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Monday, May 20, 2019

Burnt Offerings (1976)

A young married couple (Oliver Reed, Karen Black) are taken aback when a sprawling country mansion they have rented for the summer is offered to them at only $900 for the entire summer by the brother (Burgess Meredith) and sister (Eileen Heckart) who own the home. The only stipulation is that they care for the mysterious recluse "mother" who lives in the attic apartment. Based on the novel by Robert Marasco and directed by Dan Curtis (DARK SHADOWS). As far as evil house horror movies go, this one is pretty good if not particularly original. We're always one step ahead of the protagonists. Given her work as an actress, I suppose it was too much to ask that Karen Black restrain herself and let herself slowly unravel but she seems "off" right from the beginning of the movie. Which leaves Oliver Reed to act as the audience's surrogate as he slowly realizes something is horribly wrong with the old house. I could have done without the foggy filters which give the film an overly soft focus. Filmed at the beautiful Dunsmuir House in Oakland, California (also the setting for part of the Bond film, A VIEW TO A KILL). With Bette Davis as Reed's Aunt, Lee H. Montgomery and Dub Taylor. 

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