Monday, February 20, 2017

Film Review: Offerings (1989)

Offerings (Review)
United States/1989
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

" really doesn't deviate far from the standard slasher formula."

Ten years after he was pushed into a well, John Radley returns to his old neighborhood to punish his childhood bullies...

Offerings is understandably compared to John Carpenter's Halloween—it is practically a clone, to be blunt. So, there isn't much to say about the plot. John Radley is a mute kid who is bullied by the neighborhood kids—except for Gretchen, who treats him like a friend. John falls into a well due to his bullies and he ends up in a mental hospital. Fast forward ten years and John escapes from the hospital and returns home to kill his bullies. Truth be told, there's not much more to discuss in terms of plot. It's a barebones slasher. It leads to a predictable climax and ending. A few elements of the ending are effective, but it really doesn't deviate far from the standard slasher formula.

Offerings isn't a bad film, though. During most of its runtime, it serves as a cheesy slasher. It has plenty of awkward dialogue that would make most audiences cringe—but it's charming. It eventually loses that vibe during the second half of the film. It still has some quirk and humor, but it's not as prevalent. Still, it is an interesting little movie. The biggest issues come from its lack of suspense and poor pacing. This film is not suspenseful. There wasn't a single scene where I was at the edge of my seat. There are some brutal death scenes, but, even then, it's not enough to really differentiate itself—I've seen much worse. The lack of suspense contributes to what feels like bad pacing. This ~90-minute feature feels like it's two hours long due to its retreading story and lack of tension.

The acting ranges from bad to decent. Like I said, the bad is forgivable because the film has that 'B-movie charm.' It gives the film personality and it's not bad enough to call it the worst in film. The film looked... okay. This is an old movie and it still looks very old. I watched what was supposed to be an HD version of the film, but it resembled something closer to VHS. Honestly, I liked that blurry aesthetic—it brought me back to the good ol' days. The music sounds similar to music from Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was written and directed by Christopher Reynolds. Reynolds' writing is not original in the slightest. It isn't horrible, though. I think it's more unfortunate that Reynolds couldn't create enough suspense and dread to justify the length.

Overall, Offerings is a decent film. It is obviously flawed, but I was entertained. Is it a classic, forgotten slasher? No. You won't be kicking yourself if you miss this one. However, if you enjoy slashers and need to kill 90 minutes, this isn't the worst film to watch.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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