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The Lodge

UK 2019
produced by
Aliza James, Simon Oakes, Aaron Ryder, Ben Browning (executive), Marc Schipper (executive) for FilmNation Entertainment, Hammer
directed by Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
starring Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell (as Jaeden Lieberher), Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone, Katelyn Wells, Lola Reid, Rebecca Faulkenberry (voice), Danny Keough
story by Sergio Casci, screenplay by Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, music by Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Young Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia's (Lia McHugh) mother (Alicia Silverstone) shot herself six months ago after her estranged husband and the kids' father told her he's to marry Grace (Riley Keough). Since then the kids haven't warmed up to Grace and think her some kind of monster, especially since they've found out her father was the leader of a suicide cult that she alone survived age 12. So Richard has the idea to rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere and leave the Aiden and Mia alone with Grace for the days leading up to Christmas, just so they're forced to get along. At first the experiment seems to go horribly wrong, but eventually they warm up to each other, simply out of necessity - which is when the inexplicable happens: At night, during a snowstorm, almost all the personal belongings of Grace and the kids just disappear, likewise the content of the fridge, the power cuts off and all their phones die. At first Grace thinks the kids are pranking her, but as she sees they're as affected by the situation as she is, she starts looking for other explanations - without finding any. Eventually, the clock starts showing the wrong date, too, no matter how often she tries to set it back to the correct date. But worst of all, her medication is gone, and she fears without it she might go insane - and she does a bit as well, having flashbacks to her time with her father's suicide cult and the like. She wants to walk to the next town for help, but hallucinations (?) of her father convince her to turn back, much more than the fact that she could have never made it on foot through the snow. Grace and the kids find a newspaper clipping that shows they've died days ago, so where they are must be purgatory - which really sets off Grace's religious mania that was indoctrinated into her by her father back in the day. So she starts to "repent" in a rather violent way that includes self-harming and threatening the kids ... who must start thinking of a way to end this - but the resolution might be even more horrific that everything that went on before ...


The Lodge is a very well-made piece of psycho horror that puts its emphasis on atmosphere rather than spectacle, hits high marks on the suspense scale, and throws in little surprises at all the right spots. Add to that moody locations used to best effect, and strong acting - and you have a pretty good film ... that just goes on a little bit too long. Fact is that once the situation's set up, the film seems to want to hammer home the hopelessness of its all a little too hard. It really could have done with 20 minutes cut from the film to keep it tighter. But even as it is, a very beautifully crafted genre film indeed.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD