A family dynamic is shattered by the suicide of Laura Hall after her ex-husband Richard announces he plans to marry Grace Marshall. The death of their mother devastates Laura and Richard’s children Aiden and Mia. Six months pass and Richard announces that he, Grace, Aiden, and Mia will spend Christmas at the family-owned lodge in remote Massachusetts to strengthen family bonds and get to know one another. Aiden and Mia uncover shocking video footage of a cult suicide and realize that Grace is the sole survivor of an extremist Christian cult led by her father. Once the family arrives at the isolated lodge the plan begins to backfire as the children refuse to bond with Grace and treat her with hostility and distrust. Things get worse when Richard is required to return to the city for a work emergency leaving the two children with Grace. While isolated the Catholic symbolism throughout the lodge begins to trigger nightmares of her father and leaves Grace feeling more and more uneasy. Eventually, the children agree to watch a movie with Grace while they wait while the house is warmed by a gas heater. The next morning Grace discovers all of her belongings missing including her psychiatric medication and pet dog, as well as all the food and decorations. When confronting the kids about the missing objects it is discovered that their belongings are missing as well and due to the generator going out their phones are dead. Aiden tells Grace that he had a nightmare that the gas heater malfunctioned and they all died, fearing that they may all be in Purgatory. As the bleak winter landscape begins to accentuate the isolation and loneliness of the group they struggle to come together in this tension-heavy film that will leave you speechless.

Not since The Shining has a film captured the feeling and fears of total isolation and so perfectly paired them against the mental anguish and decay of those experiencing it. The Lodge succeeds not with fast-paced scares but with a slow burn of terror and tension set in an atmosphere that is almost suffocating at times. The film has a 74% approval rating with a 7/10 average on Rotten Tomatoes. Riley Keough’s performance is phenomenal and almost carries the film single-handedly.

As always, if you’ve seen the listed film, dislike the film, or just don’t believe you would like it we have provided a list of alternative choices for you to pick from: alternative-films-for-this-spooky-season

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