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Like many real-life long-term visitors, The Lodgers starts out with a modicum of mystery and excitement, but eventually overstays its welcome.
All Critics (42)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (23)
| Rotten (19)
The Lodgers disappoints on a number of levels, many of which have more to do with the limitations of its creators' imagination than the apparently minuscule budget.
For viewers who take it more as a moody, metaphorical historical drama than as an out-and-out horror film, there's a lot in this lush-looking, sensitively acted picture to recommend.
For all the genre exertions, none of this feels the least bit spooky, including the digital ghouls that float in and the cobwebs that look as if they originated in a spray can.
The film's obsession with the concepts of family and fate cause it to leave unexplored some other interesting themes, like the encroachment of the 20th century on the European aristocratic class.
"The Lodgers" is never particularly scary, or even logical, but it's always gorgeous to look at; you can see where it's going, but you might not mind watching it go there.
A near-miss for this hardcore horror and Gothic thriller fan. It tries to get underneath, but remains skin-deep.
The redolent threatens to become monotonous as characters shuffle around in circles and O'Malley takes his sweet time portentously spelling out motives and plot points.
Strong visuals alone can't save The Lodgers from being a dreadfully average and dull horror experience
Horror motifs pile up in this stylishly directed, supernatural tale. It's a cold burn of a film though, and I felt dispassionate about the fate of the isolated teenage twins.
A breathtakingly beautiful film, dripping in atmosphere and mood and a quiet, understated dread that permeates every frame of the story.
Backing up strong visuals are some very solid performances. There a lot of tough topics explored within the film.
Frankly, given how clichéd and predictable the resolutions to every mystery thrown up by David Turpin's script for The Lodgers are, it's something of a miracle Brian O'Malley ever procured the budget to shoot it.
This review is being started literally a minute after I just finished (and posting) my review for It: Chapter One. The reason it is being done this way is because I started this movie almost immediately after finishing the aforementioned movie. I watched It with my mother and my aunt (call it a family night), both of whom are big fans of the book, and my mother wanted to watch something else in the horror realm. This would be the first time in ages that I watch movies back-to-back like that. I used to do it when I was a young lad and we would rent eight movies at a local Blockbuster on the weekends. This was more me and my aunt at the time. We watched one when we got home, accompanied with lunch from a fast food joint. Then we'd watch two in a row during the night. I can't believe we made it through two movies in one night back then, given my propensity to pause movies, but we did so back then and we did it today as well. Anyway, back to my mother and picking a movie for her to watch. It can't be just anything, you see, for my mother isn't exactly a big fan of horror. At least not the way I am, where I can watch anything from any of the many subgenres within horror. She likes the supernatural gothic horror films, with ghosts and shit. She isn't into the violent and gory shit like I am. I doubt she has a top five horror movie list like I would, but if she did The Others would be on that list. And I can't say that I blame her, The Others is an excellent horror movie. This is why this movie popped into my head, since it looked like something she'd watch, if not enjoy. Boy, oh boy, upon having finished this movie, however, I probably would have been better off not watching anything at all. Look, I've seen worse, but this was utterly and dreadfully boring. That may change as we get deeper into the review, so let's get going. Anyway, Edward and Rachel and twin siblings that live in their deceased parents' estate, where they must simply follow three rules. These rules are that they must be in bed by midnight, they must not allow strangers in the house and they must always remain together, if one leaves the other is placed in danger. Simple, right? And the mystery goes even further as Edward and Rachel's parents (and their parents' parents' parents' parents') have all committed suicide in the same lake near their estate. So there's some intrigue as to why this has taken place. Intrigue that the movie does not follow up on. For a movie that's some seconds short of running 90 minutes, I feel like nothing really happens in this movie. And it's not even that the scenes feel long or anything of the sort, it's just that it legitimately feels like nothing actually happens. These characters talk, and they talk quite a lot, without every really saying anything. Edward and Rachel must abide by these rules because, or else, they'll anger the spirits of their ancestors who live under their house. This 'other' side can be accessed from a trapdoor immediately after entering the house and heading for the main stairs. Some water comes out from this trapdoor which, naturally, makes sense given that all of Edward and Rachel's ancestors drowned themselves. Rachel meets this war vet who's missing one leg, she falls for him, blah, blah, Edward is jealous since (in a weird way) he's in love with his twin sister. This is explained somewhat. Essentially, they start talking about about how people wouldn't accept them (them being Rachel and Edward) if they knew what they were. And that their mere existence is punishment for their ancestors' sins and they keep talking and talking and talking about this ad nauseam. The worst thing of it all is, though, that they never do actually tell you what Edward and Rachel are. There's a scene where Edward's face sort of morphs into something monstrous, but still retaining most of his human qualities, but they never tell you. It's not that the movie attempts to be vague about things either, they hammer it into your head even if they don't explicitly say what it is. Perhaps I might like the idea of these twins having to pay for something their ancestors did (who are really them) in a movie that was better than this. Essentially, all of Edward and Rachel's ancestors were twins and they all look like Rachel and Edward. I don't know, Rachel mentions that their curse is to live when Sean suggests that the curse she speaks of might lead to their death. Rachel and Edward's ancestors, prior to dying, had to inbreed in order to give birth to the next generation, who will then continue the curse and so on and so forth until the end of time essentially. Again, this might be interesting if handled by someone with some semblance of talent. But, again, the movie just bored the ever-loving shit out of me. Rachel is uninteresting, her romance with Sean is uninteresting, Edward being the jealous brother was uninteresting, do I need to go on? There's this whole scene, near the climax, where Rachel falls through the trapdoor and Sean goes after her to save her but is dragged down by Rachel's ancestors. Rachel keeps swimming and comes out of the lake from the other end, she came out of the lake in the same place she sat and read. The symbolism behind this visual is good and, probably, the only thing about the movie that's sort of clever. And there's nothing to the horror either, just bland and boring non-scares that wouldn't scare a five-year-old. The acting is decent, I guess. Bill Milner is so wooden and dull that I would have found paint drying more exciting than watching this guy act. Charlotte Vega is better, but it's not like she's someone you need to keep an eye out for, at least if you believe this movie. Eugene Simon, Sean, was what Channing Tatum was back in the day, before he showed everyone that he could actually act. Eugene Simon is just a body, he has no real discernible personality. I don't know, Brian O'Malley, director of this movie, also directed Let Us Prey, a movie that I legitimately enjoyed. A movie that's actually really kind of unique, clever and full of personality. And then his follow up is the exact opposite. Trite, awkward and dead (pardon the pun). Somehow I don't feel comfortable anymore saying that this was boring. This, in the long run, was just a bad movie. It's not that a love triangle between a woman, her twin and a war vet can't be interesting, it's just that, um, you know, you HAVE to actually make it interesting. And they just don't and if, at the very least, the horror was solid, then you could overlook the aforementioned love triangle. But no, the horror sucks. And, at the same time, if the acting was good then, maybe, you could at least point to that when the horror backfires. But then the acting goes ahead and disappoints and what else are you left with to blame??? You're left with nothing but to blame the people behind the cameras. I'm sure you all tried to make the best movie you could, but it just didn't pan out in the slightest. I know I said that watching Bill Milner act in this movie is less exciting than watching paint dry. But, in reality, watching paint dry is more exciting than the entirety of this movie. I gained absolutely no enjoyment from this and I fail to see how anyone would. I'm not here to judge though, if you enjoyed this movie...more power to you. Having said that, this movie is just bad. Watch Let Us Prey instead of this, you'll thank me for it. It's almost like watching two completely polar opposites at work. I went from It: Chapter One to this...this greatly disappoints me. I'll try to do better next time.
Without spoilers, The Lodgers overall takes a format that I have seen a lot in the past couple of years, it's a schematic that I was never the biggest fan of in the first place, and The Lodgers certainly is not the best of the bunch that have approached this sort of material in recent times.
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