Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Burnt Offerings (1976)

Fab-u-lous.  I've always had a soft spot for this supernatural thriller starring Karen Black  [Trilogy of Terror, House of 1000 Corpses] and Oliver Reed [The Curse of the Werewolf, Night Creatures] as Marian and Ben Rolf, who rent an old mansion for the summer from a very eccentric family.  Karen Black is at her best in this role as she undergoes the transformation from your average housewife to a woman with a one way ticket on the crazy train.  I love her in this role and Reed is a perfect pairing as her husband.  There are almost no special effect here.  Just great acting.  They also have a son, David, who is pretty much there for window dressing.  It's an unremarkable performance.

In addition to Reed and Rolf, we are treated to the one and only Better Davis [Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?] whom I adore.  She has a small role but she gives it all she's got and every line feels like a gem.  Burgess Meredith [Rocky] and Eileen Heckart [The Bad Seed] also have cameos as Arnold and Roz Allardyce, the eccentric owners of the house.  They are just icing on an already delicious cake.

Director/Producer/Screenwriter Dan Curtis [Dark Shadows, Night Stalker] knows how to make a tense thriller that is character driven.  The script is a smart and interesting take on the haunted house story that echoes Poe's Fall of the House of Usher.  The story unfolds nicely, giving us more tidbits along the way to keep it interesting.  This one may not be considered a classic by some critics but I think it's a wonderful example of 1970's B-movie horror that is not to be missed.

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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