff

Oof, #TheLodge is one eerie, nasty film. Not gonna be easy to shake that and sleep easy. It’s got some very effective Shining vibes with one heck of a performance from @RileyKeough. What a chilling start to the Midnight line-up! #Sundance


https://twitter.com/PNemiroff/status/1089086489735049216

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BeitragVerfasst: 26.01.2019, 18:32 
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Zitat:
The Lodge Premieres at the Sundance 2019 Film Festival


A soon-to-be-stepmom is snowed in with her fiance’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations finally begin to thaw between the trio, strange and frightening events threaten to summon psychological demons from her strict religious childhood.

Being a step parent is, without question, a difficult job. No one knows this more than poor Grace (Riley Keough) who ends up trapped with her fiancé’s children in a cabin during one hell of a snowstorm over a Christmas getaway. About midway through the film, the trio wakes up and everything in the two-story cabin has been removed. Food, personal belongings, medications, everything is gone, and the large clock in the living room is set to January 9th. Either they have slept for two weeks or there are nasty hi-jinks afoot.

In the new horror movie The Lodge writers Severin Fiala, Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz attempt to take the common horror tropes from classic ghost stories and flip them to create something wholly new and original. I hate to say that, for the most part, the film aims high without any believable conclusions, not to mention plot points that are a bit hard to swallow.

The story begins as Richard (Richard Armitage) has fallen in love with Grace, yet his kids, well, not so much. They love their mom as any kid would in this difficult situation. So the only option is to take them all up to the family cabin for Christmas and some seriously isolated family time together. Daddy has to run back to work for a few days, over Christmas, to do work that he cannot do remotely and leaves his kids with his soon-to-be wife. Let’s forget that she, Grace, is the sole survivor of a suicide cult. Let’s ignore that she clearly has some mental health issues. Let’s ignore all of that and just go with it.

WIth a very polished production The Lodge skates by on aesthetics and mood for the first hour after delivering one hell of an opening. We know this movie is deadly serious and has no problem shocking us when we least expect it. Yet it begins to toy with conventions without seeming as if it really knows where it wants to take things.

To give credit where it is due, Keough does more than her share of work with the material. As the sort of unreliable-ish narrator, maybe, we are kept guessing whether or not to side with her or against her. Additionally, the children Lia McHugh and Jaeden Lieberher gave truly phenomenal performances. These kids can hold their scenes brilliantly.

As a bitter commentary on family, truth, trust, and above all, the religion, The Lodge is a serviceable mood piece that ends up leaving you feeling cold, and not in a good way.

The Lodge
RATING: UR
No trailer available
Runtime: 1hr 40Mins.
Directed By:
Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Written By:
Severin Fiala, Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz


https://horrorbuzz.com/2019/01/26/the-lodge-premieres-at-the-sundance-2019-film-festival/

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BeitragVerfasst: 26.01.2019, 21:32 
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4,5 von 5 - äh - Sternen:

Zitat:
[Sundance Review] With ‘The Lodge,’ ‘Goodnight Mommy’ Directors Deliver Punishing Unease

on January 26, 2019

By Meredith Borders

Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz could be on their way to a thematic trilogy with The Lodge, their follow-up to 2014’s Goodnight Mommy that feels cut from the same harrowing, claustrophobic cloth. But here the nightmare family drama is shaded with religious psycho-thriller undertones and a sort of frigid despair specific to the very best of winter horrors.

Riley Keough is Grace, a cult survivor newly engaged to Richard Armitage‘s Richard. Richard left his wife (Alicia Silverstone) for the much-younger Grace, and his kids Mia and Aidan (Lia McHugh, It‘s Jaeden Lieberher) have no intention of forgiving the woman they blame for their beloved mom’s devastation. Richard does his best to forge a new family out of these fragments, insisting that Mia, Aiden and Grace spend a few days together at his old vacation home to get to know each other. But a snowstorm leaves them trapped in the isolated mountain cabin, and soon Grace’s past trauma and the kids’ stubborn unhappiness start working against each other, overtaking all three in a pall of escalating misery, tension and finally horror.

There’s a bit of Hitchcock‘s Rebecca here, with Grace fighting the specter of Richard’s once happy life with another woman. His first wife is everywhere – in photos, videos, the doll Mia carries, in the Catholic iconography that decorates the cabin, an overt spiritualism that unnerves Grace, considering she once came face to face with the worst malevolence religion can bring. And there’s more than a little of Goodnight Mommy here, too, with Mia and Aidan acting as a guarded, impervious unit that Grace can’t crack no matter how hard she genuinely tries. The film gives a bold, in-story nod to The Thing, and the snow-banked, closed-in paranoia of The Lodge certainly pays tribute to Carpenter’s masterpiece.

But The Lodge is plenty of its own thing, too, a bleak treatise on the damage that unchecked fanaticism and family dysfunction can do to our psyches. Fiala and Franz do what they absolutely do best here, building an almost sickening atmosphere of anxiety before anything scary even plays out onscreen – but when the scary stuff happens, trust that it is scary. Amazingly scary. Punishingly scary.

It’s a gorgeous film, a dim, grey-blue dream in stark contrast to the warm golds and greens of Goodnight Mommy. The performances are all terrific, from Silverstone’s small but unforgettable role to Keough’s otherworldly fragility. The kids are astonishingly good, natural and lived-in, occasionally quite devastating.

Every choice in this film – every frame, every performance, every sound and edit – is crafted for utmost discomfort, making for a relentless onslaught of unease. The Lodge starts subtle, with vexing sound design and a few eerie shots (hanging turkeys, black balloons, a screaming face frozen on the TV), but on a dime, it spirals into outright insanity, taking turn after shocking turn, leaving the audience out of breath and praying for a reprieve.

But that reprieve won’t come until after the end credits roll – and thanks to the lasting power of The Lodge, maybe not even then.



https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3543395/sundance-review-lodge-goodnight-mommy-directors-continue-not-mess-around/#Bloody-Disgusting

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BeitragVerfasst: 26.01.2019, 23:19 
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Zitat:
“The Lodge”

26 Jan 2019 Screen Zealots 2019 Film Reviews, Sundance Leave a comment
LOUISA: 4 STARS

LOUISA SAYS:

Those expecting a straightforward horror movie may be disappointed in “The Lodge,” a deliberately paced thriller that delivers more sinister feels than actual scares. This nightmare-inducing film is as unsettling as they come, a wildly unpredictable story that goes all sorts of places — and not necessarily to the ones you think.

Siblings Aidan (Jaeden Lieberher) and Mia (Lia McHugh) hold deep resentment for their newly separated dad Richard’s (Richard Armitage) new girlfriend, Grace (Riley Keough). After rejecting multiple attempts to bond with their soon-to-be stepmom, Richard insists the four head up to the family’s cabin for the holidays. After he gets called back to work, the kids are left for several days in the remote house during a crippling winter storm. While trapped together, a series of strange events unearth Grace’s psychological demons that stem from her strict religious upbringing. Turns out Grace was raised in a religious cult led by her father, and is the sole survivor of a mass suicide.

The script and film are smartly sparse when needed, full of symbolism and an anticipation that comes from playing with traditional horror movie conventions. The audience is given only bits and pieces of relevant information, a smart setup that will keep you guessing what the real story is. This film misdirects in a way that doesn’t annoy, and what you think is happening probably isn’t.

Even more provocative is the comparison of religious fanaticism to mental illness, a deeply ingrained devotion that eventually leads Grace back into the hell of her own childhood. Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (the duo behind 2014’s “Goodnight Mommy”) build a tense atmosphere that’s filled with trepidation and dread, making tremendous use of the claustrophobic setting (and the creepiest dollhouses you’ve ever seen) to mirror not only the woman’s slide into madness but also that of the kids. The performances are effective, especially from Lieberher and McHugh as they go from rebellious jerks to flat-out cowering with palpable fear.

The film proves that the flash of a big studio budget isn’t necessary to tell a great story, but skilled sound design is. It’s truly fantastic here. Every bark from a dog or creak from an old wooden door has meaning, and it all serves to deliver a full-circle payoff that comes with the film’s disturbing, shocking ending.


https://screenzealots.com/2019/01/26/the-lodge/

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BeitragVerfasst: 27.01.2019, 11:59 
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Ein C+ von 'Indiewire':

Zitat:
'The Lodge’ Review: Riley Keough Loses Her Mind in Creepy Cabin Thriller — Sundance
"Goodnight Mommy" filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's English-language debut has plenty of haunting images, but this time, they grow tiresome.


Eric Kohn

Jan 26, 2019 5:13 pm

@erickohn



“The Lodge” opens with a graphic suicide enacted as a jump scare, and it’s clear that directors Severin Fail and Verokia Franz aren’t messing around. The Austrian filmmakers’ English-language follow-up to their disturbing 2014 debut “Goodnight Mommy” resurrects many of the same unnerving tropes: a pair of kids trapped in a remote house, the circumstances of their situation lingering in ambiguity and baked in palpable dread. Those siblings were naughty, demented, and haunted by their past; the ones in “The Lodge,” however, could be any of those things or none of them, as the directors play endless mind games until even the jump scares ring hollow.

But that’s not to say that the movie lacks a freaky setup, or the same deliciously creepy atmosphere that made “Goodnight Mommy” such a haunting ride. After Richard (Richard Armitage) tells his estranged wife (Alicia Silverstone) that he wants a divorce, she calmly heads home and puts a gun in her mouth. The couple’s bereaved children Aiden (“It” star Jaeden Lieberher) and Mia (Lia McHugh) barely have time to recover before Richard announces plans to marry his new girlfriend Grace (Riley Keough), who escaped an extremist evangelical death cult that served as the subject of one of Richard’s books. The kids show little interest in their dad’s new squeeze, but he’s keen on establishing an opportunity for them to bond, and plans for them to spend a few days together at the same winter cabin where their mother blasted her brains out.

It’s not the sanest idea, but when Grace first arrives, she’s eager just to get along. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long for this snowy retreat to drop menacing hints of the dreariness to come. Not long after a close call on the icy lake in front of the house, Richard heads back to town for work and leaves Grace with the kids to settle in. But Aiden can’t stop shooting resentful gazes at the young woman, and when she catches him leering at her in the shower, “The Lodge” hints at the possibility that he may be the movie’s real creeper. Her confrontation with him goes nowhere, and after a bizarre and possibly supernatural twist at the one-hour mark, “The Lodge” establishes a tantalizing trio of interpretations: Either Aiden’s messing with Grace, she’s messing with him, or they’re all victims of some unseen and quite terrible perpetrator.

Keough’s dazed expression suggests that she’s still recovering from her own past struggles, and the movie gradually ventures into her disturbed mind to elaborate on the damage: As the kids soon discover, she has a tendency to wander the creaky cabin grounds at night, sleepwalking as she endures mystifying nightmares and ominous unseen voices calling for her to repent. It’s here that the filmmakers display their real talent for eerie reveals through a series of surprising images. One alarming moment finds Grace waking up in the middle of the snow, surrounded by eternal darkness; in another, she imagines a vast, empty field of snow angels.

These jolting subjective moments could fill a whole movie, and they almost do — “The Lodge” seems more content to hover in the disquieting mood than make anything substantial out of it. An hour into the ordeal, a bizarre twist changes the nature of the characters’ surroundings and thrusts them into survival mode. Unless it’s already too late. Or is it? “The Lodge” bounces around various possibilities for much of its running time, but it fails to develop any of its three main characters enough to make the conditions of their struggle worthy of the mystery in play. Aiden and Mia are little more than frantic kids, while Grace’s troubled backstory lacks enough depth to become an effective centerpiece, making it hard to care about whatever’s haunting them from scene to scene.

At its best, the minimalist setting creates the haunting impression of “The Others” in the woods, with hints of the precise formalism that made last year’s “Hereditary” such a haunting immersion. (“The Lodge” has its own spooky dollhouse, but its function is less clear.) Cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis, whose credits include the aesthetically similar “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” outshines the material with extraordinary visual finesse: The snowy cabin, surrounded by a blinding white oblivion, meets its match in the shadowy narrow hallways where Grace roams after dark.

But as the characters grow more desperate about their isolation, “The Lodge” has little to do with them aside from tossing disturbing new twists to heighten the mounting sense that they’re running out of options: a frozen dog here, a brandished gun there, and the inevitable confrontation where the worst possible scenario comes to fruition. No matter how awful things get, “The Lodge” plods along toward its dark climax, and the ending feels like an open-ended cheat.

There’s genuine fear in Keough’s performance as a damaged woman grappling to contain her trauma before it destroys them all, but the movie places too much faith in her ability to carry the material through its aimless of cycle of freaky outbursts. At one point, Aiden suggests that they might be trapped in limbo, forced to remain in the cabin until they confess their sins. Watching “The Lodge,” it’s easy to relate to that feeling of entrapment. That’s a credit to the movie’s claustrophobic tendencies at its high points, but as it continues along an aimless trajectory, “The Lodge” proves that even horrible events can be a deadly bore.

Grade: C+

“The Lodge” premiered in the Midnight section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It is currently seeking distribution.


https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/the-lodge-review-sundance-1202038481/

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Zitat:
The Lodge

by Norman Gidney
January 26, 2019

A soon-to-be-stepmom is snowed in with her fiance’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations finally begin to thaw between the trio, strange and frightening events threaten to summon psychological demons from her strict religious childhood.

Being a step parent is, without question, a difficult job. No one knows this more than poor Grace (Riley Keough), who ends up trapped with her fiancé’s children in a cabin during one hell of a snowstorm over a Christmas getaway. About midway through the film, the trio wakes up, and everything in the two-story cabin has been removed. Food, personal belongings, medications, everything is gone, and the large clock in the living room is set to January 9th. Either they have slept for two weeks or there are nasty hi-jinks afoot.

“…soon-to-be-stepmom is snowed in with her fiance’s two children at a remote holiday village.”

In the new horror movie The Lodge writers Severin Fiala, Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz attempt to take the common horror tropes from classic ghost stories and flip them to create something wholly new and original. I hate to say that, for the most part, the film aims high without any believable conclusions, not to mention plot points that are a bit hard to swallow.

The story begins as Richard (Richard Armitage) has fallen in love with Grace, yet his kids, well, not so much. They love their mom as any kid would in this difficult situation. So the only option is to take them all up to the family cabin for Christmas and some seriously isolated family time together. Daddy has to run back to work for a few days, over Christmas, to do work that he cannot do remotely and leaves his kids with his soon-to-be wife. Let’s forget that she, Grace, is the sole survivor of a suicide cult. Let’s ignore that she clearly has some mental health issues. Let’s ignore all of that and just go with it.

“…McHugh and Lieberher gave truly phenomenal performances. These kids can hold their scenes brilliantly.”

WIth a very polished production The Lodge skates by on aesthetics and mood for the first hour after delivering one hell of an opening. We know this movie is deadly serious and has no problem shocking us when we least expect it. Yet it begins to toy with conventions without seeming as if it really knows where it wants to take things.

To give credit where it is due, Keough does more than her share of work with the material. As the sort of unreliable-ish narrator, maybe, we are kept guessing whether or not to side with her or against her. Additionally, the children Lia McHugh and Jaeden Lieberher gave truly phenomenal performances. These kids can hold their scenes brilliantly.

As a bitter commentary on family, truth, trust, and above all, the religion, The Lodge is a serviceable mood piece that ends up leaving you feeling cold, and not in a good way.

The Lodge (2019) Directed by Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz. Written by Severin Fiala, Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz. Starring Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, Lia McHugh, Jaeden Lieberher. The Lodge screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

5 out of 10 stars


http://filmthreat.com/reviews/the-lodge/

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BeitragVerfasst: 27.01.2019, 13:08 
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Zitat:
Reviews
'The Lodge': Sundance Review


By Tim Grierson, Senior US Critic 27 January 2019



Riley Keogh stars in this nerve-shredding horror from the directors of ‘Goodnight Mommy’

The Lodge

Dirs: Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala. US/UK. 2018. 100mins

Something wicked is most certainly coming in The Lodge, but what’s terrifying is that it’s never quite clear from where — or exactly why. Building beautifully off the gripping horror of 2014’s Goodnight Mommy, filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala give us a cabin-in-the-middle-of-nowhere chiller which is electrified by Riley Keough’s tricky performance as a woman who’s either the cause or the victim of the film’s nerve-shredding anxiety. Maybe a plot point here or there doesn’t quite make sense, but viewers will only be able to make those determinations once the film ends and they eventually calm down.

Ecstatic word-of-mouth will be the key selling point for fans of smart indie horror.

Inevitably, comparisons will be made to Hereditary, which like The Lodge premiered in Sundance’s Midnight section and boasted an elegant air of dread while examining a family in emotional disarray. Keough’s name recognition will add commercial oomph, but more likely ecstatic word-of-mouth will be the key selling point for fans of smart indie horror.

The Lodge opens with a tragedy, which (like much of this film) shouldn’t be revealed so that moviegoers can enter into the experience without any preconceived notions of where the story is heading. Suffice to say, sensitive children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) resent their dad Richard’s (Richard Armitage) new girlfriend Grace (Keough), far preferring their troubled mom Laura (Alicia Silverstone). But Richard is determined to make his new family work — especially because he plans to marry Grace — and so he decides the four of them should spend Christmas in his posh winter lodge in the middle of a snowy, remote forest. The other three are less enthused about spending time together in such an isolated place, but they’ll have to make the best of it once Richard has to drive back to town unexpectedly for a few days.

With hints of The Shining, The Lodge promises shocks even before this foursome arrive at the house, but Franz and Fiala masterfully tease us, leaving viewers to wonder precisely why they’re feeling so unnerved. It’s not just the superbly evocative sound design or Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans’ stabbing music cues that jar — it’s the filmmakers’ precise camera placement and deliberate pace, which add foreboding to any image, even if it’s just Alka-Seltzer dissolving in water.

Most of the film concerns Grace’s time in the house with Aiden and Mia as she tries to get them to warm to her. That seems like an insurmountable task, but eventually the kids start to soften — just in time for strange happenings to occur around the lodge. We’re given a rather large hint about Grace’s traumatic past, but as The Lodge’s ambiguous frights begin to accumulate, we’re never sure whether what we’re experiencing is because of her background or if there’s some other explanation.

The challenge with a film like this is sustaining the mystery — draw it out too long and the heightened mood grows stale or the answer becomes obvious. Wizardly, Franz and Fiala (who are credited with the screenplay alongside Sergio Casci) throw in enough twists, clues and red herrings that we remain in the film’s chokehold throughout.

Key to The Lodge’s tonal control is the three central performances, which never let us feel confident in where our sympathies should lie. As the younger sibling, McHugh avoids the cutesy/demonic clichés we often see from child actors in horror films, while Martell’s Aiden reveals a slight sexual attraction for Grace that gives their scenes an unsettling charge.

But the film belongs to Keough, who has a habit of playing intense, inscrutable characters. But Grace is another high-water mark: The actress plays this character as both victim and menace, switching back and forth with such fluidity that she can’t be pinned down. As Grace looks out the window to the frigid forest surrounding the cottage, it’s impossible to know if her silent thoughts are benign or tormented, and The Lodge keeps her intentions murky until the shattering finale.

Admittedly, the occasional implausibility creeps in, and the storytelling isn’t immune from some of the hoarier tenets of the psychological horror genre. But the longer The Lodge rolls along, the sheer skilfulness of the execution — the precise manipulation of the audience’s fears — becomes so impressive that one is tempted to simply succumb to its cold, cruel efficiency. The Lodge is best experienced knowing nothing about the plot. Two hours later when the film is over, you may be amazed how little you still know about what you’ve seen — only that you’ve been profoundly shaken.

Production companies: Hammer, FilmNation Entertainment

International sales: Endeavor, cgelb@endeavorcontent.com; and FilmNation, bellis@filmnation.com

Producers: Simon Oakes, Aliza James, Aaron Ryder

Screenplay: Sergio Casci and Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala

Production design: Sylvain Lemaitre

Editing: Michael Palm

Cinematography: Thimios Bakatakis

Music: Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans

Main cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage


https://www.screendaily.com/reviews/the-lodge-sundance-review/5136208.article

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Zitat:
The Lodge
Sundance 2019 Review


Independent; 108 minutes

Director: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala

Written by Jake Howell on January 27, 2019


Comparisons to Ari Aster’s Hereditary are legitimate from pretty much the opening scene of The Lodge, Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s follow-up to Goodnight Mommy that mixes fanatic Christianity and a snowbound setting for a slow-burning freakshow. Fortunately, despite these many similarities, The Lodge successfully deviates by its chilling finale into something all its own.

Really, though, almost exactly the same dollhouse/miniature motif used so intelligently in Hereditary is employed here with little addition or difference, making it feel like, at this point in the visual grammar of contemporary horror film, more than a tad gimmicky.

And that’s a shame, because it’s sincerely hard to see The Lodge strictly on its own terms—the film sits so pointedly in Hereditary’s shadow. Other obvious parallels deepen this problem: thematically, they exist in the same underworld of religious cultists; narratively, they share identical haunted house set-ups (expect scary nights in between unsettling days). There are more, but for the purposes of this review, the film deserves its own fair shake.

When we finally arrive at the title location, Grace (an always excellent Riley Keough) and her new beau’s adolescent children (Jaeden Lieberher and Lia McHugh, performing quite strong for actors their age) are getting to know each other better, following their parents’ separation and subsequent suicide of their mother (Alicia Silverstone). Goodnight mommy, indeed.

Further, by the end of the first act, we’ve learned Grace is the sole survivor of a suicide cult, steeping the film in a sufficiently disturbing backstory and, more importantly, turning relatively mundane Christian objects (crucifixes, paintings, etcetera) into potentially triggering miscellanea. In this regard, it’s important to give credit where credit is due: any film that can translate images of snow angels into something genuinely unnerving is ultimately working as better-than-average genre fare.

For anyone curious—and perhaps as a helpful guide to fellow wimps like myself—it’s worth noting here that Hereditary is definitively scarier than The Lodge, but I’d argue that actually works in the latter’s favor. Once the film wrestles itself from the confines of its spiritual predecessor, The Lodge is able to chew on some truly mind-bending ambiguities that kept me guessing—suspended in relatively effective tension—on what was actually happening, and that’s largely thanks to its hair-raising combination of creepy Christian audio cues, emphasis on disquieting sound design, and a twisty dissection of mental illness.

Save for the sound design, I don’t think that summary recalls a description of Hereditary, which makes me wish The Lodge’s first half had more to say on its central themes of guilt, repentance, and the downward spiral of deranged depression. I’m just glad it eventually gets there, one way or the other.

The Lodge premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Follow our festival coverage here.


B


https://thefilmstage.com/reviews/sundance-review-the-lodge-is-a-slow-burning-freakshow-with-a-chilling-finale/

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Sundance 2019: The Lodge Review

By Jason Gorber January 28, 2019 | 1:10 pm

Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala have crafted a unique filmmaking partnership, crafting films of supreme precision and acerbic tone. Their 2014 film Goodnight Mommy was a clinical look at family dysfunctionality, its white-walled clarity belying inner turmoil where the manicured perfection is belied by the messiness of humanity. With The Lodge they explore a similar landscape, this time fields of white snow and ice contrasting with the seeming comfort of a wood-lined cottage that evokes feelings of warmth and comfort while equally evoking coffin-like claustrophobia.

The Lodge is essentially a family drama, where a pair of children (played by Lia McHugh and Jaeden Lieberher) are witness to the disintegration of a marriage between their mother (Alicia Silverstone) and father (Richard Armitage). When they move in with their dad they confront his new partner Grace (Riley Keough), and as a family they head out into the country for some holiday cheer.

Grace’s past trauma informs much of her reticence, while the children too are scarred by what’s come before. What results is a game of wills that has truly macabre consequences, blurring lines between victim and victimization with horrific results.

While events proceed deliberately, the narrative evolves with a precise intensity that serves the story well, mirroring the bleak yet inviting visuals of its lonely locale.

This film brilliantly eschews easy calls to supernaturalism, finding humanity itself perfectly capable of soul destroying behaviour without need to assign blame to something metaphysical. It’s this element that truly makes the film exceptional, yet at the same time may disappoint genre junkies who wish things to conform more readily to their expectations for more heightened narratives. For those patient enough, and willing to take the film by its own rules, The Lodge succeeds in ways like few others.

There are echoes to many masterpieces from the likes of Hitchcock and Kubrick, with its visual style particularly redolent of the latter thanks to long-time Yorgos Lanthimos collaborator Thimios Bakatakis’ icy photography. There are zeitgeist allusions to last year’s Hereditary, with similar dioramic elements that connect the children’s play world with the events of reality, yet the films take very different tacks as they reach their conclusions.

Given that The Lodge is a modern Hammer production it’s perhaps even more ironic it doesn’t reach for many of the tropes that fueled that famed studio’s output, where there’s no need here for another Wicker Man spurt of otherworldly madness to elicit our fears. The Lodge wisely draws upon many of the tropes and expected plot elements and twists them gently, revising our expectations throughout.

The performances are exceptional, particularly from the young children and their interaction with a growingly unstable Keough. Armitage exudes parental calm, a perfect casting that helps subvert the notion of the strong and capable father figure.

The Lodge is above all a character piece, using elements of fear and dread drawn from a myriad of horror sources to result in an exercise in domestic destruction. Its affect is all the more powerful because of its focus upon these flawed human characters, illustrating how evil’s banality is far more chilling than any call to the demonic or supernatural. We’re treated to a work whose very restraint is its biggest gift, holding back any methods that let us escape form the realization that families can be destroyed by nothing other than the tools we have within.

As an English language debut Franz and Fiala have overcome all the pitfalls that often are encountered with the switch is made by international filmmakers. The script is taut and the language precise, all the more remarkable given that drafts of the film went through back-and-forth translation between English and German throughout. The end result is a works that shows none of these seams, resulting in a new classic for this kind of thriller.

With affecting performances, exceptional photography, a haunting score and a storyline that eats at you throughout, The Lodge is an extraordinary work by a talented group. Franz and Fiala have crafted a bone-chilling film that’s a slow burn, its icy flames illuminating the dark crevices of human behaviour, resulting in a work not easily forgotten.


https://thatshelf.com/sundance-2019-the-lodge-review/

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Wohnort: Richard's Kingdom of Dreams
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​"the lodge"

THE STORY - Devoted to their devastated mother, siblings Aidan and Mia resent Grace, the younger woman their newly separated father plans to marry. They flatly reject Grace’s attempts to bond, and they dig up dirt on her tragic past—but soon they find themselves trapped with her, snowed in in a remote holiday village after their dad heads back to the city for work. Just as relations begin to thaw, strange and frightening events threaten to unearth psychological demons from Grace’s strictly religious childhood.

THE CAST - Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage & Daniel Keough

THE TEAM - Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala (Directors/Writers) & Sergio Casci (Writer)

THE RUNNING TIME - 108 Minutes


https://www.nextbestpicture.com/the-lodge.html


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Culture / Movies
Sundance Update: Sunday, Jan. 27

Late Night, The Nightingale, The Lodge, Dirty God, The Sound of Silence and more

Posted By Scott Renshaw on January 27, 2019, 7:02 AM


Late Night (Premieres) ***
It would be the height of un-self-awareness for a white dude writer to suggest that the main thing holding back Mindy Kaling's crowd-pleaser of a script is going too easy on the stacked deck in favor of white dude writers, but, well … yeah. She plays Molly Patel, an inexperienced would-be comedy writer who lands her first gig as an openly-stated “diversity hire” for a long-lived late-night talk show hosted by Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson). But she arrives in that previously all-white-dude-writer's room at a pivotal moment: The network is considering replacing Katherine because her show has grown stale and predictable. The story rides or dies on the Devil Wears Prada-esque relationship between Molly and Katherine, more specifically on Thompson's delightful, all-in performance as a taskmaster boss watching herself become irrelevant as an entertainer. Kaling lands a few body blows when taking on racism, sexism and ageism in the entertainment industry, and doesn't let Katherine off the hook in her disdain for what a 21st-century audience demands. It also feels like she's playing it a bit safe to make sure it remains comfortable for a mainstream audience ready to whoop in agreement in all the right places, provided they're not asked to think too hard about privilege (like mine). (Scott Renshaw)

Dirty God (World Drama) ***
Sacha Polak brilliantly directs a story that feels a couple of rewrites away from fully realizing its potential. Vicky Knight plays Jade Nugent, a London single mother who has survived being doused in acid by her daughter’s father/her estranged boyfriend, and now tries to restart her life coming to terms with her disfigurement. Polak opens with a terrific sequence that turns close-up images of Jade’s scars into a kind of topographical map, immediately conveying the extent of her injuries. And that introduction provides an indication of the ways the director injects burst of theatricality into an often verité-style approach—dramatic lighting accentuating Jade at the sentencing of her attacker, or the strange fantasies Jade continues to have about him. Knight’s performance effectively captures the bitterness of a party girl now certain she’ll always be ignored by men, and who feels she must hide under the covers to do a puppet show for her frightened little girl. The narrative eventually focuses on Jade’s efforts to get cheap plastic surgery in Morocco, and her flirtation with the boyfriend of her best friend. While there’s strong material in Jade’s ongoing delusions that everything can go back to the way it was, some loosely connected story elements distract from a uniquely intriguing character study. (SR)

The Nightingale (Spotlight) **

This intersectional-feminist I Spit On Your Grave is also a superbly made movie in most respects, so it doesn’t offend with its artlessness as Grave did. But it’s a relentless one-dimensional rape-revenge movie. Set in early 19th century Tasmania—a frontier area populated almost-entirely with British soldiers, Irish criminal indentured servants and Aborigines—The Nightingale builds to one of the most searingly brutal double rape/double murders you’ll ever see, and the rest of the movie involves survivor Clare’s chase to catch the perpetrators and exact revenge. End of movie to a beautiful sunrise. To her credit, director Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) avoids fetishizing the (multiple) rapes in the film but still luxuriates in the kill shots, including body-penetrating spears and all manner of violence deployed against practically every named character. The Foley effects are turned up to 11, the shock cuts come swiftly, and the one time Clare tries to use a gun, it fails and she has to get her hands (and dress and face) bloody with multiple stabs and rifle butts to the face. And the villains are so flamboyantly, cartoonishly, one-dimensionally evil (see: the two child killings) that, even though the violence isn’t “entertaining” we’re being pushed to cheer like a walkabout Death Wish. (Victor Morton)

Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary (U.S. Documentary) ***1/2
Andy Kaufman would be proud. As the title suggests, it’s a documentary about the comedian-magician-grossout-artist, but it becomes its own piece of documentary-filmmaking-as-performance-art gonzo stunt. It has more layers than a wedding cake, and the groom and groom on the top (John Edward Szeles aka Johnathan, and director Ben Berman) see their relationship … tested. Szeles had retired because of health issues related to decades of drug abuse, but hits the road again after having outlived the “one year left” diagnosis by a few years, and Berman will film that tour. But to extend the wedding cake metaphor, Johnathan is already cheating on the honeymoon and is keeping around previous flings. Like yesterday’s The Disappearance of My Mother, documentary ethics get foregrounded, only Johnathan has a light touch and a puckish sense of humor (one word: meth; another word: actor). Documentary filmmaking gets deconstructed—every time a new film is introduced is a laugh line—and then reconstructed. Some “horrible” early scenes let Weird Al Yankovic, Carrot Top and other ubiquitous talking heads blather on about how amazing Amazing Johnathan is, and then … they come back, in a different voice. My only reservation is that I’m not sure how funny this untangling of webs we’ve weaved is once you know everything. I’m eager to find out, though. (VM)

The Lodge (Midnight) *1/2
There are a hundred different ways that a movie can irritate the hell out of me, and congratulations to Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy) for checking nearly every box. The setup finds a pair of siblings, Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh), reluctantly on a holiday getaway with their father's fiancée, Grace (Riley Keough), then stuck together when they're snowed in while dad (Richard Armitage) is away. Some of the offenses are mundane but avoidable, like foolishly including footage of a much better movie about people stuck together in a snowy isolated locale (in this case, Carpenter's The Thing). Some are simply personal, like my disdain for using children in peril as a narrative crutch. Some are indicative of lazy writing, like setting up eventual payoffs in ways that either make no sense, or don't provide sufficient backstory to pack an emotional punch, or refuse to go for the throat. And then there are those that are icky and irresponsible, like using childhood trauma, the legacy of conservative religion and mental illness as plot points without any real desire to take them seriously. The atmosphere is effectively moody some of the time but rarely genuinely scary, leaving little more than that ignominious checklist. (SR)

American Factory (U.S. Documentary) ***
The title card for this movie reads “American Factory 美国工厂”, telling you right away that “American” in the title is going to be heavily qualified. Chinese billionaire Cao Dewang reopens a closed GM plant in Ohio as Fuyao Glass America, and brings in a Chinese staff, but also hires American managers and workers, saying he wants FGA to be an American company. It had to not-work-out, or there wouldn’t be a movie. What follows is equal parts Gung Ho (from back when the economic “Yellow Peril” referred to Japan, not China) and Norma Rae. The latter gives Factory some heft, while the former makes it go down as a pleasant experience, if nothing ground-breaking, dramatic or even that non-obvious. The workers, both American and Chinese, are rather undifferentiated, and the union election is milked for more suspense then the footage can handle. The funniest scene involves a team of American workers traveling to China for the New Year’s celebration, jaws agape at happy propagandistic kitsch that has barely changed since Mao’s time, though it’s now talking about corporate earnings and market share rather than the Great Proletarian Struggle. (That’s progress.) And it’s two-sided: The conversations Chinese managers have with Chinese workers about how to handle Americans are … shockingly blunt, and therefore discomfitingly funny. (VM)

The Magic Life of V (World Doc) ***
There’s a bit of a bait-and-switch in Tonislav Hristov’s documentary, but what emerges from this gorgeously shot story is still a compelling character study. The focal point is Veera, a young Finnish woman whose participation in various live-action role-playing scenarios—including, as we see here, a Harry Potter-esque wizarding school, and a first-person shooter mutant monster attack—becomes a kind of therapy for her traumatic childhood with an abusive alcoholic father. At the outset, it seems as though these LARP events might play a larger role in providing insight into Veera’s psyche; ultimately, there’s far more time spent on Veera’s caretaker relationship with her developmentally disabled older brother, Ville, and her fears that Ville might follow in dad’s heavy-drinking footsteps. But there’s an insinuating quality to the filmmaking that makes it often feel more like verité-style drama than documentary—like occasionally filming Veera full in the face from the front, rather than unobtrusively to one side—accompanied by Alexander Stanishev’s stunning landscape cinematography. While there’s an almost anti-climactic quality to Veera’s ultimate confrontation with her long-estranged dad—perhaps inevitable, after the way creepy snippets of home movies make him a kind of monster—it remains fascinating watching Veera create for herself a character capable of facing down her demons. (SR)

The Sound of Silence (U.S. Dramatic) **
Occasionally, a movie just hands you an easy metaphor for why it just isn't quite working for you—and this one is entirely about whether something in your environment is or isn't hitting the right notes. Peter Sarsgaard plays Peter Lucian, a New York musicologist who has devoted himself single-mindedly to researching the impact of sound on people's mental and emotional state, from the frequencies of entire neighborhoods to the way your household radiator might be hitting a dissonant chord relative to your kitchen appliances. That work is thrown out of whack when one of his “house tuning” clients, Ellen (Rashida Jones), doesn't seem to respond to Peter's prescription of a new toaster. It all sounds preposterous on paper, but Sarsgaard plays Lucian's obsessions with utter earnestness, hinting at stuff that co-writers Michael Tyburski (who also directed) and Ben Nabors ultimately don't trust to remain subtextual; “I think you miss out on connecting yourself” feels like a sentiment we don't need to hear Ellen say out loud. But while the plot eventually slides between elements including oddball romance, deadpan comedy and corporate espionage, Tyburski's tonal choices ultimately remain as frustratingly internalized as his protagonist, even while the director oversees a terrifically complex sound design. It's a tune waiting for a crescendo that never comes. (SR)


https://www.cityweekly.net/BuzzBlog/archives/2019/01/27/sundance-update-sunday-jan-27


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Reviews
'The Lodge': Sundance Review


By Tim Grierson, Senior US Critic27 January 2019


Riley Keogh stars in this nerve-shredding horror from the directors of ‘Goodnight Mommy’

The Lodge

Dirs: Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala. US/UK. 2018. 100mins

Something wicked is most certainly coming in The Lodge, but what’s terrifying is that it’s never quite clear from where — or exactly why. Building beautifully off the gripping horror of 2014’s Goodnight Mommy, filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala give us a cabin-in-the-middle-of-nowhere chiller which is electrified by Riley Keough’s tricky performance as a woman who’s either the cause or the victim of the film’s nerve-shredding anxiety. Maybe a plot point here or there doesn’t quite make sense, but viewers will only be able to make those determinations once the film ends and they eventually calm down.

Ecstatic word-of-mouth will be the key selling point for fans of smart indie horror.

Inevitably, comparisons will be made to Hereditary, which like The Lodge premiered in Sundance’s Midnight section and boasted an elegant air of dread while examining a family in emotional disarray. Keough’s name recognition will add commercial oomph, but more likely ecstatic word-of-mouth will be the key selling point for fans of smart indie horror.

The Lodge opens with a tragedy, which (like much of this film) shouldn’t be revealed so that moviegoers can enter into the experience without any preconceived notions of where the story is heading. Suffice to say, sensitive children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) resent their dad Richard’s (Richard Armitage) new girlfriend Grace (Keough), far preferring their troubled mom Laura (Alicia Silverstone). But Richard is determined to make his new family work — especially because he plans to marry Grace — and so he decides the four of them should spend Christmas in his posh winter lodge in the middle of a snowy, remote forest. The other three are less enthused about spending time together in such an isolated place, but they’ll have to make the best of it once Richard has to drive back to town unexpectedly for a few days.

With hints of The Shining, The Lodge promises shocks even before this foursome arrive at the house, but Franz and Fiala masterfully tease us, leaving viewers to wonder precisely why they’re feeling so unnerved. It’s not just the superbly evocative sound design or Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans’ stabbing music cues that jar — it’s the filmmakers’ precise camera placement and deliberate pace, which add foreboding to any image, even if it’s just Alka-Seltzer dissolving in water.

Most of the film concerns Grace’s time in the house with Aiden and Mia as she tries to get them to warm to her. That seems like an insurmountable task, but eventually the kids start to soften — just in time for strange happenings to occur around the lodge. We’re given a rather large hint about Grace’s traumatic past, but as The Lodge’s ambiguous frights begin to accumulate, we’re never sure whether what we’re experiencing is because of her background or if there’s some other explanation.

The challenge with a film like this is sustaining the mystery — draw it out too long and the heightened mood grows stale or the answer becomes obvious. Wizardly, Franz and Fiala (who are credited with the screenplay alongside Sergio Casci) throw in enough twists, clues and red herrings that we remain in the film’s chokehold throughout.

Key to The Lodge’s tonal control is the three central performances, which never let us feel confident in where our sympathies should lie. As the younger sibling, McHugh avoids the cutesy/demonic clichés we often see from child actors in horror films, while Martell’s Aiden reveals a slight sexual attraction for Grace that gives their scenes an unsettling charge.

But the film belongs to Keough, who has a habit of playing intense, inscrutable characters. But Grace is another high-water mark: The actress plays this character as both victim and menace, switching back and forth with such fluidity that she can’t be pinned down. As Grace looks out the window to the frigid forest surrounding the cottage, it’s impossible to know if her silent thoughts are benign or tormented, and The Lodge keeps her intentions murky until the shattering finale.

Admittedly, the occasional implausibility creeps in, and the storytelling isn’t immune from some of the hoarier tenets of the psychological horror genre. But the longer The Lodge rolls along, the sheer skilfulness of the execution — the precise manipulation of the audience’s fears — becomes so impressive that one is tempted to simply succumb to its cold, cruel efficiency. The Lodge is best experienced knowing nothing about the plot. Two hours later when the film is over, you may be amazed how little you still know about what you’ve seen — only that you’ve been profoundly shaken.

Production companies: Hammer, FilmNation Entertainment

International sales: Endeavor, cgelb@endeavorcontent.com; and FilmNation, bellis@filmnation.com

Producers: Simon Oakes, Aliza James, Aaron Ryder

Screenplay: Sergio Casci and Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala

Production design: Sylvain Lemaitre

Editing: Michael Palm

Cinematography: Thimios Bakatakis

Music: Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans

Main cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, Richard Armitage


https://www.screendaily.com/reviews/the-lodge-sundance-review/5136208.article

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Wohnort: Richard's Kingdom of Dreams
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The Lodge Veronika Franz Severin Fiala
Reviews

ByNicholas Bell
Published on January 27, 2019

Reexamining similar themes of the inherent madness of isolation and the potential terrors of motherhood from their breakout 2014 debut Goodnight Mommy, Austrian directing duo Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala move into English language territory with The Lodge. Filmed in the wintry climes of Quebec (seconding for New England), a notable and minimalist cast fleshes out a similar scenario of matriarchal lunacy, which begins with a bang of bleak humor and then descends into an increasingly illogical labyrinth of questionable twists and turns. Breaking from its initial arch sensibilities in a prolonged second act, Severin and Fiala’s narrative bleeds itself dry with a self-seriousness requiring a bit more finessing in both character development and explication to avoid the madcap absurdity it falls prey to. Still, as an exercise in stark atmosphere with a winning streak of nasty, blasphemous subtext, there’s enough here to at least keep curious minds occupied as to what depths of depravity the film is willing to traverse.

After the tragic death of their mother (Alicia Silverstone), siblings Mia (Liz McHugh) and Aidan (Jaeden Lieberher) are staunchly opposed to their father’s (Richard Armitage) plans to marry Grace (Riley Keough), a much younger love interest who they blame for their parents’ separation. Aggressively opposed to accepting her role in their life, they’re suddenly forced to interact with Grace when their father leaves them alone with her in an isolated cabin for Christmas. When a winter blizzard further seals them in, strange things start to happen. Things which seem related to the children’s dead mother and Grace’s traumatic past.

The Lodge begins on a note of tongue-in-cheek bleakness, giving us all the cues we need to ascertain the mental state of Alicia Silverstone, fetishized by her daughter in doll form (which also becomes a prominent fixture in the film’s visual fabric). While the set design features an overdependence on parallels with a doll house (a la Hereditary, 2018), the early establishing characteristics work best with Silverstone’s character, a Christian woman whose skewed faith is much more perverted than the various icons and crosses decorating her exterior living spaces would suggest. A different dynamic is used for Keough, where we’re force-fed news stories and videos about the suicide cult she was the lone survivor of, led by her zealot father. And yet everything else surrounding Keough, including the actor’s performance, is a veritable blank slate save a few details hiding in plain sight, which eventually are used to conveniently explain her role as a faulty narrator as well as the ensuing descent into terror.

Featuring some choice jabs of discomfort, perhaps none more perversely staged than a fraught fall through the ice, The Lodge is keen on unnerving and disrupting, thanks in part to a superior score from Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. Some healthy chunks of scenery from John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) adds to the sense of menace, paralleling the dread of chaos unfolding in an uninhabitable wintry climate (though the real purpose of these clips seems to be for a line goading the direction of the film suggesting the dangers of cabin fever). But where The Lodge is most potent is where it breaks down the elements of what drives human towards a faith-based existence—fear. Severin, who’s married to one of cinema’s most consequentially atheistic auteurs (Ulrich Seidl of Jesus, You Know and Paradise: Faith), rivals his use of religion as a formidable trap, its most fervent proponents driven to mental imbalance and eventually violence. Sure, that’s maybe a slippery slope, particularly in a genre film which seems as equally happy to pounce on the destructive expectations of motherhood, but it’s there as a potent subtext, nonetheless.

Performances are routinely fine, with Keough doing her best as an inscrutable protagonist who is emphatically gaslit (if somewhat similar to her performance in the missed opportunity that was Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark, 2018). Silverstone, (as with her brief supporting turn in 2017’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer), it turns out, proves to be a scene stealer in perverse genre items, while Richard Armitage fares well enough as a father foolish enough to leave his children alone with the sole survivor of a suicide cult. Unlike in Goodnight Mommy, the children are the weak point this time around, despite the performances of Jaeden Lieberher (It: Chapter One, 2017) and an entertaining Lia McHugh, concocting a ruse which outdoes the extravagance of the Home Alone franchise. Still, despite comparable shortcomings to their earlier title, Severin and Fiala are an alluring, entertaining directing duo and one desires to see where there dark-hearted interests lead them.

Reviewed on January 25th at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival – Midnight Program. 108 Minutes

★★½/☆☆☆☆☆


https://www.ioncinema.com/reviews/veronika-franz-severin-fiala-the-lodge-review


Zitat:
Rob Hunter | January 28, 2019

'The Lodge' Review: Some Purgatories Are of Our Own Design [Sundance]



Grief and religion are common themes in horror films as both are given immense power by those in their grip. Combining the two can make for a harrowing and highly emotional descent into terror, and the latest film to bind them together is Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz‘s The Lodge. Grieving children and a woman scarred by an oppressive religious upbringing are trapped in a remote wintry cabin, and penance must be paid for sins real and imagined.

Aidan (Jaeden Lieberher) and Mia (Lia McHugh) are children of a broken home as their mother wallows in post-separation misery and their father moves on. Their dad’s (Richard Armitage) announcement that he’ll soon be marrying Grace (Riley Keough) is too much for his ex to bear, and she takes her own life in violent fashion. The kids are devastated — young Mia cries uncontrollably that now her mom won’t be able to get into heaven — but six months later Richard is trying to move them all forward. He plans a Christmas getaway to their remote cabin with Grace along for the ride, but it’s rough going at first as neither child wants anything to do with her both because she’s “replacing” their mom and because they discover she was the sole survivor of a cult mass suicide as a child. When he’s called away for a few days of work the hope is the three will come finally together, but things instead take a turn for the worse. Strange noises, disappearing belongings, and a fierce winter storm coalesce into a nightmare where trust, sanity, and safety wither in the darkness.

Much like Goodnight Mommy, Fiala & Franz’s first film, The Lodge is a meticulous slow-burn introducing detail and doubt in equally methodical doses. The threat enveloping Grace and the children seems to come from one (or more) places. Has Grace finally snapped? Are the kids spiteful monsters? Are they dead and trapped in a chilly purgatory? Is something supernatural taking up residence in the house’s halls? The script (co-written with Sergio Casci) does a fantastic job making all three explanations possible before fully revealing itself in one hell of a third act. The creepy sense of oppression and terror doubles down while the intensity ratchets up leading to sequences that will leave viewers holding their breath in fearful anticipation.

While the threat and fear of the unknown grow and swell throughout the film the visuals are sharp and beautiful in their precision and imagery. Cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis — a veteran of many Yorgos Lanthimos films from his 2002 short up through The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) — captures the ominous nature of nature itself while finding the eerie stillness indoors. A recurring visual highlights the rooms of Mia’s elaborate dollhouse back home, and in addition to pairing nicely to the events unfolding at the lodge they also find similarities that begin to leave viewers unsure which they’re looking at initially.

Comparisons to 2017’s Hereditary are inevitable (and lazy) as rather than riffing on that very recent movie The Lodge is instead very much in line with the filmmakers’ previous effort. A woman, two children, and a big empty house are once again the makeup of characters and setting, and a growing unease over who’s the bigger threat pervades the screen. The shift here moves the focus beyond the intimate relationship and into the realm of oppression — from sources both external and internal — that shape the characters’ actions. The kids blame Grace for their situation, Grace carries trauma inflicted by her childhood with the cult, and reminders of the dead woman sit all throughout the house. The three are stuck, both in the lodge and in their own suffering, and there may not be an exit. There’s a reason we see the three watching John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) before they lose power and hope.

If there’s a weakness here it rests in the film’s midsection where the abundance of dread-filled visuals start to weigh it all down. Character details and forward momentum slow to a near crawl as we instead get imagery and sequences that, while haunting and beautiful in their eeriness, may leave some growing restless. Those more comfortable and appreciative of films that dedicate real time to the slow build of tension and terror will have no such qualms.

Those that can go with the film’s pace and motivations, though, will find much to enjoy from the visuals to the performances. Keough is charismatic in her attempts at joy and captivating in her breakdown, and you can’t help but wish she continues to get more lead roles in the future. The other standout is young McHugh who makes you feel her grief and fear — especially over her mother’s soul not getting into heaven — up through the very end.

The Lodge is a definite slow-burn that grows darker by the minute, and it commits to that grim progression. Proceed with caution.


https://filmschoolrejects.com/the-lodge-review/


Zitat:
Review: The Lodge (Sundance)
skarl | January 28, 2019 | Movie News | No Comments

PLOT: Following the suicide of their mother, two kids find themselves trapped in a remote lodge over their Christmas holiday with their father’s girlfriend (Riley Keough) who also happens to be the sole survivor of a religious cult.

REVIEW: THE LODGE is Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s follow-up to their acclaimed GOODNIGHT MOMMY. A unique, slow burn of a thriller with some similarities to their earlier work (notably the anxiety of parenthood and a fear of children), THE LODGE is among the more unpredictable genre entries to come out in awhile, making it another elevated horror breakout along the lines of HEREDITARY.

Notably, it gives Riley Keough a meaty, star turn to chew on, as the new partner of Richard Armitage’s divorced dad, whose kids are recovering from a major trauma that makes this perhaps an ill-advised time to introduce a potential new parent.

Franz and Fiala expertly build tension right from the start, where an unexpected twist lets us know all bets are off and that anything can happen. While the lead, the directors hold off on introducing Keough until the second act, letting the kids discover her past as the daughter of a doomsday cult leader, with her having been the subject of their father’s book, leading to their romance.

What this does is allow us to be suspicious of Keough from the start, with her seeming to be perfectly normal, but what do we know? Will the kids be safe with her or will she be safe with them?

It actually takes a good forty minutes or so before the plot really kicks in, letting us get to know and like the family, with even some darkly humorous moments sprinkled in, like when Keough and the kids watch John Carpenter’s THE THING, despite being completely isolated in similarly wintery conditions, with them following it up with Michael Keaton’s JACK FROST perhaps the strangest double feature in cinema history.

At this point though, I have to stop, because like HEREDITARY, the only way to watch THE LODGE is not knowing what happens once the true horror kicks in. Suffice to say, it’s more terror of the psychological kind than gross-out or gore (the film is remarkably non-explicit), but it works beautifully. It’s also another unpredictable genre entry that one could define as “art-house horror”, a label that rubs me the wrong way, as I prefer to think of it as elevated horror, not that different from what movies like ROSEMARY’S BABY and THE EXORCIST were in the sixties/seventies. It’s horror that takes itself seriously.

Suffice to say, THE LODGE is a terrific nail-bitter, and gives Keough the chance to sink her teeth into a part that both takes advantage of her ethereal quality, but also allows her to play someone who’s deeply human, making her the kind of horror figure you may alternately fear and empathize with. I wouldn’t be surprised it this winds-up catching on in a big way post-fest, presuming the right outfit picks it up.


https://movies.infoutopia.com/2019/01/28/review-the-lodge-sundance/

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Zitat:
'The Lodge' Review: The Next Great Horror Film is Here, and It's Terrifying [Sundance]
January 29, 2019

It seems like every year, we get at least one film heralded as “the next great horror movie.” Sometimes, that assessment is overblown. But sometimes, it’s spot-on. This year’s next great horror film is The Lodge, and I am entirely confident in that assessment. It’s going to be nearly impossible for any other fright flick this year to top the atmospheric dread and abject terror on display here. An icy cold mix of The Shining and religious mania run wild, The Lodge opens with a bang, and never lets up. Take it from someone who doesn’t scare easy: The Lodge is scary as hell.

I’ll have to tread lightly here, because so much of The Lodge‘s power comes from mystery. The audience I saw the film with more or less lost their minds every other scene, as one shocking, unexpected moment after another played out before our eyes. While avoiding big spoilers, I can tell you this: The Lodge follows two siblings – Aidan (It actor Jaeden Lieberher) and his little sister Mia (Lia McHugh). The pair are furious that their father (Richard Armitage), recently separated from their mother (Alicia Silverstone), is planning to marry a new, younger woman.

That younger woman is Grace, and for the opening chunk of The Lodge, she remains a mystery. In these early scenes, we never get a good look at her. She appears out-of-focus, or disguised in silhouette, heightening the mystery. In doing research on their potential step-mother, the siblings learn that Grace grew up in a religious doomsday cult, and that the experience traumatized her greatly. All this set-up immediately paints a dark and twisted picture of Grace, which makes her first real appearance all the more disarming. When she finally shows up on screen, as played by Riley Keough, she seems perfectly normal. More than that, she seems very polite and kind.

Grace very badly wants to make the children like her, and when the opportunity to spend some time with them in the family’s secluded cabin during Christmas springs up, Grace seizes on it. Again and again, she tries her hardest to break the ice – but the children refuse to thaw. Mia treats her with indifference, while Aidan is downright rude. When dear old dad has to head back to the city for work, Grace and the siblings are left alone together in the cabin, just as a huge snowstorm kicks in. And that’s really all I’m going to tell you! From here, The Lodge drags you towards doom, with Keough’s Grace growing more and more unhinged as the snow piles up.

The Lodge hails from Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, the duo who directed the German horror film Goodnight Mommy. I was not a fan – the visuals were effectively creepy, but the script was painfully obvious. With The Lodge, the team have ironed out all the Goodnight Mommy problems to craft a singular work of atmospheric horror. The overall feeling of dread here is pervasive to the extreme. The dread on display here seeps into your bones like a winter chill, and you just can’t shake it. Long, slow zooms and lonely wide-shots create a disorienting mental state in the viewer, knocking us for a loop and leaving us constantly on guard for whatever might come next.

Set design is a huge key in making all of this work. The location we spend most of the film in looks unnatural – rooms are cramped, ceilings seem too low. It’s as if the building is closing in. And of course, those rooms are often shrouded in darkness. Who knows what can be lurking in that pools of shadow? In keeping with the film’s focus on religion – not only does Grace come from a religious background, but the siblings themselves seem surprisingly devout in their prayers – there’s an incredibly creepy painting of a shrouded female saint, the paint making up her face peeling. Time after time, the filmmakers slowly zoom in on this icon, and while it really is just a painting – it doesn’t spring to life like the Nun in The Conjuring 2, don’t worry – it never fails to chill.

Equally chilling is Keough’s performance. The increasingly busy actress has a real knack for subtly playing up Grace’s mental state, and you’ll find yourself tensing up as you watch her grow more and more distressed. Even when things begin to get really terrible, we never lose sympathy for Grace. She’s no Jack Torrance, driven mad and violent by his addictions. She’s just someone who was trying her hardest, and doing her best. If only those damn kids had just given her a chance.

I hate to come across as hyperbolic with films like The Lodge, and I’m sure there will be some viewers put-off by how languidly the film is paced, and how close to the vest it plays its cards. But I’m a hardened horror viewer, and while I love the genre with all my heart, I very rarely find a film that actually effects me on an emotional level. I’m always on the lookout for a movie that I find truly scary, and with the Lodge, I’ve definitely found it. This movie lingers long after the credits roll. After the conclusion, I stumbled out of the dark theater into the sunlight, disoriented, excited, and, yes, a little scared. As long as more movies are like The Lodge, the horror genre will be in great shape.

/Film rating: 9 out of 10


http://topmovieandtv.com/movies/the-lodge-review-the-next-great-horror-film-is-here-and-its-terrifying-sundance/


Zitat:
SHOWBUZZDAILY Sundance Film Festival Reviews: “I Am Mother” & “The Lodge”


I AM MOTHER (no distrib): Grant Sputore’s impressively controlled first feature brings us back to the post-apocalypse. In Michael Lloyd Green’s script, it appears as though the only surviving remnant of humanity is an unnamed girl (Clara Rugaard as a teen) raised from a fetus by a maternal robot (voiced by Rose Byrne). Mother has told her adopted daughter that the world outside is uninhabitable, but there are reasons to doubt Mother’s motives even beyond the fact that her single central “eye” resembles the most famous movie supercomputer of them all. There are conspicuous gaps in her narrative like why this girl is the only one of the 63,000 on-site preserved fetuses Mother has brought to life, or her stern requirements for the girl to take exams that are more psychological in nature than educational. Then one night, while Mother is recharging, an injured woman (Hilary Swank) turns up at the bunker, upending the girl’s understanding of the world. But is this woman any more trustworthy than Mother, just because she’s biologically human? The resulting answers may be far-fetched, but to Sputore and Green’s credit, they make sense on their own terms. Sputore is treading classic movie territory here, not just 2001, but Alien, The Terminator and Ex Machina among others, and he does so without tipping his hat too blatantly to any of them, and with a utilitarian visual style that leads to a surprisingly large-scale third act. Rugaard holds the narrative together with intelligence and will, and Swank and Byrne are both effective as the girl’s competing moms. There may not be enough heft to I Am Mother to earn it a wide release, but Sputore is a filmmaker to watch.

THE LODGE (no distrib): Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s last film Goodnight Mommy was (this is a compliment) one of the sickest horror films in recent memory. Their follow-up The Lodge, co-written with Sergio Casci, may not be as extravagantly berserk, but it gnaws its way into your nervous system. Although the distressed family at the center of The Lodge is devoted to 1980s horror, they seem either never to have seen The Shining or to have learned nothing from it, since they think a snowbound, isolated house in the mountains is a good place to recover after Richard’s (Richard Armitage) estranged wife, mother of Aiden (Jaeden Lieberher) and Mia (Lia McHugh), has killed herself after learning that Richard wants a divorce so he can marry Grace (Riley Keough). Richard, the kind of idiot every horror movie needs, tells Grace and the kids that they’ll learn to get along if he leaves them alone at the lodge. Oh, and Grace herself is the sole survivor of a suicidal religious cult run by her own father. The question quickly becomes: who is the most dangerous person there? Franz and Fiala do an expert job of gradually ramping up the hostility until it becomes terror, and blurring the edges between reality and what may be something far more disturbing. When the explanations finally arrive, they don’t bear a great deal of scrutiny, but they clear the way for a pitch-black steel trap of an ending. Keough gives another standout performance, often heartbreaking and horrifying at the same time, and the two young actors hold to her level. Special notice should go as well to cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis, composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans, and production designer Sylvain Lemaitre, and to the eerie editing by Michael Palm, all of whom contribute to The Lodge‘s ability to keep you constantly on edge.


http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/reviews/movies/film-festival-movies/sundance/showbuzzdaily-sundance-film-festival-reviews-i-am-mother-the-lodge.html


Zitat:
THE LODGE Begins as an Unsettling Nightmare But Ends Up Seriously Jacked Up - Sundance Review

ReviewMovie The LodgeHorrorSundance 2 days agoby Joey Paur

One of the things I look forward to most about the Sundance Film Festival is seeing what kind of horror films end up being screened. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re down-right awful.

The first horror film I caught at the festival this year was a great one and it was super-freakin’ disturbing! The movie is called The Lodge and it packs a disturbing punch to the gut.

The Lodge isn’t for everyone. There’s no real redeeming value to it. It just tells a story, that at first is a very unsettling-type nightmare, but then it escalates into something that is seriously jacked up.

One of the things that I loved most about this film is that it got you believing that you know where the story is going. It even plays on those ideas! It totally messes with the audience and then all of a sudden something snaps in the film and the direction changes and ends up going to a place of darkness that you aren’t expecting. It was really quite surprising.

I don’t really want to get into the details of that because I don’t want to ruin the experience for you, but I will give you the basic premise that is laid out in the official plot synopses.

Devoted to their devastated mother, siblings Aidan and Mia resent Grace, the younger woman their newly separated father plans to marry. They flatly reject Grace’s attempts to bond, and they dig up dirt on her tragic past—but soon they find themselves trapped with her, snowed in in a remote holiday village after their dad heads back to the city for work. Just as relations begin to thaw, strange and frightening events threaten to unearth psychological demons from Grace’s strictly religious childhood.

An unblinking study of human frailty, The Lodge offers a haunting exploration of the traumatic aftershocks of religious devotion while positing that some evils just don’t die.

In terms of the tone of the film, I’d compare it to last years Sundance hit horror film hit Hereditary. The stories are very different, but it has that same slow burn tone that escalates into complete madness.

The movie was fantastically directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala and they created something quite disturbing and claustrophobic. The film stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) as the father, Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) as his ex-wife, Riley Keough (Mad Max) as Grace, and Jaeden Martell (IT) and Lia McHug as the two siblings Aiden and Mia who don’t like her. All of these actors deliver outstanding performances!

This is the big popular horror film to look out for this coming year. If you’re a horror fan that into so seriously psychologically disturbing shit, this movie is for you.

8/10


https://geektyrant.com/news/the-lodge-begins-as-an-unsettling-nightmare-but-ends-up-seriously-jacked-up-sundance-review

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Die Kritikerzunft scheint zwei unterschiedliche Filme gleichen Titel gesehen zu haben: Die Bewertungen reichen von 9/10 bzw. 4,5 bis zu 1. :irre: :grins:

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Hier gibt es wieder eine hohe Einstufung:

Zitat:
It only took a new Steven Soderbergh movie to finally get us to Slamdance

High Flying Bird

Every January, Park City plays host to a film festival for truly independent cinema. As you can probably guess, I’m not talking about Sundance, which tends to operate as much like another gear of the Hollywood machine as any kind of showcase for what’s happening on the fringe of American moviemaking. No, for the latter, you have to look to an adjacent and concurrent alternative: Slamdance, the city’s much less glamorous film festival, founded in 1995 as a haven for the micro-indies and under-the-radar work that doesn’t get into Sundance.

As I discovered a couple days ago, it’s not just the movies that are smaller at Slamdance, whose screenings take place at the Treasure Mountain Inn Hotel. After packing into a line that snakes down a narrow hallway, attendees are ushered into an auditorium with the ambience and layout of a college classroom. Red carpet bifurcates the room; on each side, several rows of grey office chairs have been lined up so tightly that you have to stand up on your seat to let someone by. People crouch in the narrow aisles and create a makeshift standing room in the back. The screen isn’t big, and the speakers and projectors aren’t state-of-the-art. It’s a far cry from even the least extravagant venue at Sundance—the famously maligned theater at the Park City Library, with its impossible sightlines and butt-punishing seats, seems luxurious by comparison. But all of that seems in keeping with the DIY spirit of this fest, which extends to its digs, its organization, its more casual and cozy atmosphere.

“It’s the perfect size,” Steven Soderbergh said of the theater during the long on-stage conversation that preceded the Slamdance premiere of his new movie. Is it wrong that it took an appearance by one of Hollywood’s biggest directors and Sundance’s most esteemed alums to get yours truly out to the little festival behind the big one? Soderbergh, to be fair, has shown work at Slamdance before; he brought his nutty avant-comedy Schizopolis there back in 1996, when his “career was at a crossroads,” as festival co-founder Peter Baxter euphemistically put it. (“You can say low,” Soderbergh dryly quipped.) Anyway, the unretired filmmaker is currently operating in a low-budget, on-the-fly mode that’s perfectly compatible with the ethos of this annual underground-cinema summit.

The pre-screening discussion alone turned out to be worth the detour. Soderbergh held court on multiple topics, citing The Beatles and Miles Davis as creative influences, dismissing the notion that he ever goes work-for-hire in exchange for passion projects (“They’re all for me”), and tentatively announcing a Christmas release date for Bill & Ted Face The Music, which he’s helping produce. The Q&A included questions submitted by filmmakers whose career Soderbergh has boosted, including one from Christopher Nolan, who asked, “When are you going to come back from the dark side and shoot on celluloid again?” Soderbergh’s perfectly cheeky retort: “When he starts writing scripts with a pencil again.”
High Flying Bird
Photo: Netflix

This miniature masterclass ultimately proved as engaging as the feature presentation, but that’s more a compliment to Soderbergh’s gifts as a thoughtful conversationalist than a dig at High Flying Bird (Grade: B), which comes to Netflix in a week. The director’s ambling inside-basketball drama is his latest treatise on the commodification of bodies—a companion piece, of some sort, to his Magic Mike and The Girlfriend Experience. It’s also a kind of heist movie, another of his films to follow a slick, brilliant professional, gaming a system for financial gain. In this case, that describes Ray (André Holland, terrific), a veteran sports agent with his back against the wall. He’s recently signed a shit-hot rookie, Erick (Melvin Gregg), but a protracted NBA lockout has stopped the cash flow to his agency and scared some of their clients. With his livelihood on the line, and with his former assistant Sam (Zazie Beetz) in his corner, Ray hatches a scheme, playing multiple sides of the players-versus-owners conflict and chasing a possible bright new future for the game and its exploited stars.

High Flying Bird has the shaggy energy of a palette cleanser, but it’s too heady, too invested in big issues, to be called a minor work. As with his previous movie, Unsane, Soderbergh shot the film entirely on an iPhone, but it looks more vibrant, less cheap and flat, than that psychological thriller—maybe because the director is really getting a knack for the quirks of the technology or maybe because Unsane, in its B-movie aspirations, was designed to look cruddy. Either way, the fact that this a film about modern commercial tech, about seeing star athletes through the scrim of social media and viral video, further justifies the format.

We’ll probably never see the director’s proposed version of Moneyball, but one imagines it would share some qualities with High Flying Bird. There’s a staginess to the structure, a constant flow from one conversation to the next courtesy of screenwriter and Moonlight playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. This is a basketball movie solely interested in backroom wheeling and dealing; in the one moment when an actual game threatens to break out, Soderbergh comically cuts away. But the focus on intellectual showdowns dovetails nicely with the plot, which hinges on the possibility of wresting basketball from big corporate interests through one-on-one, pay-per-view showdowns. And there’s a lot of passion and ideas in McCraney’s dense shoptalk. By the end, Soderbergh has pulled off a kind of magic trick, bringing everything together in satisfying Ocean’s fashion while acknowledging that the underlying problem—the misdistribution of power and profit in pro basketball—remains unsolved.


The Lodge

This being a Soderbergh movie, there’s a little misdirection and surprise, the filmmaker using chronological hiccups to fill in the full scope of Ray’s hustle. Back at Sundance proper, I found myself thinking of his masterful manipulation of perspective during a very different movie: The Lodge (Grade: B+), an ambitious, expertly crafted, and admittedly kind of ludicrous horror movie from Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, the Austrian duo that made the very intense Goodnight Mommy. There are echoes of that earlier creepout in the new one’s plot, about the conflict between two kids (Jaeden Lieberher and Lia McHugh) and their soon-to-be-stepmother (Riley Keough), the lone survivor of a Heaven’s Gate-style doomsday cult. Still reeling from a recent tragedy, the family heads to a secluded holiday cabin for Christmas. When dad (Richard Armitage) has to trek back to the city for a work emergency, the kids get snowed in with their new, unwanted guardian, tensions slowly boiling into a cabin-fever nightmare.

Much more shouldn’t be said of The Lodge’s trajectory. It does require a certain suspension of belief, asking you to buy everything from the father’s monumentally clueless and even callous reading of the situation to the ultimate explanation of what’s really going on. But as an exercise in escalating dread and explicitly religious anxiety, it’s supremely effective. Though financed by legendary horror house Hammer (always a nice credit to see at the top of a new thriller), the film frequently recalls the atmospheric, strings-heavy A24 horror house-style. In fact, its foreboding establishing shots, deliberate pacing, and dollhouse imagery specifically bring to mind Hereditary. The Lodge isn’t as accomplished or harrowing as that Sundance triumph, but its values are comparable. Fiala and Franz know how to draw out the unease through environment, in this case creating a sleepless atmosphere though the low light flowing into their snowbound setting. Also, anyone with a taste for an implausible but well-executed rug-pull should keep their eyes peeled for The Lodge.


https://film.avclub.com/it-only-took-a-new-steven-soderbergh-movie-to-finally-g-1832171431

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