Blu-ray Review: The Lodgers

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Gothic horror thriller The Lodgers is new to home video via indie distributor Epic Pictures as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Director Brian O'Malley, previously known for the horror indie Let Us Prey (2014), has crafted a deeply atmospheric ghost story in The Lodgers. Creepy, isolationist twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) live in an imposing, decrepit mansion located in the recesses of the Irish countryside. The year is 1920 and the local townspeople view Rachel and Edward quite warily.

The pair lives by a set of unwritten rules, which includes being nestled in bed by the stroke of midnight (all outlined in an introductory nursery rhyme song). Break the rules and they're visited by sinister, suspended, dripping bodies or eels in the bathtub. A trapdoor at the bottom of the main staircase bubbles up with dark, sickly water. Clearly these two have experienced significant trauma in the past and—slowly, methodically—their back story emerges. Rachel has grown particularly restless with their forced lifestyle and has taken an interest in a war veteran, Sean (Eugene Simon), who's new to town.

All of this is steeped in old-school chiller atmospherics. The locations, the sets, and the music all combine for a spooky time. Lest this seem like an unqualified recommendation, frankly it all could've used a momentum jolt in the storytelling. But the acting, especially by leads Vega and Milner but also David Bradley (Argus Filch in the Harry Potter series), is compelling enough to help make up for the sometimes soggy plotting. Those seeking an introspective slice of spookiness, and who don't mind a lack of typical horror film tactics (no 'jump scares' here), should give The Lodgers a try.

The Blu-ray edition includes a 20-minute "Behind the Scenes" featurette and a couple of deleted scenes.

For more information visit the official The Lodgers site. That includes ordering info, as I do not see the Blu-ray listed on Amazon (hence the link above for director Brian O'Malley's earlier film).


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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