Something seriously strange is going on behind the walls of this dilapidated Irish estate where twins Rachel and Edward reside. Generations have come to pass since the original sin was committed and young Rachel (Charlotte Vega, American Assassin) and her brother Edward (Bill Milner, iBoy) are only the latest in a long line of cursed siblings living under the weight of their ancestor's sins.
Determined to break free from the bonds of not only the family curse, but also her deeply disturbed brother, Rachel seeks asylum from her fate within the arms of a new romance with local outcast soldier, Sean (Eugene Simon, Game of Thrones). As sparks fly, tensions begin to arise and an ancient evil boils over as a result of Rachel's insubordination to the rules of the curse. She quickly finds herself at the heart of a convergence between the unforeseen dangers of the world outside and the tragic destiny that awaits her at home. Will Rachel ever be free of the forces haunting her or will she be forced to live out her days as so many others before her? Welcome to director Brian O' Malley's (Let Us Prey) latest contribution to the #horror genre, #TheLodgers.
The Lodgers is a multi-faceted horror gem that has been polished to perfection with far more than just an enticing creep-factor. Alongside headliners Bill Milner and the highly sought-after Charlotte Vega, The Lodgers shares its foreboding limelight with David Bradley (of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter fame) and Moe Dunford from the hit series, Vikings. So, if the depraved nature of The Lodgers' curse isn't enough to draw you into this spooky story, then the on-screen talent certainly will be.
After watching the film myself (and it's a damn good one), it's safe to say that much of the film is an emotional and psychological puzzle that remains ambiguous in the best of ways. I recently sat down with The Lodgers' Charlotte Vega to discuss her role and the preparations for such a hauntingly beautiful horror film.
RR: After screening the film myself I can say I was pleasantly blown away by The Lodgers. Could you give a quick rundown of the film for those who have yet to watch it?
"It's a ghost story set in the 1920s in rural Ireland and it's about two twins, English twins Rachel [Vega] and Edward [Milner], who live in a crumbling house and they live under an ancient family curse which torments them. Edward is a character who accepts the rules and lives under them, accepts his fate, but Rachel pushes the limits. She refuses to accept it, she wants a different life. So you just see this story between twins who usually [are] people who have a strong connection, being torn between their love for each other and the fate that awaits them."
RR: Edward is clearly the mirror of Rachel, as he has chosen to accept his fate. Who is Rachel and what fuels her desire to break free from the curse?
"To me, Rachel is an incredibly brave character who throughout the whole film is completely torn between the love for her brother and the hope of a life. The chance of a free life and not living under a curse.Throughout the film she discovers the fate that her parents had before them and she refuses to accept it. I think it's so brave of her.
We all know what it's like watching a horror film and the frights you get and to imagine what it would be like to live in a place like that, living under those rules, seeing what the consequences. When she meets Sean [Eugene Simon], she sees this opportunity and I think she just grabs it with both hands. She can see what it would be like having a future – to have a life – but at the same time goes home to see her brother. She's someone who is sensitive, brave, strong, compassionate -so that's what you see throughout the film."
RR: Did you take any particular measures to get yourself out of your regular head space and into the mind of Rachel?
"Well, I had to change quite a lot physically, so that was a massive help. I auditioned being a little bit tanned from the summer and really blonde, and the character is supposed to be incredibly pale and with dark hair. So it was actually a really great opportunity, because to see yourself so differently as an actress is a massive help to then get yourself into character."
RR: One of the eeriest attributes to the film is that very little information and background are given on the twins and their family's history. We spend a great deal of the film learning who the characters are and how they fit into play together, all while attempting to solve the mystery of what great sin could have transpired to have a family trapped for generations. Without spoilers, what's your supposition of the overall meaning of the finale and the film itself?
"The crow signifies, to me, it's Edward and it shows that the curse will follow her wherever she goes just like the twins, the first ones, that tried to escape that sin and moved then to this manor and the curse follows them. My interpretation is you need to fight for your dreams. But, in some way it's complicated because if the crow means that the curse will follow her everywhere, it's a contradiction – hopefully that means there will be a sequel.
At the same time, I think that you should always fight if that's what you hope and believe in, you know? You should fight for what you want and believe in regardless of anything else."
RR: Now, before we wrap up here I have one last (yet very important) question to ask you. From a fan's perspective, why should we see The Lodgers?
"People should watch it because it's an incredibly captivating film. You'll watch it and you'll get lost in the story. There is something magical and eerie about it and you'll finsh it and feel like you want to continue the story and you'll want to be in it. Even though it's creepy, there's something so beautiful about it. Beautiful, captivating and enchanting in a way."
The Lodgers has just made it's premier at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2017 and is openly seeking distribution. Because The Lodgers is rather similar in appeal to films like Neverlake, The Others, The Secret of Crickley Hall, The Woman in Black and The Haunting, fans are already grasping on to this title and claiming it as a staple for their spooky collections. So, if you're in the market for a terrifying yet eloquent telling of a forbidden love gone terribly wrong then look no further than Charlotte Vega's performance in The Lodgers.
Will you be seeing The Lodgers? Let me know with a comment.