The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

"Essential"

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog Review


Hitchcock's third feature established his name. Indeed, he regarded it as his first true accomplishment, setting the tone for the career that followed. It also stands up as an inventive mystery-thriller that's both scary and darkly moving.

As a killer who calls himself the Avenger preys on fair-haired women in London, Mr and Mrs Bunting (Chesney and Ault) begin to fear for their blonde daughter Daisy (June). Thankfully, she's being courted by cocky detective Joe (Keen), who's sure he can protect her and catch the Avenger. Then a shy, strikingly good-looking young man (Novello) rents a room in their home. As Daisy's affections quietly shift from Joe to this new lodger, her parents begin to worry about who he is. And Joe's jealousy makes him suspicious as well.

Based on a novel that set out a theory about Jack the Ripper, the film is a blackly comical exploration of events that would still have been in the communal consciousness. Hitchcock continually injects jarring images and raw emotions that undermine the central mystery, which results in much more heightened suspense as we begin to actually care about these people. And the way he builds a sense of city-wide panic, police incompetence and media hyperbole is eerily timeless.

Even if we're unsure if the lodger is innocent, Novello's sympathetic, haunted performance puts us on his side. And his tender scenes with June are tinged with a sense of impending heartbreak. We also fully understand the parental concern that oozes from Ault's pores as she spies on the lodger. By contrast, Keen's portrayal of Joe's increasing possessiveness and arrogance turn him into the true villain of the piece, even as we understand why he does this.

In other words, this silent film is far more textured and expressive than almost any police thriller in recent memory. And the BFI's restoration is simply gorgeous, refreshing the graphic title cards and re-introducing the original colour-tinting to emphasise Hitchcock's striking visual style. More controversially, Nitin Sawhney's new score includes a couple of vocal ballads that hauntingly echo the mood but feel jarring after the lush instrumentals.

Although this also beings out the film's resonant story and universal themes, which are powerfully relevant 85 years later.



Facts and Figures

Budget: $12 thousand

Production compaines: Carlyle Blackwell Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Carlyle Blackwell

Starring: Marie Ault as alte Frau, Arthur Chesney as ihr Mann, as Daisy, Malcolm Keen as Joe Chandler, as Jonathan Drew, der Mieter

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.