“Girl child, boy child, listen well. Be in bed by midnight’s bell. Never let a stranger through your door. Never leave each other alone.” The Lodgers...a spooky, Gothic, ghostly tale set in Ireland in the 20’s. Directed by Brian O’Malley, the movie came out in 2017. While this movie didn’t knock it out of the park for me, I still loved parts of it. So, let’s talk about it!
Look, I’m a sucker for old Victorian-like houses and moody women wandering around the grounds in silk dresses. Loftus Hall, where this movie is set, is one of the most haunted houses in Ireland and has the history to back it up. Set in this house, this story revolves around two twins Edward and Rachel. It’s their 18th birthday. They live alone in this decrepit old house after their parents committed suicide.
The twins live by a specific set of rules that keeps them in their rooms at midnight and never lets anyone enter the home. Edward hasn’t left the house since the death of his parents whereas Rachel is more likely to wander.
On her birthday she wanders into town and meets Sean, a young man who has just returned home from the Irish War of Independence. When Sean sees Rachel in town he instantly follows her, curious about her life.
When Rachel starts to break the rules set by her family, the spirits of the mansion start to get restless, and Edward starts to be even more withdrawn.
“Good sister, good brother we. Follow well these cautions three. Long as your blood be Ours alone. We’ll see you ever from below.”
Okay, so what did I like? Obviously the setting and the decor. I love me a decrepit mansion. Nothing will be Crimson Peak, but Loftus Hall is actually real and I would LOVE to visit there. It’s always cool seeing it on film. Charlotte Vega plays Rachel and David Bill Milner plays Edward. Milner does an amazing job of giving off that creepy incestuous vibe that a lot of Victorian twins seem to have. He’s constantly lurking in the dark corners, befriending crows, and refusing to leave the house. So, ME. Without the incest.
Vega does a great job of showing a lot through very little words. She spends a lot of the film talking nonsense and gazing off at the spooky lake. Eugene Simon plays Sean, Rachel’s desperate love interest. He’s a little dull, but I think that’s mostly the character.
I liked the ghosts themselves, constantly subtly appearing in the background and causing water and eels to show up everywhere. And I enjoyed the David Bradley cameo as Mr. Bermingham.
What I didn’t like was the complexity of the story. And I’m not even sure if complexity is the right word. But this movie just had one of my pet peeves which is where the script throws a bunch of nonsense at you for an hour hoping you’ll follow along. And then at the end they give you a vague wrap up and you feel like an idiot for not understanding what even happened.
From what I understand, Edward and Rachel’s family is cursed. And each generation bears incestuous twins that keep breeding the next generation and so on. Each set of twins end up taking their lives by drowning in the lake. Now it’s Edward and Rachel’s turn but Rachel has no interest in sleeping with her brother to birth the next gen. So, accidentally (or on purpose, again I’m a little lost here) Sean ends up taking the fate instead.
After he chases Rachel to her house, he’s confronted by Edward who stabs him and leaves him locked out at midnight. And then the lake spirits kill him? Instead of Rachel and Edward? I guess? And then Rachel gets to leave, free from the curse.
Okay, so obviously I didn’t love the plot as much. But I did love the imagery and the romantic and spooky words. And I loved Rachel’s clothes. And I also loved that Rachel was so clueless about much of anything outside of the house. When Sean approaches her at the lake she promptly asks him if she can see his fake leg, starts making out with him, and then freaks out over a ghost. Thatta girl!
Overall, I’m sort of hovering between 3 and 4 out of 5. But I think I’ll go with 3 because I did find myself a little bored, and super confused.
If you’ve seen The Lodgers, let me know what you think in the comments below!