Horror insider tip: This cinematic highlight from 2020 teaches you to fear

Horror in the Canadian winter landscape: A family trip turns into a nightmare for everyone involved. Anyone who missed the free TV premiere can also see the horror film in the stream.

The Austrian director duo Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala caused a stir with their debut feature film “I see, I see” and unleashed a storm of enthusiasm from critics and audiences alike. The sterilely staged horror film has a lasting effect and works, excellently even. Nachschub followed five years later, this time in cooperation with the legendary horror production company Hammer Films, which is responsible for various genre classics. The horror film was shown on TELE 5 on Wednesday evening, June 15, 2022. Anyone who missed this free TV premiere can stream the film on Amazon Prime Video for a small additional fee:

Stream The Lodge on Amazon Prime

Instead of letting its protagonists brood in the heat of the Austrian summer, “The Lodge” serves as a fateful backdrop to an icy winter landscape in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunate circumstances lead to that Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and billion (Lia McHugh) with her father’s (Richard Armitage) new girlfriend (Riley Keough) in a secluded log cabin. The trip lasting several days should actually throw off a little spark of family idyll, at least that’s what the father hopes, but he of all people has to go back to the city and leaves Grace taking care of his two children.

When trauma catches up to you…

The constellation of characters that resulted from this already led to general dissatisfaction among all those involved in the previous film, which ultimately resulted in a rather perverse escalation of things and must have been traumatic for many viewers. Traumata are also dealt with in Franz’ and Fiala’s new film work: on the one hand, it is the siblings who have to cope with much more than just the separation of their parents, on the other hand Grace also struggles with the evil spirits of her past – only that they are not ghostly figures, but mental anguish resulting from the mass suicide initiated by a religious sect, which she was the only one to survive as a young girl.

Not good conditions for a relaxing break. As it should be, the siblings are initially hostile towards Grace – they defiantly flaunt their dislike and so it is hardly surprising that the mentally unstable surrogate mother accuses the wards of stealing when suddenly not only their pills but also the food -Supplies, winter clothing and gifts disappear. Since no culprit can be found per se and panic is spreading because of the ongoing snowstorm, the situation threatens to escalate again this time, albeit more insidiously, because the circumstances in this case are not drawn as clearly as they were in the predecessor.

Effective moments of shock and false leads

Even with “The Lodge” you can’t let yourself sink too comfortably into the cinema chair as a viewer. Franz and Fiala create one oppressive atmospherecertainly sprinkle effective shock moments one and play with expectations their viewers. Those who let themselves be lured onto the wrong track will be surprised by the twist. Anyone who has already guessed this can at least watch the spiral of evil with relish as it turns faster and faster. The perfidiousness that was so brilliantly attached to “I see, I see” is only present in a weakened form in “The Lodge”, and yet power games are negotiated here, too, childish primal fears are brought out and acute questions of trust are raised.

The film fits into one new wave of horror films, which has been slowly conquering the genre in recent years. At the latest when the events are duplicated with the help of a doll’s house, it inevitably evokes memories of “Hereditary”, even if the occult is fortunately only given little space in the American-British co-production and the filmmakers proceed much more skilfully dramaturgically.

on the heels of evil

Above all, the remarkable camerawork of Thimios Bakatakis, whose artistic imagery has already been encountered in Yorgos Lanthimos’ oeuvre (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”, “The Lobster”), deserves special mention. The intense play of the performers brings the viewer to his personalU.Nheal a little closer. Jaeden Martellwho is currently on screen with IT: Chapter 2, and Lia McHugh are the driving forces of the horror story and know how to fight for the viewer’s favor, which is so essential in a horror film. On the other hand, Riley Keough’s game fades in some places, which doesn’t detract from the intensity of what’s happening on the screen. The use of conventional narrative motifs and images does not work without restrictions and sometimes does not seem to have been thought through to the end, even the placement of Christian symbolism is a bit tiring in the long run – and yet Franz’ and Fiala’s staging makes what is happening on the screen palpable, evokes empathy for their characters and cleverly proves that Childhood traumas are the most lasting and childlike primal fears are dormant in each of us.

We had to painfully learn the latter from the cinematic predecessor. Here, however, the fall height is different, also because the trigger of the spook remained hidden for a long time. While we are redeemed by an ending with horror in “I see I see”, “The Lodge” turns out to be horror without end. The moral of the story remains the same, however, and so Franz and Fiala leave their audience this time with a bitter realization: tragedies rarely come alone.

“The Lodge” is a cleverly staged horror story that uses conventional genre strategies, but skilfully undermines the expectations of the viewers. Where bitter moments of shock are mixed with ominous images and childlike fragility is paired with stubborn defiance, danger is imminent. That’s a good start, but it’s far from the end of Veronika Franz’ and Severin Fiala’s latest horror prank – the nightmare continues.

“The Lodge” started in German cinemas on February 6, 2020.

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