Oliver Reed and Karen Black move into a creepy house in the 70’s chiller Burnt Offerings. We review the upcoming Blu ray release from Arrow video.
Arrow Video continue their tradition of bringing out beloved cult classics and forgotten gems on the Blu ray format. I, for one, had never even heard of Burnt Offerings even though it has some legendary actors featuring amongst the cast like Oliver Reed, Karen Black, Bette Davis and Burgess Meredith, all of which are sadly no longer with us.
Needing a place to stay, Marian (Black) and Ben (Reed), along with their son David, visit an incredibly large house that has been advertised as available for rent. When they meet the two (rather batty) owners – a brother and sister played by Burgess Meredith and Eileen Heckhart – they are told that the rent will be just $900 for the whole summer, it all seems too good to be true.
Soon after they move in, things start to go weird and people act strangely. Marian is obsessed with looking after an old woman in one of the rooms and won’t allow access to anyone else and Ben takes a pool wrestling match with his son too far – nearly drowning David in the process.
Burnt Offerings is a slow-burn horror film and takes a while to get going but, it is effective in building tension. It’s believed to have been an inspiration to Stephen King when he was writing the legendary novel The Shining.
The performances by the cast are all strong and give weight to the characters, though I feel Meredith and Heckhart were sadly underused. Still, it was great to see these brilliant performers on screen together.
As usual, Arrow Video have filled the release with some excellent extras. Bonus features include interviews with screenwriter William F Nolan, actor Lee Montgomery and Anthony James, an animated gallery of promotional material, the theatrical trailer, the always beautiful reversible sleeve and a booklet (first press only).
Overall, Burnt Offerings may be a dated horror film from the seventies, but it has some brilliant actors on screen together, and the Arrow Video presentation makes it another must-buy for genre fans.