Burnt Offerings

April 25, 2010 8:33 pm 0 comments ,

My favorite horror movie of all time is a haunted house film from this era of filmmaking – The Changeling. And like The Changeling, this film delivers enough unnerving moments to frighten the most cynical of horror fans.

The story is quite unique; in fact I can’t place another film in the haunted house genre that it should be compared to. Where other films are about demons or ghosts, Offerings is about a house that must kill to survive. Intrigued?

Karen Black (The Entity), Oliver Reed (The Curse of the Werewolf), their son and aunt score a deal on a summer rental mansion for an incredibly cheap price. The catch being the family must take care of an old woman who lives upstairs.

What seems like a deal that is too good to be true quickly ends up being just that.

When the film begins the house is rather rundown – but as the house causes harm to the occupants, portions begins to come back to life. A little bloodletting causes minor items to be fixed, while full on deaths revive great portions such as the greenhouse to come alive. Don’t mess with the circle of life.

The film builds steadily as evidenced by the actor’s transformations into loonies. Black slowly becomes obsessed with a certain peculiar room upstairs while Reed tumbles into madness. Both actors are at the top of their game and deliver inspired performances.

I won’t give away the ending in this review but I will say that any shortcomings the film has are made up for and then some by the gruesome and utterly sickening ending. Don’t expect to feel all happy-go-lucky after watching this film.

Burnt Offerings is an atmospheric, slow-burning, unique venture into the house of haunted genre that should not be missed by fans of the genre.

Snore Factor ZZ

IMDB 1976

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