Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Genre: Thriller
Starring: Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Shane West, Donal Logue, Philip Baker Hall, Rachael Leigh Cook, Simon Baker
Director: David Ondaatje
Rating: NC-16 (Some Nudity)
Year Made: 2008




- Deleted & Alternate Scenes - Beyond the Shadows: Behind the Scenes of The Lodger



Languages: English/Thai/Spanish/Portuguese
Subtitles: English/Thai/Chinese/
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




THE LODGER follows a grizzled detective Chandler Manning (Alfred Molina) on the trail of a ruthless killer intent on slaughtering prostitutes along West Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger called Malcolm Slaight (Simon Baker) rents a guesthouse from Joe (Donal Logue) and Ellen Bunting (Hope Davis), a married couple struggling to preserve their fragile union after their plans to start a family have ended in tragedy. Meanwhile, private investigator Manning (Molina), shunned both by his daughter Amanda (Rachael Leigh Cook) and his suicidal wife Margaret (Mel Harris) as a result of his single-minded dedication to police work, teams up with unlikely rookie partner Street Wilkenson (Shane West), only to make a startling discovery.


The Lodger claims to be a mystery/thriller. The real mystery is why acclaimed actors like Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall, Simon Baker and Rebecca Pidgeon would sign up for this embarrassingly bad movie. Then again, the fact that this movie went straight to DVD, despite its A-list cast, should give you a hint of how dreadful it is.

The Lodger refers to a mysterious stranger, Malcolm (Simon Baker), who has rented the backhouse of Joe and Ellen Bunting (Donal Logue and Hope Davis). Repeatedly reminding his landlords that he is to be left alone, Ellen nonetheless develops a liking for Malcolm. His late-night outings however have Ellen suspicious that he may be the serial killer behind a string of murders on West Hollywood.

Meanwhile, two detectives Chandler (Alfred Molina) and Street (Shane West) struggle to find the Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer, pressured by public criticism that they may have caught and executed the wrong person for two similar murders seven years ago and the ever-watchful Feds trying to take over their case. There’s also how Chandler’s wife is in a mental institution and how his daughter blames him for her mother’s breakup and refuses to see him.

You can blame writer/director David Ondaatje for being simply overambitious, trying to
squeeze so much parallel storylines into just 95 minutes of screen time. But that would be a compliment, because most of the time you feel that the director just doesn’t know what his debut feature film wants to be.

On one hand, he attempts an Alfred Hitchcock with the wary landlady and the suspicious lodger. On the other, he tries to build a detective thriller complete with a veteran cop and rookie inspector routine. But Ondaatje seems to have no idea how to put one and one together, so the result is a jarring mess. Indeed, many scenes seem to have been directed on a whim, with no sense of continuity how one is supposed to lead to the next.

And that doesn’t include the countless clichés that will have you rolling your eyes in despair. The hard-nosed cop who flouts the rules, has family problems, and teaches rookie how to get the job done? Check, check and check. Yes, there is not one shred of originality to be found here- right down to its multiple endings that plague many equally dismal whodunits that so strenuously want to prove it has been smarter than its viewer.

Not even the usually reliable group of actors and actresses can save the film. Alfred Molina does his scowling best as Chandler, but even he can’t escape his character’s stereotypes. Ditto for Shane West’s rookie cop Street, or Philip Baker Hall’s intrusive Fed character, or Hope Davis’ is-she-or-is-she-not schizophrenic housewife- they seem all to be made out of the same cardboard material.

So here’s my advice- don’t take this Lodger home. Don’t buy it, don’t rent it. It is a killer, a killing waste of your time. Just leave it out on the shelves. It doesn’t deserve even your attention.


There’s a 20 Minute Behind the Scenes Featurette talking about the inspiration behind the movie, the casting, and the shooting process. If you think the director’s name is familiar, that’s because he’s the nephew of Michael Ondaatje, the author of The English Patient.

Also, there are some Deleted and Alternate Scenes that given how dire the movie already is, you should explore at your own peril.


Picture looks nice and sharp. Though the audio’s presented in Dolby 5.1, it isn’t much of a thrill.



Review by Gabriel Chong


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Quarantine

. April's Fool Day

. Center Stage: Turn It On

. Street Fighter

. The House Bunny

. The Cook

. Step Brothers

. Open Season 2

. Anaconda 3: Offspring

. Hancock

. You Don't Mess With The Zohan

. Prom Night

. Casino Royale

. Redbelt

. Felon

. Tortured

. Penelope

. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

. Away From Her

. The Take

. Saawariya

. Black Book

. The Shepherd

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.