Movie Reviews

The Lodge (2019)

the-lodge-movie-review-2019Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

Genre:  Drama, Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast:  Riley Keogh, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone, Katelyn Wells, Rebecca Faulkenberry

Plot: A tragedy in the family changes the lives of siblings Aiden and Mia. Around Christmas time, they visit the family lodge with their Dad and his Fiancee – but the atmosphere is as frosty as the weather outside. Aiden and Mia dig up some strange things about their future Step-Mum’s past – and then things get weird.

My Thoughts: With life starting to show signs of getting back to normal in a coronavirus filled world, I’m trying to get back into movies and blogging and generally just feeling a bit more ‘me’. I started with catching up on a movie I heard a lot of people talking about after the cinemas shut – The Lodge. I could tell it was a movie best watched with no knowledge about the story and so that’s how I went in, and I definitely urge you to do the same. I’ll hide any spoilers I happen to mention.

I think you would definitely be forgiven for drawing comparisons between The Lodge and the works of horror director Ari Aster. It blends extreme grief with horror elements to give that uncomfortable tone, and now that I think of it, it uses that dollhouse theme that Hereditary has, too. As much as I enjoyed The Lodge though, I don’t rank it as high as Hereditary or Midsommar.

It’s slow going until that point after the movie sleepover and all the things go missing, but it was wild after that. The ending, in particular, was one of those that made me audibly gasp – I certainly won’t forget it for a long time. Also, this is the second thing I’ve watched this year where Richard Armitage plays a Dad who makes terrible decisions. You should watch The Stranger on Netflix if you haven’t already!

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Best Bit: I kept flip-flopping on the idea of #SPOILERS# the trio actually dying in the night because of the heater, as suggested by Aiden #END OF SPOILERS# but when it’s finally confirmed what actually happened? Oh man – I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character (or two) more than in that moment!

Worst Bit: What is it that horror movies have against pets? I get it, it made me feel the feelings that the movie wanted me to feel, but oh man!

Fun Trivia: The dog’s name is Grady, which is the character name of Overlook Hotel’s care-taker in Stephen King’s story of “The Shining”. (Coincidence? Maybe!)

My Rating: 3 and a half completely unsafe gas heaters that you should never, ever use. Especially when you’re likely to drop to sleep any second.

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Movie Reviews

It (2017)

it-2017-movie-review-red-balloonDirector: Andy Muschietti

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jake Sim

Plot: Set in the Summer of 1989, a group of kids known as the Losers Club team up to destroy a shape-shifting monster that plagues their town of Derry every 27 years.

My Thoughts: I imagine most married couples on their 3rd Wedding Anniversary go out for a candlelit meal and reminisce about their big day and tell each other how much they love each other. They probably buy each other sweet gifts, too. Not us! I got him a deposit paid and an appointment booked for a tattoo, and he bought me my own domain name for the blog – I’m officially http://oftenofftopic.co.uk! Also – we stayed in, put the little one to bed and watched the scariest movie we’ve ever seen, whilst making fun of each other’s faces. Who says love is dead?

I’m sure you guys can list off several movies scarier than 2017’s It, but we’re wimps and we scare easily. To be honest, we both wanted to see It mainly because we’d heard that it’s actually a really decent movie – and it is! I loved the ‘Stand By Me’ vibe the movie had, the group of kids had such a real friendship and they all shone in their own ways. I guess it’s impossible to not mention it’s similarities to Stranger Things – that show sure took a lot of inspiration from this.

I’ve come to admit recently that I’m starting to become a fan of horror movies, but the one thing I can’t stand are jump scares for the sake of them. There aren’t any here. There are loads of moments that terrified me, but I got caught off guard and the scares were integral parts of the story. This is how I want to be scared! It and Hereditary are definitely my top horror picks so far.

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Best Bit: The scene where the kids are together and the old film reel starts playing all by itself. Each time it flicks you can see Pennywise the clown get closer and then…bam! We both literally jumped out of our seats and then started laughing at ourselves.

Worst Bit: I don’t think there was a weak moment in all honesty, but the final showdown between the kids and Pennywise dragged on for a little too long. It kind of felt at that point there were no scares left and the movie was just going through the motions towards its conclusion.

Fun Trivia: Some lines of dialogue were improvised by the actors. Much of the Richie / Eddie banter was improv. Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) actually wrote a lot of Finn Wolfhard’s (Richie) jokes.

My Rating: 4 and a half arm casts out of 5, which you shouldn’t let someone sign for you if you’re a member of the Losers Club…

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