Movie Review: The Lodgers is a Must See for Lovers of Gothic Thrillers!

In a small Irish village, orphan twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) live a reclusive existence within the confines of their decaying mansion (handed down through generations of their family) which no stranger may enter. Also the place is cursed (as all of the previous heir’s parents have drowned together in a lake on the estate’s grounds) and haunted…and the spirits are gettin’ a tad restless…

Anyhow, one day Rachel (more adventurous than her sullen sibling who has never left the house since their parents died years previous) strolls to town and meets Sean (Eugene Simon); an outcast soldier just back from World War 1. Rachel gets a case of the horny’s for Sean (seems masturbation and an incestuous relationship with Eddie ain’t cuttin’ the mustard anymore)…which creates an interesting love triangle to say the least. Complicating our protagonists’ lives further; they may have to sell the house as the family’s solicitor, Mr. Bermingham (David Bradley), arrives with the news that the wealth well has run dry. Soon the screws are slowly tightened as the sinister supernatural presence casts it’s shadow longer and longer within the mansion…

In this day of teen focused, jump scare fright flicks, Director Brian O’Malley and Screenwriter David Turpin deserve accolades for taking a chance on slow burn, traditional horror and delivering it with such pitch perfect and satisfying results! First and foremost, the biggest asset The Lodgers has in it’s advantage is that it is packed wall to wall with eerie atmosphere…everything from the drab color pallet, to the peeling wallpaper, to the leaking floorboards is pure, full on, Gothic splendor! Rachel and Edward are aloof and ethereal, yet their  attitudes towards their ascribed fate is punctuated with passion both fearful and angry. The narrative itself doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wicked wheel, as it contains exactly what lovers of the genre expect and greedily consume; rotting, once elegant, homes, spirits and curses, and a doomed family sequestered from society…not to mention a climax featuring unique (and impressive) visuals that feature the main motifs of the story in an unexpected way.

Filled with absolutely gobs of arcane atmospherics, traditional Gothic story tropes, and a slow burn pace that delivers the uneasy chills; The Lodgers is a must see for lovers of Poe, Hammer Films, or the original Dark Shadows…dark, demented brilliance at it’s best!



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