The Lodgers

The Lodgers

Director: Brian O’Malley
Running Time: 92 minutes

Filmed in one of Ireland's most haunted houses, Loftus Hall, comes the acclaimed new gothic ghost story, The Lodgers from the director of Let Us Pray, Brian O’Malley. Prepare to be chilled to your core...

The Lodgers tells the tale of haunted, soon-to-be impoverished, twin orphans Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) who, in the early part of the 1930s, are literally trapped in their crumbling mansion by an ancient family curse. Said curse, hammered home by a lilting nursery rhyme the siblings sing and that is also lyrically woven into the fabric of the soundtrack, insists that Rachel and Edward must never let any outsiders into the house and must be locked up in their rooms before midnight and never, under any circumstances be separated, lest they face the wrath of the spectral “lodgers” who prowl the corridors at night, keeping an otherworldly eye on them, as they have for generations of their brood before them.

O’Malley ratchets the tension, beautifully realizing writer/co-composer David Turpin’s gently-disturbing script, with its implications of the taboo, and then pushes the story to wild, hallucinatory heights, employing delirious dream-state, Id-stimulating visuals to exemplify both the states of mind of his doomed characters and an aesthetic distortion of the “secrets” of the movie. These passages are stunning, like Ken Russell’s The Devils by way of Brian Glazer’s Under the Skin, with dripping liquids, black voids, people floating wide-eyed in water (water itself being a character in the film) and a fetishization of Vega’s poreclain-like face.

The Lodgers is an almost pornographically Gothic movie. If you adore this sort of stuff, and I most certainly do, you’ll eat every inch of it. There hasn’t been a more effective, disturbing and sensorially pleasing film of this kind since Alejandro Amenabar’s The Others and, like that masterpiece, O’Malley’s artful, lurid and meticulously orchestrated exercise in atmosphere, pretty misery and dread seeps deep under your skin. And it stays there. For keeps.

~~ Chris Alexander,