In this gothic supernatural thriller, a family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins. Bound to the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby, the twins must never let any outsiders inside the house, must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight, and must never be separated from one another. Breaking any of these three rules will incur the wrath of a sinister presence that inhabits the house after midnight. While Edward is committed to this ill-fated life, he’s becoming more unhinged due to the fact that Rachel is not. Smitten by a local soldier (Eugene Simon), Rachel grows skeptical and begins to rebel, desperate to escape the oppression and misery of their captivity.
What We Thought:
The Lodgers is one of the better gothic horror flicks we’ve seen in years. It’s creepy and dark and has a nice twist to it. I first saw it a few months back and enjoyed it. Watching it again on Blu-ray, I liked it as much a second time even knowing the creepy factors in it.
The film revolves around a brother and sister who live in an old family home during early 20th Century Ireland. They have no other family and the family they did have has a very messed up secret. They can live their lives there, but must stick together, be in bed by midnight and not allow anyone else in the house. As they get older, the sister, Rachel, wants more out of life. Edward, the brother, appears to be a sickly sort and strongly lives by the family rules. As the film moves along, you see what happens when they don’t follow the rules, but I won’t spoil that.
It also explains why they must follow the rules and the family’s icky secret. That secret helps push the story and keeps it from being just another one-dimensional horror story. We’ve kind of seen similar ideas in horror, but not in this setting.
That’s what I like most about the film, the setting and production design. The family estate is falling apart. The wardrobe and costuming are top-notch. Set design is spot on. You really get a sense of where and how they live. There is no doubt the family history has taken hold and kept outsiders out.
Plus the camera work is also good. You get a feel for the location, inside the estate and also out on its grounds, the pond area and woods especially. The camera follows Rachel around as she pushes to get away. Edward never leaves the house and you feel his claustrophobia in it. Whether it’s scenes in the tub, in water or around the house, the vibe you get from the camera is gothic.
Charlotte Vega is fantastic as Rachel and makes The Lodgers really good. I quite liked the film both times I’ve seen it. It doesn’t rely too heavily on jumpscares which is a major positive to me. It has a good setting and great production design. If you are tired of The Conjuring clones, give this a shot.
– [DVD/Blu-ray Exclusive] Behind the Scenes Documentary – 22:00
– Deleted Scenes:
Bathroom Cut – 1:04
Bermingham In The Shop – 1:01
– Theatrical trailer – 1:35
– TV Spot – 00:30
– Other trailers from Dread Central Presents:
Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight – 1:19
Imitation Girl – 1:54
Terrifier – 1:46
The Monster Project – 1:45