Review by Audery Lane
The Lodgers is
a dark atmospheric period piece that plays like The House of Usher meets a supernatural Jane Austen novel. Set in a small superstitious Irish village and brimming with sexual tension, the viewer is easily drawn into the rural country setting; equipped with irrational townsfolk and gossip of the unnatural occurrences at the crumbling estate outside of town. Charlotte Vega (American Assassin) plays Rachel, a young woman bent on leaving the village in which she and her twin brother Edward (Bill Milner, Dunkirk) reside. Rachel longs to escape the dilapidated property that seems to have an invisible hold on them both.
Rachel is growing more and more anxious to leave as the days grow nearer to her 18th birthday. A day that has been the precursor to tragic events in her family's history. With no one to talk to, Rachel turns to her desires as a means of escape. The aesthetic of the crumbling estate is haunting and dire.
Watching The Lodgers is like being immersed in a book that comes to life as you read. This is a dialogue driven film and the trinkets of information aren’t easily obtained. I love watching films that require me to pay a little more attention, as there is a lot absorbed outside the dialogue.
There are some picturesque water effects that are well done and add to the fluidity of the story. Director Brian O'Malley (2014's fan and critic favorite Let Us Prey) did an exceptional job showcasing vivid imagery though simplicity, as not a single style of was overused. Although less brutal than Let Us Prey, I love that it’s vastly different in subject matter and direction style.
There are small flaws such as the sound drastically alternating levels. But overall, one to add to your watchlist. The Lodgers will be in theaters February 23, 2018 (from Epic Pictures).