I was originally going to power my way through two or three movies today. There’s a surprising number of 2020 horror films left on my list and was going to turn it into a marathon like I did for day three. Between an unusually busy workday, and some outright exhaustion from the intensity of the week, I ended up only making it through one movie today.
The Lodge (2020, Dir. Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala)
Midway through the film, The Lodge breaks one of the cardinal sins of film making: never show footage of a better movie in your film. Snowed in at the titular lodge, Grace (Riley Keough) is watching The Thing (1982, Dir John Carpenter) with Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) the children of her fiancé. On the surface, this decision feels especially egregious; showing one of the most iconic “trapped in a snowy hell” films only begs comparison to your own “trapped in a snowy hell” film.
And yet, the comparison to the horror classic enhances the film by causing a false idea of the narrative. Forgive me because I’m going to spoil the heck out of this movie. Unlike The Thing’s supernatural element, there is nothing special going on in the world of The Lodge. It’s just two children acting like brats gaslighting a woman because they are children. Grace has known nothing but torture her entire life, and when these two reactive the trauma from her childhood in a cult, they create a monster grounded entirely in the evils of man.