I am a big city guy. I love the big houses, restaurants, pubs, cinemas, shops, strip clubs, everything that is supposed to be in a big city. All the years that i have travelled across Europe i appreciate everything that every city has to offer. But there are moments, when i just need a relaxing weekend, away from the big city. Just to go swimming in a lake, go fishing or just enjoy a barbecue outside a cabin. Just to wake up hearing the sound of nature, while having breakfast on the porch, is a great combination. What if your stay inside a cabin, does not turn out the way you thought ? This is something that British horror film Dog Soldiers clearly proved, that i consider to be a cabin horror classic. If you have not seen Dog Soldiers so far, there are only 2 reasons why you have not seen this film:
* You are a Minecraft addict, who never leave your computer screen for 65 hours ( pee bottle included of course, we need to be realistic )
* You play the banjo, on your Alabama porch, hoping to marry anyone who travel across your road, no matter if they are male of female, just as tradition goes in Alabama.
Dog Soldiers is directed by Neil Marshal, and the story is about a group of British soldiers who carry out a training exercise against a Special Air Unit, in the Scottish highlands. The following morning they find SAS unit´s savaged remains. As the Special Air Unit see themselves being attacked, they are helped by zoologist Megan, who take them to an abandoned cabin. It is here that the real fight begins, when they realise that they are surrounded by werewolves. If you did not think there is no really good werewolf film that takes place near a cabin, then you have to see Dog Soldiers. There are so many details that i enjoy about this film, but i especially love the make up effects. The werewolves are some of the best looking in this genre, and i have to say that they managed to make these werewolves very effective as they attack. And i have to mention that the cast does a really good job as well, with their characters. It feels like these people are real soldiers, and this is of course important to the storyline. If you have not seen Dog Soldiers, make sure to get it on DVD or Blu Ray. Speaking of Blu Ray, i actually picked up a film i was supposed to see in cinema this spring, but since the pandemic came along i skipped that chance. The film i wanted to see is called The Lodge, that have film critics very divided worldwide. If you do want to hear one interesting review of this film, i suggest you check out Sinister Cinema Reviews and his review of The Lodge on the link belown:
A family in a lodge in winter time ? Sounds like my kind of film, since no one loves snow more than me. Is this one of the better films i have seen this year, or is The Lodge just as bad as former professional boxer Oscar De La Hoya´s latino pop album from the year 2000 ?
Laura Hall ( Alicia Silverstone ), seperated from her husand Richard Hall ( Richard Armitage ), dies by suicide after he informs her he plans to marry Grace Marshall ( Riley Keough ), a woman he met while researching a book about an extremist Christian cult. Raised in the cult, Grace was the sole survivor of their mass suicide, led by her father. Laura´s Death devastates her and Richard´s children Aiden Hall ( Jaeden Martell ) and Mia Hall ( Lia McHugh ). Six months later, Richard announces that they will spend christmas with Grace at the family´s remote Massachusetts lodge to get to know each other. Aiden and Mia uncover Grace´s past, including video footage of the cult, showing the deceased followers draped in pure silk with duct tape across their mouths reading " sin ". At the lodge, the children are hostile toward Grace and refuse efforts to bond with her, as Richard is forced to go back to the city for a work obligation. Grace is determined to get closer to the children, by letting them participate in decorating for Christmas. But her plans to make this family become closer, are about to get even worse, for each day that goes by.
I tried going into this film knowing as little as possible, since the review of The Lodge from Sinister Cinema Reviews did not go into too many details on the plot, and i appreciate that. This is a very dark film, that feels inspired by director Ari Aster´s horror film Hereditary. I want to make it clear though, that these films are not connected in any way, but you can sense that the directors of The Lodge, who´s name is Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, must have enjoyed Hereditary, since it feels like they have managed to find inspiration from director Ari Aster. The Lodge is a pshycological horror film with a religious cult undertone, that clearly shows how you can be affected by living in a cult, even if you are no longer a member. But that´s not all, this film also digs deep into the struggle of losing a very close family member in a suicide. One of the things that makes The Lodge such a powerful film, is thanks to the acting. And this is especially where we get 2 really powerful performances. Let us begin with actress Riley Keough ( who i guarantee some of you will recognize from the 2016 drama film American Honey ) as the character Grace. Riley really goes all in to her character, and considering her character´s past as a former member of a religious cult, i feel that she gives the strongest acting performance in this film. This becomes especially clear as the film goes on, and her mental statement is completely out of control. Riley manage to show this, both through facial expressions, but also through her body language. The next actor i feel did a really good job in this film, is Jaeden Martell ( who i guarantee you will recognize from Stephen King´s IT ). His character Aiden Hall, is clearly struggling with the loss of his mother, and Jaeden is so good at acting out these emotions, that you can tell that he has a lot more to offer the audience in the future. The location for this film, matches really well with the plot. A lodge that is secluded from any smaller community, makes everything a bit more difficult, since there is no one near them. One detail that you will notice, is that the doll house that Jaeden´s sister Mia have, almost looks like a copy of the lodge. There is a connection with the doll house, and this is an interesting detail that will make you think for a moment. The Lodge is actually a clever film, that digs especially deep on an emotional level. Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz knows exactly how to tell a story of a family in crisis, and how wrong things can go when you can´t deal with your own mental issues. If you are a fan of really effective psychological horror films, The Lodge is a must see.