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The Lodge; The Dynamic Duo in Horror Returns With a BANG! Grade: B

The Lodge tells a story about a couple kids and a lone woman, whom both have troubled pasts stay at a remote holiday log cabin during Christmas time. Soon the three will not only discover a snow storm approaching their way, but also trouble awaits in this atmospheric horror tale. The Cinematography is striking good, visually stunning yet captures this dark atmosphere very well, as you feel completely uncomfortable while watching. The Score was solid as well, some strong moments of music in this film. The cast all in all was pretty damn good. The kids Jaeden Martell and Lia McHugh playing Aidan and Mia surprisingly both have strong performances, with a fair amount of range as well. Riley Keough playing Grace by far had the best performance of the entire film, this performance will haunt the audience for sure. So I do have a couple flaws for this film. It does resemble Ari Aster's Hereditary in a way, not entirely but it does come off distracting with regards with the doll house, like Annie and her crafts in Hereditary. I feel some pacing issues here and there, as when the three arrive in this small cabin, the film moves a bit slow. I also felt the third act despite sparking up a great conversation about what the entire film means... Some of it does feel jumbled, to the point where you're questioning characters decisions or questioning what partake earlier in the film, to where we get at this point?! It'll definitely make the audience not only confused but even I say frustrated. I also don't understand why these kids would mess with Grace, given the fact of her troubled past? If I was them I would be completely afraid of doing anything to this woman... Like no thank you mam I'm good off this Hot Coco. Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala blew up for a couple days on Twitter, when the trailer of their directorial debut feature film Goodnight Mommy. What annoys me is all these people hype this trailer up, yet the film barely made any money... People on Twitter are terrible. Anyways: I really enjoyed Goodnight Mommy, impressive debut and quite certainly a pretty good horror film as well. You can debate the duo didn't change much with regarding their sophomore film, compared to their debut. Both involve a strange woman and two children, whom are disturbed in a way and want to make things complicated for the adult. I've waited a good year for The Lodge, ever since people were raving about it at Sundance in 2019. I must say The Lodge didn't disappoint at all, in fact I really enjoyed this one as well. First off let's give credit to Franz and Fiala for creating an atmosphere, where you feel entirely uncomfortable from start to finish. It even got to the point where I was squinting because I was kind of afraid what was bound to come next, rarely often do horror films ever accomplish this achievement but Franz and Fiala certainly do this for me. From the shocking opening, to being in this log cabin with these three, and the idea of being snowed in... It was hard to find any light in the darkness while watching. The story itself maybe a bit much near the end, but it’s still a well effective tale that keeps me engaged entirely while questioning what this film is trying to say. I feel people won't like this because it's not cashing in on cheap stupid jump scares, we have grown tired of seeing over and over again by big budget studios. With this film it's not only creating an unsettling setting, while telling a solid story, but it's also making the audience think about the deeper themes behind the story. You can argue about the religious themes and most certainly the main theme of mental illness. Grace represents one of mental illness and the kids represents society. In the third act where everything feels chaotic, feeling of uncertainty, and seeing images that doesn't quite add up... It can be justify of one that has mental illness, of one whom does have mental illness sees the world the way their mind does. Especially since Grace hasn't been taking her medication for a couple days, you can see why her mind is just going completely insane by not only being trapped physically and mentally in this house, but not having the required medicine she needs in order to function. The way kids treat Grace can be simply be told as kids pulling a prank on an adult, but the way I see it, that's how society views people of mental illness: A Joke. They don't take people who are not well in the mind seriously, the films’ take on mental illness is quite disturbing at times due to how accurate it takes on this theme. I do hope the duo progresses on their next project. Don't get me wrong these horror films are DOPE, I just would like to see them go towards a new direction that doesn't seem similar like these two. Overall, The Lodge is a damn good horror film. I do recommend this film, check it out it's def worth a watch and worth a discussion among peers as well. -Mitch Smietana