Tales from the Lodge – UK, 2019

Tales from the Lodge is a 2019 British comedy horror anthology feature film written, produced and directed by Abigail Blackmore (Vintage Blood short). The Hook Pictures production stars Mackenzie Crook, Dustin Demri-Burns, Laura Fraser, Sophie Thompson and Johnnie Vegas.

Plot:

An isolated lodge somewhere in England. Five old university pals, now nudging forty, gather for a weekend to scatter the ashes of their friend, Jonesy, who drowned himself in the lake three years earlier.

The friends settle in for a fun evening, entertaining each other with stories of murders, ghosts, zombies and possessions. However, as day turns to night the gang become aware of another horror story unfolding around them. And this one is real…

Reviews:

Tales from the Lodge is competently directed by Blackmore in her feature debut, and she absolutely nails the intended humor. Using the story segments to flesh out her characters is a refreshing take on the anthology format. The pacing, however, could use a little tightening up, as could the entire narrative.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

Tales from the Lodge finds greater strengths in unexpected places. Chiefly, in its interpersonal relationship building […] The group’s struggles to reconcile where they once foresaw themselves versus current stations involving loveless relationships, annoying offspring, and untimely medical diagnoses add deeper meaning to Tales from the Lodge as a surprisingly bittersweet drama.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

” …undeniably tongue-in-cheek, fully aware of its goofy nature from beginning to end, but it also attempts to land a few resonant character beats, particularly in a few of the relationship dynamics. And those are where the film really crashes tonally (despite solid work by the always-welcome Laura Fraser).” Brian Tellerico, RogerEbert.com

“Interestingly, according to the end credits Blackmore allowed her actors to direct their own anthology segments, which would account for the wildly varying tonal and stylistic elements, however, it was perhaps because of this that the film doesn’t quite gel. Tales from the Lodge is an amusing experience, but not quite a home run…” J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy

Release:

Tales from the Lodge had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) on 9 March 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Mackenzie Crook … Joe – Eat Locals; Demons TV series; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Spine Chillers TV series; The Gathering
  • Dustin Demri-Burns … Paul
  • Laura Fraser … Martha
  • Sophie Thompson … Emma
  • Johnny Vegas … Russell
  • Kelly Wenham … Miki
  • Adam Straughan … Jonesy
  • Robert Portal … Doctor
  • Cavan Clerkin … Dean
  • Nicola Stephenson … Amanda
  • Tom Stourton … Zeke Holloway
  • Janet Cowl … Zombie
  • Lloyd Mullings … PC
  • Kris Taylor … Passport Controller [uncredited]

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