Quick (tired) first impressions of The Lodge [no spoilers] #richardarmitage

This isn’t going to be a long post as it’s half past one and I’m in a hotel room in Kenosha. I had bought a ticket to the Cinepocalypse showing of The Lodge but I didn’t know whether I’d be able to use it until this morning. Fortunately for me, it worked out, and so I drove the four hours to the Music Box Theatre to see the show tonight!

I think I’m going to write two more posts about this film but I wanted to share a few quick things. First, while it’s definitely true that I would never go to a film like this if Armitage weren’t in it (thanks very much, though, to Csprof for making it all right for me to try it out), I do think that a lot of Armitage fans are going to “enjoy” this film. It’s not wildly gory, and if you can overlook several plot improbabilities and weird representations (I’ll just say: it’s obvious Austrian atheists wrote this film as modern North American Catholics are definitely not preoccupied with Purgatory), it shares the quality of Sleepwalker that the viewer may wonder exactly what is happening in the plot or what any particular plot point means. Although I got a few jump scares, I did not find it suspenseful to the extent that it affected me physically, but I thought Riley Keough was a disappointment. She just has no affect at all. The real performances come from the children, especially Lia McHugh but also Jaeden Lieberher. The film does a good job of conveying the way that extreme cold distorts perception — this was maybe the most interesting observation I thought the film made about its events — and I was pleasantly surprised about the extent to which the film was self-consciously artistic. Really great cinematography (if on occasion somewhat heavy-handed, it didn’t bother me much). And the ending is simply fantastic; I was impressed with how the script resolved.

About Armitage I will say that he was sure looking fantastic — there’s a scene where he’s wearing big clunky fishermen’s boots and shoveling snow on the ice that just about made me squee in public — and also that his American accent had reached completion here; good, bland but convincing American standard. I also thought he was fine in the role but as many reviews and people who’ve seen it have noted, it’s a really a nothing role. I think there will be a fangirl cut of this film where we get gorgeous Armitage as clueless / distressed and gorgeous paterfamilias, and that will be okay as he really does look gorgeous. The real point for me is that I had forgotten how badly I needed new Armitage visual material. And if nothing else — this film will make us all want to go to a ski lodge with Armitage, if only to see how his wardrobe plays out. (Unfortunately: no flannel!)

As to the film’s chances: I’m not sure this piece will make it to smaller markets like ours. It’s a bit esoteric / intellectual. I think it’s great material for horror festivals and I can see it catching on in bigger cities that have more screens and in arthouses that have audiences that really want to see this kind of thing. I don’t see it having mass market appeal to horror lovers, just because it is paced really deliberately, doesn’t include much violence, and I’m sure some people will say, moves a bit too slowly. On the other hand, what do I know about audiences for this kind of film, given that I am never in them? In any case I would pay to see it again on the big screen and I hope I will have the opportunity.

~ by Servetus on June 16, 2019.

9 Responses to “Quick (tired) first impressions of The Lodge [no spoilers] #richardarmitage”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to note down your impressions. Sounds as if the film might be watchable, even for people who are scared of horror films? – You are also confirming what I wondered – that RA’s role is only “framework”, he is marginal to the plot. Looking forward to hearing more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 Servetus took one for the team. Than you Servetus!
      I hope we could be able to watch this movie in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not going to say anything about plot in the comments on this post due to the “no spoilers” label, but I will probably discuss what you’re mentioning in the second post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you got to see it. It sounds like you liked it better than Hannibal. 🙂 I had a different reaction about Riley Keogh. I did not like her character at all, or understand why the Richard character would be interested in her, but I thought she was convincing in what she was going through. She was definitely understated. I do agree about the kids — they stole the show. And agree also about Richard — he looked great and was an appealing Dad character. I would love to discuss the ending with you, perhaps over email once you’re home and have slept.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s weird, with Hannibal — I’ve been trying to get myself to rewatch it lately as there’s something I want to write about — but yeah, in general, this bothered me way less. I’m really tired (why can’t I just make these long trips with late nights like I could ten years ago?) but I will write more tomorrow. Thanks again for the reassurance that this film wasn’t disgusting!


  3. So impressed by your efforts to see the film and sharing your impressions of it. His role sounds a lot like the dad in BOF. He looked great in that one too. Does he have more screen time in Lodge? I get the impression he does. Thank you for putting in the miles and time for the rest if us. If it gets to L.A. I will definitely go see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He definitely has more screen time in this (and doesn’t spend so much time in states of extremis). I think you might like this film if I remember you preferences correctly.


  4. Well, I, for one, certainly would like to go to a ski lodge with RA. The line forms here. And I’m glad the film has a “fantastic” ending.

    I’m so happy you got to see it! I suspect I’ll have a chance to see it too on the big screen. Maybe around Halloween?

    Thanks for writing!


  5. […] well-made film: care was obviously taken, particularly with locations and cinematography, but also (whether I think it’s successful or not) with acting and directing. So why does the script feel so […]


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