Matthias Hoene’s 2023 crime thriller Little Bone Lodge can be best described by the phrase that ‘appearances can be deceiving.’ Joely Richardson stars as Mama, the protagonist of the movie, where she’s the protective mother of a teenage girl named Maisy (Sadie Soverall) and the primary caregiver of her disabled husband Pa (Roger Ajogbe). Things were going fine until two brothers, Jack (Neil Linpow) and Matty (Harry Cadby), arrived on a stormy night, seeking immediate help. Soon, everything spins out of control to reveal a dark secret about this wholesome family. Here’s a recap of everything that happens in the 2023 thriller Little Bone Lodge.
Where Does Mama Take Jack?
On a stormy and rainy night, a family of three is celebrating a birthday. The mother and the daughter prepare a cake for the girl’s disabled father, Pa, and they feed it to him. The house is way off in the middle of nowhere, but it looks like the woman, aka Mama, and her daughter make do with whatever they’ve got. Suddenly, there’s a loud banging on the front door as a young man begs them to open the door because his brother is severely injured. After a bit of indecision, the mother opens the door, and they bring in the injured man named Jack, who’s bleeding from the stomach. Mama patches him up and allows the younger brother, Matty, to clean up and sit for dinner.
Later, as Jack joins them at the table, Mama asks them questions about their starting point and destination, but the brothers are sketchy with the answers. While Mama asks her daughter Maisy to clean up the table as she needs to administer an injection to her husband, the two brothers break off into an argument in the bathroom. Jack demands to know what Matty told the family and what happened to the other bag. It’s obvious that the two brothers have something shady going on, but when their fight is brought out in the living room, Mama and her daughter get involved. Jack informs Mama that he needs to go back to where their car crashed so that he can retrieve an immensely valuable bag, and Mama offers to drive him to the spot in her truck. Before leaving, however, she locks Matty inside a room because she won’t let a strange man roam free when her daughter’s around.
What Shocking Thing Does Mama Do?
While driving, Mama tells Mark that she lost her infant son Ollie when a car collided with hers, and things have been tough for her. When they reach the crash site, Mama spots a dead body inside the overturned car, and Mark threatens her with a gun to remain quiet. As he makes a call in a local phone booth, the person on the other end tells Mark that he needs to keep the money ready and that he’s coming to get it. Mark and the woman load the money into the car and head back; while back in the house, Maisy is excited to have someone of her age around for the first time. She unlocks the door that Mama had locked to keep Matty inside, and she leads him to her room, where Maisy has a little radio. There, a news announcement is heard that two men, Jack and Matthew, have committed a robbery, and Matt has escaped a psychiatric institution after killing a nurse.
Maisy starts freaking out, but there’s no time to explain as Mama and Jack come back, and a tense situation is laid bare. To make matters worse, a policeman comes into the house and starts asking questions after Mama hides Jack in one room and Maisy and Matty in the other. Just as the policeman is about to leave, he asks Mama if she’s seen a girl who’s gone missing when Jack springs out, and the two men are locked in a vicious fight that the cop eventually wins by knocking Jack out. The cop sits up, trying to catch his breath, as he looks at Maisy and recognizes her, as Pa weakly whispers to him, “Help.” Before he can make sense of anything else, Mama comes out with a shotgun and shoots the cop dead. She then proceeds to lock up Matty and Jack in the cellar and makes Maisy help her drag the cop’s body to the car to dump him somewhere. In the car, the crazed woman keeps reassuring Maisy that she’s her daughter and no one will ever take her away from her.
What Does Jack Discover About Mama?
Jack regains consciousness, and together with his brother, they break open the handcuffs. Once outside the basement bulkhead, Jack wants to take the money and flee, but his autistic brother Matty wants to stay. Jack lays in on him with immense cruelty, telling him that their mother left because it was impossible to deal with someone as annoying as him. Pushed beyond his emotional capacity, Matty starts screaming and crying, and Jack shoos him into the sheep pen as he goes back inside the house to get their money. Climbing up the hedges, he enters a locked room through the window, and inside, he finds a horrifying sight. A woman drugged beyond her senses has been kept bound to a dentist’s chair, and her fingers and her legs from below her knees have been sliced off.
Based on the woman’s delirious confession and the pictures Jack finds on the walls, he realizes this is none other than the woman who’d been in the car that collided with Mama’s. Pa was this woman’s husband, so Mama drugged him and kept him around in full view of the multiple CCTV cameras around the house for the woman to see. Maisy was actually this woman’s daughter and used to be called Jenny. The woman begs Jack to end this pathetic existence of hers, and he ruefully suffocates her before taking some mementos to show the daughter. Downstairs, Maisy enters the house, and Jack pulls her to a room along with the wheelchair-bound Pa and begins explaining to her that her life has been a lie. Maisy’s real name was Jenny, and the woman who’d murdered a cop was not her mother.
What Happens To Jenny And The Two Brothers?
Meanwhile, Mama had found Matty in the sheep pen and offered some motherly love, which immediately won over the autistic young man. By then, Jack had loaded Jenny in the car with Pa and went back in the house for Matty, only to find him at the top of the stairs moments before Mama shot at Jack. He eventually knocks her out and is about to finish her off when Matty interrupts and starts beating his brother because he was trying to hurt his “Mama.” Ultimately, it’s Jenny who rescues Jack from the house and brings him to the sheep pen as Mama and Matty arrive. Jenny demands to know if what she heard from Jack is true, and when Mama can’t give an answer, she and Jack run outside, but by then, Jack’s boss, McCallister, has arrived. A shootout ensues, and Jack stabs McCallister in the leg while Mama shoots the newest threat dead. However, McCallister’s subordinate Duncan knocks out Mama before Jenny runs him over with his car and flees with Pa. Jack has passed out on the ground from his injuries.
During Little Bone Lodge‘s ending, a policewoman consoles Jenny and promises to apprehend the psychotic woman who’d held her hostage for decades. She also informs her that Pa has regained consciousness and is feeling better. Meanwhile, back at the Little Bone Lodge, Mama is seen feeding Matty with a lot of affection and care, which is being recorded on a CCTV camera. The feed from the kitchen is fed into the locked room, where now, in the dentist’s chair, it’s a bound and drugged Jack, with his legs cut off.
Little Bone Lodge’s Ending Explained
The woman, namely Mama, was an excellent manipulator who had been able to make Jenny believe the lie that she was her daughter all her life. This is why she kept Jenny out of public view because the disappearance of an entire family had made the news. When Jenny realized the truth, she couldn’t stay in the cursed house any longer, but she still had a lot of love for the woman, which is why she killed Duncan before he could shoot Mama. Now, Mama had gone back to her old ways and picked an even easier target, the autistic Matty, who could be roped in with the simple promise of motherly affection. However, it wasn’t just affection for her; she needed to hurt someone in order to love them. This time, it was Jack who had to watch her feed and care for his brother, but she had cut off his legs to ensure he could never escape. To ensure that she won’t be caught anytime soon, Mama had changed locations, and by the time the movie ends, we see her living in a homestead near a lighthouse. The place looks abandoned except the house Mama has moved into, probably using the money that Jack and Duncan had on them. In any case, Mama needs to be put away, and if there’s a sequel, it’ll probably be about taking down the psychotic matriarch of Little Bone Lodge.