THE LODGER *** France 2020 Dir: Baptiste Drapeau. 90 mins
Student Julie (Alice Isaaz) moves into a woman’s home as a lodger and helper. Soon, Julie realises things are a little strange in this house. Elizabeth (Jacqueline Bisset) is still trying to keep her husband’s memory alive, twenty years after his death.
Isaaz and Bisset have some brilliant chemistry and both have great talent for acting.
Drapeau creates a creepy atmosphere with visual effects, lighting and camera angles. These draw you in and make you feel far more of the story.
I went into this blind, expecting similar to THE BOY or a supernatural horror with a haunted house. Instead I found myself entirely sucked in, itching to see how the storyline played out.
THE LODGER delves into loss and grief and how they affect people differently. The film also delves into fantasy, as both women try to avoid loneliness by dreaming up their ideal man. The plot is a little messy but it was executed so well, you don’t really notice. Drapeau teamed up with Ollivier Briand and Mauricio Carrasco to create this superb piece. The only downside was the plot losing my attention briefly mid way through the film’s 90 minutes.
The ending is open to interpretation and allows the audience to make up their own minds about what they have just seen.
Review by Poppy Blundell