Runtime: 93 mins
Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby
Synopsis: An isolated lodge somewhere in England. Five old university pals, now nudging 40, gather for a weekend to scatter the ashes of their friend, Jonesy, who drowned himself in the lake three years earlier. They settle in for a fun evening, entertaining each other with stories of murders, ghosts, zombies and possessions, but as day turns to night, the gang become aware of another horror story unfolding around them – And this one is real.
Grimmfest say: If Brian Rix and Alan Ayckbourn had ever teamed up to write a portmanteau film for Amicus, the result might have been something like this. The title might evoke such EC Comics inspired classics as TALES FROM THE CRYPT, but the emphasis here is rather more on farce and social comedy than on horror. There is also far more focus on the framing story than in most portmanteau films, giving the film unexpected weight and pathos. The essential set-up recalls that of THE BIG CHILL, but instead of sharing reminiscences of their dead friend, the various characters pass the time by telling a series of unconsciously self-revealing horror stories, reflecting their various fears, regrets and failings. Boasting an all star cast, each of whom directs their own section of the story, the film manages a deft balance of broad comedy and mischievous, self-aware, genre satire, with an unexpectedly poignant exploration of mid-life crisis. Not to mention a final twist that has proved somewhat… controversial.
What I'm Expecting: With such a wonderfully offbeat British cast I’d expect this film to be nothing short of comedy gold! From what I understand, Tales From the Lodge is an anthology film? But again, with this cast, I kind of hope it will stay away from the horror and lean more towards being an absurdist comedy. Either way, it’s great to see anthology movies making a comeback to the big screen. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen a really good one; the last few have been disappointing. Still, I have confidence this female written and directed film, with its strong ensemble cast, will be the movie to break my chain of bad luck with this sub-genre of horror.