Contemporary World Cinema

The Lodgers

Brian O'Malley

Set in rural Ireland in 1920, this Gothic chiller evokes the spooky stories of Shirley Jackson and Oscar Wilde in its tale of teenage twins living in a haunted manor under the shadow of a family curse.

Awash with desire, dread, and pitch-dark secrets, this gothic chiller from director Brian O'Malley (Let Us Prey) and writer David Turpin deploys some very scary things that go bump in the night as a way to dramatize the burdens of tribal legacy. Set in rural Ireland in 1920, The Lodgers is a timeless tale of terror.

Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) are 18-year-old orphaned twins inhabiting the decaying manor that's been in their family for centuries. Since losing their parents, the siblings live under an ancient family curse that forbids them from staying out late or from permanently leaving — or accepting strangers into — their home. Edward, a gloomy shut-in, adheres to these rules, but Rachel pushes their limits — particularly now that handsome young veteran Sean (Eugene Simon) has returned to the neighbouring village. As finances dwindle and watery phantoms begin crowding the manor, Rachel and Edward must decide whether their destiny is sealed or their family's horrible hex can finally be brought to an end.

Filmed in Loftus Hall, one of Ireland's most legendary haunted houses, The Lodgers is gloomily gorgeous and shot through with an eerie eroticism. Vega and Milner are captivating as the codependent twins and Simon is touching as an emissary from the very real horrors of the First World War. Reminiscent of spooky stories by Shirley Jackson and Oscar Wilde, this tale of bad blood will get deep under your skin.


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