Fear is universal. It doesn’t matter which deity you pray to or what kind of godless life your grandma says you’re living. And yet, there always seems to be a glut of Catholic-based horror when it comes to demons and other supernatural baddies. If you’ve been clamoring for more Jewish horror since Keith Thomas’ spine-chilling The Vigil, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new mpletzat (monster) on the scene in in Oliver Park’s The Offering.
Directed by Park (A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio), from a screenplay by Hank Hoffman, The Offering stars Nick Blood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Art who has returned to his father’s Hasidic funeral parlor to mend a fractured relationship. Unfortunately, for them both, there’s a heckin’ powerful demon trapped in the body of a recently deceased man downstairs and it’s just itching it get out wreak havoc.
“… a classic horror that isn’t relying solely on mood and atmosphere to kick up the creep factor.”
Art turned his back on Judaism (and religion all together) when his father’s faith wasn’t enough to console him after the death of his mother, but Art’s gentile wife Claire (Emily Wiseman) has received the brunt of his father’s anger. Despite their fraught history together, Saul (Allan Corduner) is overjoyed to see them both and wastes no time in apologizing to Claire for shutting them both out of his life.
Unbeknownst to Saul and Claire, Art is in financial trouble and desperately needs his father’s help. He’s done a pretty good job of hiding his ulterior motives from everyone but his father’s assistant Heimish (Paul Kaye) who sees through Art almost immediately. Despite the urgency of Art’s problems, he’s also glad to have his father back in his life and can’t find a good time to come clean about his dire straits. There’s also the matter of that child-eating demon looming over them all. Conversations are hard to start when that pesky oppressive force of evil is weighing down on you.
Just as this estranged family is beginning to mend fences, a mysterious body finds its way onto Saul’s slab, literally hellbent on tearing them all apart. As (un)luck would have it, this mystery man has committed suicide in an effort to imprison an ancient evil responsible for the death of several children in their small community. An ancient evil that has now trained its eye on the unborn child in Claire’s belly. And this demon loves playing games with its new playthings, haunting them in their dreams and even appearing to them in their waking hours as a totally-normal-definitely-not-creepy-or-evil young girl.
Fans of the unrelenting, nightmarish sequences of Satan’s Slavesand TheAutopsy of Jane Doe will especially appreciate the scares of The Offering. In its strongest moments it is absolutely terrifying with edge-of-your-seat dread and scares that would make James Wan jump. The demon itself is a grim portrait of horror and a dastardly refresh on the classic 10-foot goat look. The movie keeps its monster hidden just long enough to make you scared of every dark corner but doesn’t hold back one bit once you’ve seen its true form.
“…edge-of-your-seat dread and scares that would make James Wan jump.”
The scares in The Offering are top-notch, and exactly what you want to see in a demon-infested flick but the characters and performances are what anchor this supernatural chiller. The fear in Emily Wiseman’s eyes is palpable from start-to finish and Paul Kaye (who comedy fans will recognize as D.I. Tanner in the BBC’s Year of The Rabbit) delivers a Gary-Oldman-gone-method performance as the hot-headed Heimish who’s loyalty is matched only by his fearlessness in the face of pure evil.
Despite a few paces missteps here and there that might have you glancing at your phone here and there, The Offering is loaded with airtight scares that’ll have that elevator in your heart hit the basement floor with a petrifying thud. I watched this movie by myself, but its scariest sequences were so well crafted that they also managed to spook my wife in the other room! Look no further if you’ve been hungry for a classic horror that isn’t relying solely on mood and atmosphere to kick up the creep factor. The Offering is a tried-and-true horror with a strong story and more scares than you can shake a possessed corpse at.
“…a tried-and-true horror with a strong story and more scares than you can shake a possessed corpse at.”
Oliver Park’s The Offering hits select theatres and digital platforms January 13. Be sure to let us know what you thought of this supernatural scare factory over over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord.
Despite a few paces missteps here and there that might have you glancing at your phone here and there, The Offering is loaded with airtight scares that'll have that elevator in your heart hit the basement floor with a petrifying thud. Look no further if you've been hungry for a classic horror that isn't relying solely on mood and atmosphere to kick up the creep factor. The Offering is a tried-and-true horror with a strong story and more scares than you can shake a possessed corpse at.
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