Main cast: Charlotte Vega (Rachel), David Bradley (Bermingham), Bill Milner (Edward), Eugene Simon (Sean), Moe Dunford (Dessie), Roisin Murphy (Kay), and Deirdre O’Kane (Maura)
Director: Brian O’Malley
Rachel and Edward are two twins who live in their big, pretty, and hence creepy family manor in a rustic village somewhere in Ireland. They are considered odd, perhaps because they are burdened with an odd curse. They have to live by three ironclad rules: be asleep by midnight, no strangers allowed into the house, and should one sibling leaves, the other one dies. Worse, the family has a dark legacy: every generation, there would be a pair of twins who would commit incest, begetting the next generation who would then have to live under the curse, before drowning to death in the lake on the family grounds. Who imposed the curse? Well, that may have to do with the fact that the people in the house aren’t actually alone. They have mysterious “lodgers” that live under the house, and after midnight, they emerge from a trap door to have full reign of the house until dawn.
Rachel is almost eighteen, and there is little she wants more than to leave the house and be free of the curse. She certainly doesn’t want to sleep with her brother, that’s for sure! Edward, on the other hand, just wants to be left alone in the house with his sister. Yes, he’s a bit deranged, with “a bit” becoming “absolutely” as the movie progresses. When Rachel meets another fellow outcast, a former World War 1 soldier named Sean who comes back with his lower right leg blown off during the war, she is seriously tempted to seize a chance at freedom… and love.
The Lodgers is one of those beautiful movies with a gorgeous cast (Charlotte Vega and Eugene Simon get naked, from a rear end perspective, if you are one of those people who watch horror films for these things – not that we are judging, of course), lovely cinematography, and amazing set pieces all around. The first half or so of the movie is pretty intriguing, as there is atmosphere, a creepy build-up – just what is the curse all about anyway, hmm? – as well as the constant tease as to whether the curse is even real in the first place. The cast is competent, although poor Eugene Simon’s Sean is so bland that I don’t think he can do much with that role, and everything seems to be in place to present a solid Gothic horror movie…
That is, until the second half or so devolves into a predictable, oh so obvious series of tired horror tropes. None of the possible twists and turns hinted earlier come to fruition; despite the possibilities, what I see is what I get. That’s the biggest tragedy of this movie. It’s starts out promising to be something good, and ends up being something typical and forgettable. Like I’ve said, this movie is pretty enough and competently put together, but it is ultimately much ado about nothing.