Monday, October 17, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Burnt Offerings (1976)

Burnt Offerings (1976)
Tonight's is an "attack of opportunity" the movie I wanted to watch was flaking out on me. This is one of those movies that is a candidate for my "Mystery Movie" one I vaguely remember from the late 70s or early 80s. 

This is all I can recall about it: 

  • There is a very memorable scene near the end of the movie where a group of "Satanists" are each placing a blood stain/drop on a woman's forehead prior to her sacrifice. I don't think they made it to the sacrifice.
  • It aired on TV in the late 70s or early 80s. I *believe* it was the movie of the week or something like that for ABC or NBC. It was right around Halloween. I remember this because I didn't want to go out trick or treating, I wanted to watch this movie. This was prior to cable TV as we know it today, so only 13 total channels.
  • There is a scene where our hero and maybe the girl above (or another woman) are going up a spiral staircase. I believe the woman above was at the top (or bottom) of the stairs.

And that is all I have.

I have tried for years to find it, but no luck. I even stumped Reddit

I thought that tonight's movie might be it.  It is a rewatch, but I wanted to try.

Burnt Offerings (1976)

This one has an amazing cast. Robert Reed, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, and Bette Davis. Marian Rolf (Karen Black) and Ben Rolf (Oliver Reed) along with their son Davey (Lee H. Montgomery) and Ben's aunt Elizabeth (Bette Davis), move into an old house to take care of its owner, Mrs. Allardyce, and elder woman who never leaves her room. The rent for this huge house is $900 for the whole summer; a good deal even in 1976. They are given instructions from her children Arnold (Burgess Meredith) and Roz (Eileen Heckart).

The Rolfs spend the first week fixing up the house, which needs a lot of attention. It appears on the surface to be a classic haunted house movie, but there is a really fun twist.  The house is making everyone a little crazy.  Marian becomes obsessed with the house and Mrs. Allardyce in particular, even though we never see her. And she becomes more and more distant from her family. Ben and Davey start noticing all sorts of odd things going on. For example, anytime an accident happens something in the house is repaired. Ben starts seeing a smiling creepy looking hearse driver, the same from his mother's funeral decades ago. 

Then people start to die. First, it is aunt Elizabeth and Marian does not go to the funeral. Ben confronts her on this and discovers she is in the room of Mrs. Allardyce and is now older. Ben is thrown out of the window and lands on the car three stories below. Davey seeing this runs to the house and is killed when the chimney collapses on him.

The Allardyce siblings return to a completely renovated house. We see Mrs. Allardyce, now Marian, in her room and there are pictures of Ben, Davey, and Elizabeth have now been added to the mantle. 

It is a nice creepy story with slow-burn horror. Great for an alternative to the haunted house story. 

Sadly, and I was pretty sure of this, it is not the movie I have been looking for. 

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 25
First Time Views: 19

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022

No comments: