Fantastic Fest 2019 Day Three: ‘The Lodge’ is the Feel-Bad Horror Movie of 2019, ‘The Pool’ Defies Reality and Good Taste, and ‘The Mortuary Collection’ Will Scratch Your Horror Anthology Itch

/Film | 9/22/2019 | Jacob Hall
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Welcome to Fantastic Fest 2019, day two. In this entry, The Long Walk is a fascinating story that goes on for too long, The Lodge will make you miserable in the best ways possible, The Pool defies logic and taste in ways that are difficult to sum up, and The Mortuary Collection is a fun but hit-and-miss horror anthology.

There’s no denying the talent of director Mattie Do, a Laotian filmmaker with a keen eye for oppressive visuals and a keen ear for authentic characters who find themselves in impossible situations. And there’s certainly no denying that her third feature, The Long Walk, is the kind of unique and deeply personal film you hope to discover at film festivals like Fantastic Fest. However, you can’t shake the feeling that there is some kind of instant 90-minute classic lurking within this film’s lumbering 115 minute frame. Do’s slow-burn pacing eventually ignites into a horror story worth the time and energy, but the trip is a laborious one that may test the patience of even the most level-headed filmgoer.

Frankenstein - Monster - Pieces - Looper - Wailing

Playing like a tragic Frankenstein’s monster cobbled together from pieces of Looper and The Wailing, The Long Walk tells a story of time travel in a science fiction world, even though the biggest story leaps are based in mythology and religion. The spiritual horror of the The Long Walk feels even more unique when set against the backdrop of the near-future setting, where even the the most impoverished have government chips in their arms that contain their personal information and financial records. We’re introduced to this world via a village hermit who gets by on selling scrap, even as the locals whisper about his ability to communicate with the souls of the dead.

After this fascinating table-setting, the plot kicks into gear. It turns out our...
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