Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gut Munching Fun!!

Offspring 2009
Director: Andrew van den Houten
Writer: Jack Ketchum
Starring Art Hindle, Jessica Butler, Leigh Feldpausch, Stephen Grey, Amy Hargreaves, Erick Kastel, Spencer List, Pollyanna McIntosh, Ahna Tessler, Andrew Elvis Miller and Tommy Nelson

Jack Ketchum is my personal favorite Horror writer, he has usurped Stephen King and Clive Barker as the best horror writer out there. Finally the film world has seen how awesome Ketchum is and has been pumping out many of his books are being adapted and so far there has not been a bad one. Offspring is the latest and the best so far. I was really impressed by this film and it will definitely be making my top 10 of horror films of this year. It was unflinchingly brutal and is a truly faithful adaptation to the book. This is helped by the fact that Ketchum himself wrote the script. The film is short and to the point, but with a story like this any lengthening of the story will just hurt it in the long run. It makes some great twists and turns along the way and you are never sure who will survive and who will die.
The plot basics are this, in the backwoods of Maine David (Miller) and Amy (Hargreaves) Halpern are video game programmers who live a isolated life away from civilization and they have a soon to be divorced friend (Tessler) and her son (Nelson) coming to stay for the weekend. But, unbeknownst to them there is a marauding group of feral cannibals living off the coast and they just attacked and killed a mother, her baby and her babysitter. They soon get their on the Halperns and their newborn and they are soon besieged and are abducted and tortured by the cannibals. While a retired sheriff (Hindle) hunts them down and tries to save the women. It all leads to a big battle at the end and the young boy will have to discover the savage in himself if he is to survive in one piece.
This is a brutally unflinching film. The direction by van den Houten is flawlessly intense. The film is shot beautifully with tense chase and fight scenes sprinkled throughout. The script by Ketchum is the novel brought to accurate life. It was as if the words on the page were just fully realized and brought to life. The characters in the film are fully realized and very three dimensional. I especially liked how the Second Stolen (Feldpausch) is given some very humanistic moments and that at times you think she is going to change. The cast is great, was really nice to see Hindle again, he has not lost his touch from classics like The Octagon and The Brood. Hargraves and Tessler are great as the women who are besieged on all fronts and are able to find the inner strength to fight back. Kastel is great as the conniving soon to be ex husband of Claire's too, you really hate him and want him to die in a big way. McIntosh is really great as the Woman, the leader of the cannibals she is very menacing and brutal, and at the same time eerily sexy. The SFX is great, very bloody and realistic, loved the beheading and the blood drinking from the stump and when they attack Tessler and give new meaning to eating a woman out. This is a high watermark for the horror films that have been released this year and I highly recommend horror aficionados seek this one out.
This one gets 5 out of 5

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