Burnt Offerings

Watch Burnt Offerings

"Up the ancient stairs, behind the locked door, something lives, something evil, from which no one has ever returned."
  • PG
  • 1976
  • 1 hr 56 min
  • 6.4  (13,295)
  • 48

Burnt Offerings is a 1976 horror film directed by Dan Curtis and starring Karen Black, Oliver Reed, and Burgess Meredith. The movie tells the story of the Rolf family who rent a large, sprawling mansion for the summer, only to find out that the property has a dark past. The Rolf family is made up of Ben (Reed) and Marian (Black) Rolf, and their 12-year-old son, Davey (Lee H. Montgomery), as they embark on a summer vacation to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. A real estate agent shows them around the house, and the Rolfs are immediately drawn to its old-world charm and serenity. But as they settle in, strange events begin to happen.

The older Rolf couple seems to change as they are haunted by an unseen force that lurks in the corners of the house. Ben becomes obsessed with keeping the property looking good and fixing any and all defects. Marian slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more isolated in the house.

The caretaker of the house, Arnold Allardyce (Meredith), lives in the house with them, and he seems to know something about the history of the property that he's not telling them. As the summer progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that the house has a sinister personality of its own, and that the Rolf family is not safe from its grasp.

The movie does an excellent job of building suspense and tension. The driving force behind the horror is the feeling of unease and paranoia that the house generates in the characters. The filmmakers have done a great job in making the audience feel that same sense of unease.

The cinematography is also excellent, with many shots capturing the full majestic and Gothic beauty of the mansion. The dark and gloomy scenes are well-lit, enough to show details, but with just the right amount of darkness to make even ordinary moments feel eerie and threatening.

While Black, Reed, and Montgomery are all excellent in their roles, it is Burgess Meredith's portrayal of the strange and mysterious Arnold Allardyce that steals the show. He brings an off-kilter, almost otherworldly quality to the character that adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie.

Overall, Burnt Offerings is a classic horror movie that still holds up well today. It offers a slow-burning, creeper of a tale that goes for the psychological horror angle rather than the blood-and-guts approach that many modern horror movies take. The direction, acting, and production design all come together to create a truly chilling experience.

Burnt Offerings is a 1976 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 56 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 48.

Burnt Offerings
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 56 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (13,295)
  • Metascore