First off, I want to say that TALES FROM THE LODGE, which just had its World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, was extremely fun to watch as well as being funny and included several jump-scares.

The director of TALES FROM THE LODGE is Abigail Blackmore (Vintage Blood) and the cast includes Mackenzie Crook, Dustin Demri-Burns, Laura Fraser, Sophie Thompson, Johnny Vegas, and Kelly Wenham.

The story is about a group of friends who get together after a friend’s suicide. We are introduced to Emma (Sophie Thompson) and Russell (Johnny Vegas), the couple with kids, as well as the other couple, Martha (Laura Fraser) and Joe (Mackenzie Crook), and boy toy Paul (Dustin Demri-Burns) who brings along his girlfriend, Miki (Kelly Wenham).

As the friends tell stories, we begin to notice that in the background sinister things are happening. Martha tells a story about a woman who is happy after her husband is possessed by a sexual ghost and before that, Paul tells a story about a guy who borrows his car and finds out that the guy is deranged.

Russell’s story is about him as a Kiefer Sutherland/Lost Boys lookalike who kills zombies and Joe tells Paul his story about his recurring nightmare that involves a transplant. Emma’s story is how motherhood is a nightmare and then it all ends with Miki’s story. I won’t give the plot of her story, but it’s the most shocking ahead of Paul’s story.

It may sound cliche but I felt all the actors were terrific. I also loved the twisted humor that was throughout the film and the ending was just too good for words. The only negative is it’s not hard to guess who the killer was, but what save that is the reasoning behind it. Honestly, starting the film, I wouldn’t have guessed that’s where the film was going.

Overall, if you love horror anthologies and friendships with brutal truths then you have to watch TALES FROM THE LODGE. Seriously, Abigail Blackmore needs to make more feature films in the horror genre (heck, even comedy).

F**king Countryside | Credit: Paul Stephenson
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