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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Lodgers


Starring: Charlotte Vega, David Bradley, Bill Milner, Eugene Simon and Roisin Murphy
Distributor: Thunderbird Releasing
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 25 June 2018

Brother and sister Rachel and Edward are the sole inheritors of a large house with grounds and a lake, after the suicide drowning of their parents in the lake. The house is extremely run-down, but that’s not the worst of their problems. Waters rise and ghosts come for them at night. They realise it is only a matter of time before they must surely succumb to the inevitable. Edward has never left the house, and Rachel ventures only as far as the nearest village for supplies they can barely afford. Here she meets Sean, a soldier home from the Great War. They are instantly attracted to each other. Perhaps he can break the never-ending cycle of her heritage. But will the house allow her to leave...?

After the fantastic Japanese horrors of the 1990s and early 2000s, when subsequent Western productions sought to emulate the style largely without success, there was a general movement back to traditional ghost stories. As with the majority of haunted house chillers this is a slow-burner. However, The Lodgers does combat this inherent failing by having the waters rise through a trap door in the house from the very start. Consequently, when the siblings run to their rooms in terror, the viewer is pulled into the plot immediately. This is essentially a "sins of the father" curse. It is never said outright, but the inference is that the original couple were brother and sister who gave birth to twins (a girl and a boy), and the act was cursed to continue through the ages. Of course, this is not revealed until halfway through the plot – although it does explain why Rachel and Edward are plagued by ghosts that resemble themselves.

There are a couple of unexplained plot holes, or at least loose ends. Why are the forefather ghosts hinting that the siblings should drown themselves in the lake as they did, when there has been no illicit coupling and so no offspring? The other point involves Bermingham, the family solicitor, played by the always welcome David Bradley, who plays the old codger similarly to his recent roles as William Hartnell’s first Doctor Who. When the solicitor turns up uninvited at the house to explain there are no more funds and therefore they will have to sell the house, Rachel gives him an old necklace to sell. However, prior to that scene, Rachel is told at the village there is no more credit, but doesn’t offer the shopkeeper a similar olive branch.

All queries aside, The Lodgers is still a pretty compelling experience and well worth a watch. Director Brian O’Malley creates an almost otherworldly atmosphere. This is fundamentally a character-driven story, as all the best ones are. Extras include: Behind the Scenes, two Deleted Scenes, and a Trailer.


Ty Power

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