I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s her from up at the big house,” they sneer at the grocery in the village. The year is 1920-ish, the setting is rural Ireland, “her” is Rachel (Charlotte Vega: American Assassin), and the big house is the crumbling manse she lives in — if you can call it living dum dum DUM — with her twin brother, Edward (Bill Milner: Dunkirk). The house is all dead birds and velvet drapes — very goth, much spook — and there the cursed twins speak in faux-byronic enigmas: “How could something so cruel ever come from love?” “If I lied and said it was beautiful, would it make any difference?” “All I have here is death.” The spirits who live in the house and occasionally hover naked over the lake (or maybe those are different spirits?) dictate the rules by which the siblings must live: Don’t let anyone else in the house. Be in bed by midnight. Stay by each other’s side. Rachel’s supernatural leash extends to the village, though, it seems — Edward never leaves the house — which is where she meets wounded Great War vet Sean (Eugene Simon: Game of Thrones), and suddenly she is desirous of male company beyond her brother. Edward is not happy about this… and neither are the spirits.
David Turpin’s screenplay, his debut, is a load of strained psychosexual nonsense, which director Brian O’Malley (with his second feature) turns atmospheric only in the broadest way: the desperate visual clichés invoking decay and death land with the tedious thuds of those of a Halloween funhouse. There’s nothing eerie or sinister here, and even the aspects of the tale meant to be shocking barely rise to the level of accidentally repellent. What is meant, I suspect, to be sophisticated horror with a historically aware perspective on class and colonialism — the twins are Anglo-Irish, of the occupying English aristocracy, and are paying for the crimes of their ancestors, perhaps — is puerile and misjudged. The only thing haunting about The Lodgers is how derivative and meaningless it all is.