Friday, January 14, 2011

The Lodge (2008)

Rating: D
Experience Vitals: Netflix DVD rental watched at 0130 instead of being in bed, resting up for a full day at work; on favorite chair, munching on honey roasted peanuts and drinking Coke that is supposedly vanilla flavored.

There is another movie that started this way. I watched it recently, and I think it was Babysitter Wanted. The grim opening scene depicts a striking young girl who is bound and being tortured, only to be followed with roughly 85 minutes of mediocrity and pinholes of promise (Babysitter Wanted had the potential to be great, but it took a nosedive after the reveal). With the mystery unveiled at the beginning (The Lodge is not a red-herring type movie), the filmmaker has created the challenge of maintaining any level of suspense without deviating from the most conventional "camping misadventure" formula (which typically means supernatural elements or big-time shockers that connect the good and bad characters in some way one or both did not know). Unfortunately, The Lodge is content with staying mediocre, unlike The Farmhouse, where we know these people aren't right from the beginning but the movie steadily increases the viewer's uneasiness. So what were the pinholes of promise? In this one, I believe a lot could have been done with the jealousy and tension between the character triangle. The movie could have taken a very deeply psychological approach. If you can stay awake through all of the mundane chases through the house (the only set location, which doesn't have to be a mistake) you'll catch the ridiculous final frame.

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