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The Lodgers (2017) Review

the lodgers review

by Yo Adrian on January 05th, 2020 | | , , ,

The Lodgers was directed by Brian O’Malley (who also directed Let Us Prey) and stars Bill Milner (from Apostle), Charlotte Vega and David Bradley (from Await Further Instructions, The Daisy Chain). It’s about a twin siblings who live alone (well, kinda) in a crumbling mansion in the middle of nowhere Ireland.

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The Lodgers movie review

The Lodgers is a gothic slow burn that’s a lot like Crimson Peak, visually stunning but ultimately disappointing. The concept, location (it was filmed in an old Irish estate actually believed to be haunted) and atmosphere create so much potential for a fantastically creepy horror, but for whatever reason director O’Malley went a different direction.

The movie starts off on the 18th birthday of twin siblings Rachel and Edward, but neither are happy. There’s clearly something sinister hanging over them. Turns out, Rachel had recently broken one of the three rules their “Lodgers” hold them to (a lodger is British slang for a roommate). The Lodgers are are a bunch of family ghosts who take over the house at night and force the twins to follow set rules, or die. So, needless to say Edward is pissed when his sisters restlessness drives her to check out their nearby village, dooming them (staying on the property is one of the rules, as is going to bed by midnight and not letting any outsiders in).

The Lodgers is a very slow burn. It easily takes over an hour for the above plot details to be revealed. I personally didn’t find it boring or anything, it just really takes its time.

The mystery behind the twins, who they are, their family lineage and the reason for their curse is creatively disturbing. This along with the cinematography make The Lodgers a decent movie. It just doesn’t feel like a horror movie, it’s more like a dramatic thriller. I personally didn’t find a single scene scary, or even suspenseful really. It just tells a story that you’re guided through. And although you don’t get to see the ghosts until near the end, you already know what to expect by the time they’re revealed so it’s a bit anticlimactic.

I’m totally fine with slow burns, as long as the pacing feels natural and the horror elements are strong. And I especially like gothic horror. But unfortunately this was one gothic slow burn I’ll probably forget all about before long.

Worth Watching?

I don’t think so. There’s way better gothic horrors floating around. The Lodgers isn’t a bad movie, it just doesn’t feel like a horror movie. And although the story and cinematography are both great, the rest just feels empty.


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