Burnt Offerings Film Details
Overview: A family moves into a large old mansion in the countryside which seems to have a mysterious and sinister power over its new residents.
Tagline: Up the ancient stairs, behind the locked door, something lives, something evil, from which no one has ever returned.
Review: This review will contain spoilers… in other words I will expose the ending. But it is needed to show a point. So if you haven’t seen this movie and want to be surprised – move on. But if the ending perplexed you – and it did to some people – I will try to explain because I figured it out and I’m here to help. Now I know that many people consider The Shining as the best haunted house movie. Yeah, I’ll agree that one is spooky. But for pure just-to-creep-you-out styled chills, you can’t beat this one. The movie starts out with a young family renting an old somewhat run-down looking mansion for the summer for the mind-numbingly low amount of $900… for the whole summertime, not just monthly. The owners (a brother sister pair played by Burgess Meredeth and Eileen Eckhardt along with their caretaker played by Dub Taylor) are a little strange but nice. The condition, they must care for their old mother who lives in a upstairs room. So the family – father Oliver Reed, mother Karen Black, their son Lee H. Montgomery (who, despite his mention in The Golden Turkey Awards as one of the most obnoxious child actors ever, comes across as a pretty decent actor) and Reed’s elderly aunt played by Betty Davis (who isn’t – for once – playing some old nutcase, diva, or all around self-centered bitch) moves in. It isn’t long before we find out about the evil surrounding the house. . . every time someone gets hurt, which is often, the house starts looking a little better. Not only that, but that the house is also purposely doing things to put the family in danger. And what about that creepy old women upstairs that we never see? Mmmmmmm! Okay basic plot aside let’s us get to what makes the film scary. It’s the fact that the family is up against an evil force they don’t understand, and it doesn’t stop until everything around it is harmed. That means them. Now the acting. Black is quite good as the wife who becomes infatuated with just who the old woman is (Black begins to look lovingly at a table filled with pictures of the woman’s loved ones outside her bedroom even though she knows none of the people in the photos) and starts taking on the mannerisms of the lady. Reed (an actor who I never really liked because to me he always looked more like he wanted to beat you up than entertain you) is also good as the father who becomes more confused, nervous, and outright scared as things get stranger. Davis is sympathetic as the aunt who realizes that something is wrong with the house when her health starts to go bad with quick alarm and mentions that they need to get the hell outta there. But the best acting goes to Anthony James as The Chauffeur. Kind of like a featured player in the house’s show of evil, this guy will give you the willies with his downright satanic smile and menacing demeanor. He’s the kind of stuff that nightmares are made of and I assure you he WILL make you cringe with horror. Now the ending with the last scene of the movie, showing the pictures on the table, being the one of most chilling in the film. Some people just didn’t get it so I will explain. The house destroyed the family – or more to the point – devoured them, much to the delight and pleasure of the siblings/owners. Their pain was it’s nourishment (in the audio commentary director Dan Curtis says the best horror movies are the ones where everybody’s doomed and nobody makes it out of their dreaded situation alive). After the old woman possessed Black, and the father, the aunt, and the son have all met nightmarish ends, the house springs back to life from it’s former run-down look – as seen in pictures hanging in the hallway all showing that this has happen a number of times before and will happen again. And, for you see, all those many pictures on the table outside of the old woman’s bedroom weren’t pictures of friends, sweethearts, family, and other loved ones. They were pictures (with our doomed family being the latest addition)… of victims. The End. Isn’t fun to be frightened sh*tless? Because you will be after watching Burnt Offerings! This review was written on 10-31-2007…Happy Halloween and Pleasant Nightmares!
Country: USA, Italy
Duration: 116 min
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Also known as: A Mansão Macabra,Ie,Den stängda dörren,Hyreskontrakt med döden,Pesadilla diabólica,Burnt Offerings,Pishkeshha-ye Sookhteh,家（1976）,Ballata macabra,Η βίλα των καταραμένων,I villa ton kataramenon,Сожженные приношения,Suljettu ovi,Férias Macabras,Rémálmok háza,Landhaus der toten Seelen,Trauma,Killhouse,Leiekontrakt med døden,Gazap tohumu,Spalone ofiary,Holocausto