THE WRONG HOUSE and THE LODGE: A DOUBLE BILL OF HORROR FILM REVIEWS BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
THE WRONG HOUSE aka HOUSE-HUNTING. (2012) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ERIC HURT. STARRING MARC SINGER, ART LA FLEUR, HAYLEY DUMOND, VICTORIA VANCE, PAUL MCGILL, JANEY GIOIOSA AND REBEKAH KENNEDY.
THE LODGE. (2008) DIRECTED BY BRAD HELMINK AND JOHN RAUSCHELBACH. WRITTEN BY DEB HAVENER. STARRING KEVIN MCCLATCHY, ELIZABETH KELL, OWEN SZABO AND MANDY KREISHER.
I picked up these two little horror finds at my local music/DVD store recently and made a night of watching them back-to-back. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience but, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. THE WRONG HOUSE is a million times better than THE LODGE, which I think we’ll start with.
It’s kind of a typical run-of-the-mill dopey-young-couple-holidaying-in-a-creepy-cabin-in-the-woods type of film, and I must admit that I wasn’t crazy about the couple involved, which makes it harder to properly engage with the film. Julia and Michael don’t seem to have that good of a relationship.
Michael, a dope-smoking Little Rich Boy with a wealthy Pops, seems to love Julia, at least, and he’s hoping to use the weekend away at an isolated mountain lodge as a chance to pop a certain question. He’s got the little box and everything.
Julia doesn’t seem to care about Michael too much, though, judging by the number of times she tries to get out of having sex with him. And surely a surfeit of sleazy vacation sex is the main reason for a young couple heading for the hills for a couple of days? But he’s a doped-up twat, so I can’t say that I blame her too much for that.
The titular Lodge is nice and spacious and comfortable enough, but how come the seriously uptight owner is hanging around the place like a bad smell instead of leaving the young ‘uns to their own devices as they’d- not unnaturally- been expecting? Henry is a decidedly odd fish but, to add fuel to an already over-stoked fire, there’s a shadow at the window and I think it wants to come in…
This is a pretty violent film, and there’s some sexual violence in there as well, deservedly earning the film its 18s rating. I could have completely done without the addition (more like tacking on) of a fourth person into the mix, however.
It took away some of the film’s believability and it looks like it was added because what’s a movie nowadays without a creepy mute of a long-haired girl in it, standing there in the corner like a spare part with her bedraggled barnet obscuring her mopey face? Bit of a spoiler there but I just had to get that off my chest…!
Believe it or not, and I’m sure you can easily believe it, there’s a creepy mute of a long-haired girl in THE WRONG HOUSE too, but there’s a perfectly satisfying reason for her not talking. Yes, it’s annoying that she’s there at all but in this case she’s serving a purpose.
Meh. I’m getting really tired of the creepy-mute-girl trope. Can’t they ever mix it up a bit? Have an overweight middle-aged garage mechanic or lollipop lady (or even a sarcastic hippopotamus wearing glasses and carrying a briefcase) standing in a corner blindly staring at nothing instead of a long-haired girl? Just for a bleedin’ change, you know…
THE WRONG HOUSE is also known as HOUSE-HUNTING. Two families, the Hays family and the Thomsons, each turn up at a remote countryside farmhouse at which they think is an Open Day, designed to let prospective buyers check the place over with a view to buying it.
Both the Hays family and the Thomsons absolutely love the place. And the house must really, really like them too, because when it’s time for them to go home, it won’t let them leave. All their attempts to go home leave them right back where they started, back at the house. The house has an evil purpose in mind. It’s called revenge, and it’s going to drive the two families clean out of their minds…
The two Dads, Marc Singer as Charlie Hays and Art LaFleur as Don Thomson, are absolutely excellent as the two alpha males who desperately try to hold their families together while the house closes in around all of them like a ghastly inescapable fog that holds evil within it, terrible evil.
Victoria Vance as the domesticated Thomson Mom Leslie is wonderful in her moving portrayal of a woman who’s tragically lost a child and can easily be pushed over the edge of sanity because of it. The three young ‘uns (including Mopey Girl) I disliked intensely. What horrible bloody kids…!
The tension is ramped-up again and again as the families turn on each other and tear strips off each other, much to the delight, one would imagine, of the watching house. The house is always watching, by the way.
Watching and waiting. Just what you don’t really want in a house you’re contemplating buying, methinks. A know-it-all, smart-alecky house imbued with human reasoning and a malevolent sentient. What a pain in the ass…!
So the consensus is as follows. THE LODGE, meh. It’s okay but it’s only okay. THE WRONG HOUSE, excellent. Scary, well-paced with no droopy or flagging bits and with a satisfying ending that only disappoints if you’re, like, super-fussy and hard to please.
I loved this film, anyway. I always love films about evil houses that have pre-ordained, murderous agendas. They really float my boat. Float my boat good. Watch it and float with me. We all float down here, dontcha know…?
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
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