THE LODGE begins with Aidan and Mia going to stay with their dad, since their parents have separated. Their father has a new, young girlfriend they don’t like. After he tells their mother he’ll be marrying his girlfriend soon, the mother suddenly takes her own life, leaving the children heartbroken. To try to smooth things over, their dad suggests spending some time in a cabin for Christmas, although he has to leave them briefly with his girlfriend, Grace, for a few days. Immediately after his departure, extremely strange things begin to happen. Worse, Grace begins to become triggered by her past experience in a dangerous suicide cult.
THE LODGE follows the typical formula for most R-rated horror movies, with extreme violence and gore that’s shocking and disturbing. Although the performances are solid, the overall result is mediocre, without anything compelling to create a strong attachment to the characters or story. Also, THE LODGE has a strong false religious worldview linked to a dangerous non-Christian cult, along with several strong obscenities and brief nudity. Media-wise viewers will find THE LODGE abhorrent and unacceptable.
(FRFR, AbAb, PaPa, O, C, B, L, VVV, S, NN, A, MM):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
False religious worldview with anti-biblical, pagan and light occult elements, the lead female character, who’s the future stepmother of two children, was previously in a religious cult where the leader convinced his congregation to commit a mass suicide, and she later returns to that doctrine and forces herself and the children to make violent sacrifices to “repent” for their sins, with minor Christian, biblical elements as the lead character’s future stepdaughter prays to God over dinner and regularly seems to be a true believer, and there’s also a Christian funeral with a sermon preached
10 obscenities (eight “f” words), one light profanity, and the word “retard” is used
Some very strong disturbing bloody violence in a couple scenes includes a woman is shown shooting herself through her mouth in a very disturbing scene showing quite a bit of blood, and a man is shot in the head, and it’s shown burst open in the back, plus multiple images of people in a cult dead after committing suicide, a girl’s nose bleeds at random times, surgical stitches shown up close on a TV show the characters are watching, a young girl is accidentally hit in the face causing some bleeding, a young boy is shown hanging himself as a prank but can be disturbing initially, a woman kneels on flaming wood and coals severely burning herself as a punishment/self-sacrifice, and a dog is shown multiple times frozen to death
Implied fornication as a man and woman share a bed unmarried, and a young boy is caught peeking at a woman taking a shower
Upper female nudity shown as woman exits the shower, blurry shower nudity of the woman before this, and upper male nudity shown on a movie the characters are watching on TV, a man’s upper back is shown
Woman drinks a glass of wine in one scene
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or illegal drugs but a woman takes prescription medicine and sleeping pills; and,
Strong dysfunctional family issues including divorce and extreme disrespect from children to their parents and elders, and cult elements throughout movie.
THE LODGE takes place right before Christmas, as strange, scary things begin to happen in a cabin where two children are staying with their future stepmom after their mother killed herself. Despite some solid performances, THE LODGE lacks entertainment value to be truly engaging and has a strong false religious worldview with extreme violence, brief nudity and strong obscenities.
The movie begins as Mia and Aidan are on the road with their mom to go spend some time with their dad. Their parents have been separated now for a while, and their father has already moved on to have a new, younger girlfriend. The children don’t like her and ask in advance if she’s going to be there when they arrive. When they get there, they get settled in as their parents have a talk. Their dad breaks the news that he and his girlfriend, Grace, are planning to get married, and so he needs to finalize the divorce soon. Not knowing how to respond, their mother goes home, pours herself a glass of wine, takes a sip, and then shoots herself in the head.
Aidan and Mia take this loss extremely hard, as any child would who loses their parent to suicide. They feel they only have each other, and Aidan comforts Mia as she cries for her mother’s soul. Their dad is having a tough time as well and tries to figure out a way to make his children feel better. He suggests they spend some time up at the lodge for Christmas, like they did before. However, he will have to leave them for a few days with his girlfriend, Grace, while he wraps up some work things.
They pick Grace up on the way to the lodge, and the absolute disdain from the children can be felt in the car on the ride there. They get settled and spend some time ice skating and playing in the snow. Mia has a doll she loves more than anything, but she drops it in a fishing hole in the ice. Worried for her safety, Grace pulls Mia away and attempts to retrieve the doll for her. Suddenly, the ice beneath her cracks, and she falls into the icy cold water. After a few scary and freezing moments, she’s pulled out by their father and is soon warmed up sitting by the fire.
After this, their dad is hesitant to leave them, but Grace assures him that everything will be fine. He leaves for the city, and Grace attempts to connect with Mia and Aidan. She tries to cook for them, but they don’t want it. She asks them to help her decorate for Christmas, but they refuse to leave their room. Finally, she makes a tiny headway, and they all are watching TV together. Mia expresses how cold she is, and Aidan suggests bringing in the heater. Grace isn’t sure that it’s safe, but Aidan assures her it is, and soon she finds herself fast asleep.
After some wild nightmares, Grace wakes up on the floor of the living room to find all of the Christmas decorations gone. She goes upstairs and can’t find any of her clothes or things, including the medication she desperately needs. Soon, she and the children find that all the food in the refrigerator is gone, the power is out, and Grace’s phone is dead. Also, the clocks all read January 9, and Aidan is convinced that they all have died, especially after Grace sees an obituary with their faces on it.
Grace tries to leave in the snowstorm to find help but returns without any luck. Her past in a religious cult is beginning to become triggered. She was a part of a church where the leader had his congregation all commit suicide, and the nightmares from this experience are creeping back into her mind. She is now beginning to believe that she and the children have to repent of sins, and they have to make sacrifices in order to be forgiven.
Although the performances are very solid for a movie in this genre, the story leaves viewers with an overwhelming feeling of apathy. There isn’t a lot to become invested in and the reality of the outcome isn’t very interesting. There is the usual shock factor, blood and gore to scare the viewer. However, the story is still definitely lacking enough entertainment to make for a successful movie. In addition, although the lead character’s future stepdaughter prays to God over dinner, the movie’s dominant worldview is a jumbled, abhorrent mess of false religion and anti-biblical elements, with some pagan and occult elements. Also, the violence is extreme and includes disturbing images. Finally, THE LODGE has some strong obscenities, brief nudity and implied pre-marital sex. Media-wise viewers will find THE LODGE unacceptable, especially its false, abhorrent, immoral worldview and extreme violence.
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