Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Burnt Offerings

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A family decides to rent out a gorgeous house in the middle of the country from a couple of crazy old siblings. They get the rent really cheap, and in turn, they just have to feed the old lady who lives up in the attic. Sounds simple enough. But of course, as soon as they move in, strange things start to take place--the father tries to drown the son, the mom becomes obsessed with the pictures in the house, etc.

Scariness factor: It's very 1970s, and the horror is all very subtle.

Gross-Out Factor: Very low. I think the worst scene is when someone flies out a window.

Complaints: Karen Black. Seriously, for some reason it pains me and disturbs me to stare at her face for more than 2 minutes because her eyes are just WAY too close-set. Case in point:

Truly: it makes me feel dizzy very quickly and then I just want to kick her in the shin. Other than that, I thought the movie was too slow-paced. The first hour or so, nothing really interesting happens. Except maybe the near-drowning. You're just kind of like, um, what am I supposed to be frightened of right now? Oh, and Karen Black. Seriously. Oh, and it seemed like a bit of a rip-off of The Shining (though I just realized that it was made 4 years prior, so I guess it couldn't've been after all)--nonetheless, The Shining is much more well-worth seeing.

High Points: Bette Davis is in it, and she rocks as a bad-ass elderly aunt. She was probably my favorite part of the movie. Other than her, I really thought this movie was kind of boring until about the last 20 minutes or so. The ending is pretty damn creeptastic, though very very 1970s, especially with the freeze-frame moment. The end ALMOST redeemed the rest of it, but seriously: it was really kind of sluggish.

Overall: I could take it or leave it. If you can handle not watching any of a movie except the last 20 minutes, it may be more worth your while.

Grade: C+



At 8:28 PM, Blogger horrorcraver said...

I saw this movie as a kid in the 70s, and it scared the crap from me. I watched it on DVD this week, and it still scared me @ 43 years old!
Karen Black is creepy ( at any time ) - the funeral chauffer is creepy beyond words. Bette Davis turns in a classic performance - as always. Yes it's 70s style, but that's the true magic and horror of it. No computer generated special Fx - nor blood and gore needed. The musical score is haunting - just a good old fashioned Haunted House story. The ending is just plain SCARY. I have to rate it an A+ for the genre and era that it was made.


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