Horror movies have seen a massive surge in quality over the course of the last few years, particularly with the release of movies like The Witch, It Follows and The Babadook. One key to attaining that high bar for quality is an authentic atmosphere, and that's something Brian O'Malley achieved with his gothic horror film The Lodgers. In fact, I recently had a chance to ask O'Malley about shooting The Lodgers in Loftus Hall (one of Ireland's oldest supposedly haunted locales), and he told me about an incredibly creepy Facebook message that he received when a stranger learned he intended to work in the building. O'Malley said:
Just before we started shooting there it was kind of, there was press about filming is about to begin in Ireland's most haunted house, and I got a message through Facebook from someone I don't even know who they were saying 'I believe you're filming in Loftus Hall. You need to get out of that house. No good will come from your presence inside that house. It's evil.' This is what I get through Facebook. And I have to be honest with you, I got shivers up my spine. That's one of the strangest, creepiest things anyone has ever said to me. So that kind of is in the back of your head. You're walking in the back of the door going 'what is it this person knows about this house that I don't?'
Now we are aware that The Lodgers is a horror movie, but the development and production of this flick sound like the set up for a real life horror story that could be just as compelling. I wouldn't even be surprised if the person who sent him that message on Facebook turned out to be Crazy Ralph from the Friday the 13th franchise. That said, it doesn't look like the creepy message deterred O'Malley, as the bulk of the film was ultimately shot in the creepy Irish estate.
Of course, the weirdness didn't stop at that ominous message. Elsewhere in our conversation about working on The Lodgers at Loftus Hall, Brian O'Malley admitted that the supposedly haunted location offered up some creepy nights for its caretaker, who would sleep there if a shoot went long into the night. Specifically, O'Malley told me how the caretaker was woken in the middle of the evening by the sound of footsteps in the rooms above him -- even when he was the only living soul in the house. If that doesn't give you a chill, then I don't know what will.
The Lodgers centers on twins Rachel and Edward as they live in the burned-out remains of a once beautiful and vibrant noble home in Ireland in the earth 20th century. Although they are free to come and go as they please during the day, mysterious beings emerge from the floor at night and roam the halls. The twins accept their station in life, until one day Rachel meets an injured World War I veteran named Sean who inspires her to begin breaking the rules established by the demonic Lodgers. Think The Innocents with a dash of The Conjuring universe thrown in for good measure.
The Lodgers premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last weekend, and we will keep you posted with more information related to its future on the silver screen as new details become available. For now, make sure to take a glance at CinemaBlend's movie premiere guide, and check out IT in theaters if you're currently looking for some great silver screen horror.