Offspring (Blu-ray / DVD)



Offspring on DVD and Blu-rayReviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Stephen Grey, Art Hindle, Pollyana McIntosh, Tommy Nelson

Directed by Andrew van den Houten

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment


You just can't help but worry about the cinematic future for Jack Ketchum. The man has written some truly phenomenal books, but when it comes time for said films to be translated to the big screen, much like Stephen King, the ball not only gets dropped, but it also rolls away never to be found again. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this latest adaptation, Offspring. Sweet Jesus, what a mess.

For those unfamiliar with the tale, Offspring follows the exploits of a feral family who kill, rape, and eat their victims in whichever order they seem to be in the mood for. Really, except for a few twists and turns this is the story of one family's quest to live through the nightmare of encountering these human beasts.

At its core this flick is sporting lots of everything we horror fans are looking for in a film. There's tons of gore, a helping of nudity, and plenty of sick to go around. So what's the problem? There are just no bones for all this meat to latch onto. The direction is borderline lazy, the script lifeless, and the editing is strikingly amateurish. There are no characters to get behind and no plot to really speak of, and other than a couple of cool gross-out moments, there's absolutely nothing to see here.

Offspring on DVD and Blu-rayEven the feral family themselves never come off as intimidating. Don’t even get me started on the kids with the Caucasian afro wigs. Really, guys? Really? Sorry, but getting chased around by two, three-foot tall kids who look like they were abandoned by Lenny Kravitz in the Ozarks doesn't exactly scream scary.

On the good side of the fence the DVD and the Blu-ray are pretty stacked extras-wise, and it should be noted that both packages are pretty much identical. Yes, the Blu-ray looks and sounds better, but you should expect that by now. Things kick off with a fairly enjoyable commentary track with writer Jack Ketchum, director/producer Andrew van den Houten, and producer/cinematographer William M. Miller. It's a good listen, but something tells me that after watching the film, you won't exactly be inclined to dig into the extras, especially one that entails sitting through this flick ... again.

From there we get your basic making-of along with an amusing featurette detailing the arrest and bailout of one of the film's principal characters. I shit you not. Also included are several webisodes, a photo gallery, a music video by Warbringer, and a printable script. Not too shabby! Too bad the movie, well, sucks.

I never thought I'd ever see the day in which a film featuring a scene that has a Wildman taking a bite out of a chick's vagina and then spitting it back out on her stomach could ever be boring. Yet, this is it. Offspring is as lame as they come. Out of this latest crop of Ghost House Underground tales, this is hands down the biggest stinker.

Sorry, Jack. You truly deserve better than this. Ugh.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with writer Jack Ketchum, director/producer Andrew van den Houten, and producer/cinematographer William M. Miller
  • Progeny: The Birth of Offspring featurette
  • First Stolen's Bailout featurette
  • Webisodes
  • Photo gallery
  • Printable script
  • Music video

    Film:

    2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 1/2 out of 5

    Discuss Offspring in the Dread Central forums!





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    Pestilence's picture

    Probably would have given it a 2.5 myself. As Ketchum wrote the screenplay, the film is incredibly faithful to the book - sometimes to a fault (for example the crazy ex husband running off into the woods whooping like Homer Simpson seems very out of left field). The cannibals themselves are the main problem, though - they just look silly, and it's visually akin to a Lifetime TV Special.


    Submitted by Pestilence on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 10:17am.
    krawlingkhaos's picture

    I haven't read Offspring, but I have read Off Season (PS why did they make the sequel first?) and if Offspring is more of the same, then it sounds like they nailed it. Lots of violence and gore, check. No plot to speak of or characters to really care about, double check. Maybe I just don't get it, but I have trouble imaging that a movie based on this series could turn out any way but what it apparently has.

    Can someone recommend a really good Ketchum book? I really want to understand the love?


    Submitted by krawlingkhaos on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 8:27am.
    Sirand's picture

    Off Season is one of the most intense horror novels ever written. So when I saw the first pics from Offspring, and the cannibals were dressed in community theater costumes and wigs, I was just depressed.

    The same team already ruined The Girl Next Door with their amateurish execution...I can't bear for them to ruin another Ketchum book.


    Submitted by Sirand on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 1:32pm.

    I've never read the Off Season, or Offspring, so I don't know how faithful this movie was to the book. And maybe that is why I enjoyed it. While it's nothing entirely new, I felt what it did do, it did quite well. The home invasion scenes were pretty disturbing to me, and I don't find much at all disturbing in movies these days. While nothing entirely new I enjoyed this, a lot more than I enjoyed The Thaw. It's just my opinion but I think that one is the worst out of the four Ghost House movies that came out this month.


    Submitted by Minion on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 7:46pm.

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