SPINEMA Issue 35: Mondo Beckons you to THE LODGE

The chilling original score by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans gets a slick vinyl release

Lend an ear to SPINEMA: a column exploring all movie music, music related to movies, and movies related to music. Be they film scores on vinyl, documentaries on legendary musicians, or albums of original songs by horror directors, all shall be reviewed here. Batten down your headphones, because shit’s about to sound cinematic.

The Lodge marks the long awaited sophomore collaborative effort from Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy), a film many had to wait even longer for after its original November 2019 release was shunted until February 2020. Like their first film, it’s a somber and chilling (no pun intended) affair.

New stepmother Grace (Riley Keough) is struggling to break through to young Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) after marrying their father Richard (Richard Armitage). Their resentment for this woman is palpable, as they see her as contributing to the breakup of their parents’ marriage, and also the tragic loss of their mother (Alicia Silverstone) soon after. They decide to take a trip to the family cabin for the holidays, but work draws Richard away, leaving the trio in uncomfortable territory. As Grace tries to bond with the children, the pair uncover the secret that brought Grace and their father together — his research into a fanatical Christian cult who committed suicide, with her as the sole survivor. Aidan and Mia decide to use this information to return some of the misery they have experienced upon the person they hold responsible.

The basis of the film takes the idea of cabin fever and plunges it deep into claustrophobia and lingering trauma. Religion and control are central themes, the film ever shifting to keep you unsure as to who is to blame, and who is truly suffering from what is unfolding. The severely damaged Grace, a standout performance from Keogh, is at the center of it all, embodying the deep sadness and eventual cruelty of the tale. The chilly, expansive, snow laden setting is stark relief from the confines of the old wood cabin, both serving as memorable platforms for the deepening dive into the twists and tragedy of it all. It’s in this bleakness that the score really hits home.

The Score

The OST comes from Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, who deftly wove their talents into the superb The Autopsy of Jane Doe several years ago. The Lodge score showcases a minimalist series of compositions that slowly build to an unsettling degree. Sparseness adds to the disquiet, choral melodies evoke religious undertones, jolts come from strings and bells. There’s an unpredictability and intensity at play that marries superbly with the discordant events of the film. It’s both fitting and affecting fare.

Track List:

1. The Lodge (1:25)
 2. Balloons and Whispers (1:06)
 3. Preparing (1:12)
 4. Nose Bleeds and Crucifixes (0:48)
 5. Ready to Go (1:42)
 6. Scar (1:21)
 7. The Ice (0:48)
 8. The Painting (1:10)
 9. Shrine (0:52)
 10. Checking In (1:28)
 11. Undercovers (0:41)
 12. Nightmare (1:25)
 13. Repent (1:26)
 14. Should We Pray Now? (0:31)
 15. The Cross House (1:50)
 16. Flowers (2:07)
 17. Crucifix (2:25)
 18. Obituary (4:11)
 19. We Have to Stop This (0:43)
 20. Back To the Lodge (1:35)
 21. Murder (2:06)
 22. Sacrifice (2:28)
 23. Last Supper (6:14)

The Package

Previous Mondo efforts have come in a more standard box/coverway presentation. Here the vinyl is housed inside a screen printed poly-sleeve. The minimal looks serves the film quite well, but you can’t help but miss the more standard configuration for sliding onto the shelf and offering up a platform for more of the artwork they’re well known for.

The vinyl itself is presented as a 180 Gram “bloody snow” version, limited to 300 copies. A retail variant, presumably in a different colorway, will be available soon.

The Lodge OST is available via Mondo now.

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