Offspring – USA, 2009

‘They’ll lust for your life.’

Offspring is a 2009 American horror feature film co-produced and directed by Andrew van den Houten (director of Headspace; producer of The Ranger; Camera Obscura; All Cheerleaders Die) from a screenplay by Jack Ketchum (XX: ‘The Box’; The Girl Next Door), based on his own book. The Modernciné production stars Kelly Carey, Holter Graham, T.J. Graye, Amy Hargreaves and Art Hindle (also an associate producer).

Both The Woman (2011) and Darlin’ (2019) are sequels to Offspring.

Plot:

A clan of feral inbred savages has plagued the Northeast coastline of America and Canada since 1858. Now, the clan is after an unsuspected family and their innocent baby girl…

Reviews:

“The film looks cheap, the acting quality varies wildly, and there are one too many subplots for a movie that’s less than 80 minutes long, but Offspring delivers the goods as far as gruesomeness and queasy anxiety go. It also conveys Ketchum’s vision of a world where “civilization” is a fragile illusion.” Noel Murray, AV Film

“Some of the cast do fall prey to typical horror movie stupidity, but the script delivers some fresh shocks when some cast members get killed off whom you think will make it to the end. Delivering lots of gore and extreme violence, casual horror fans may find this off putting, or even revolting.” Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

” …there seems to be no thought put into camera angles in some scenes, and in some the focus is a little off. At times, especially during the interaction between the police, I thought I was watching a 1970s grindhouse film. I’m guessing a big chunk of the already low budget went on the gore make up, which is very icky and well done. Watchable, but disappointing.” Martin Unsworth,  The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

Offspring is a brutal, gruesome and sometimes shocking. The death scenes are excellently thought-out… but not well-executed. A huge boo-boo is the fact that film is totally over-lit. With Shamwow! caveman costumes and Halloween-store wigs as cheap as these, the less-seen the better. The cannibalistic crew come off more laughable than laudable…” Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

” …aside from the young son who pretty much uses his head and thinks rationally (and actually saves lives), most of their actions made little sense and frustrated me to the point of yelling at them. If you can look past that though, the rest of the movie is fairly fun.” J.S. Greer, The Horror Club

“The set pieces of Offspring are set up very well and the sets are wonderful to look at. Andrew van den Houten did a very good job at capturing these horrible acts on film, and he didn’t over use the “shaky cam” technique (pay attention film makers). I will state that some of the dialogue is not that great…” Horror News

“Jack Ketchum fans will no doubt embrace Offspring as a surprisingly faithful adaptation of one of the author’s most notorious creations. Gorehounds will be in second heaven, so both should consider this one a must buy. Casual viewers, on the other hand, may not be able to look beyond the gruesome imagery on display here…” Horrorview

” …Offspring successfully mixes light hearted cheesiness with intense scenes of blood and gore. For anyone who missed it, if Offspring sounds like your type of horror I give it my recommendation as a little gem that got overlooked.” Without Your Head

” …features a commune of feral cannibals that are so nihilistic and murderously aggressive, that it is impossible to believe that they would survive for this long amongst civilized society. Not to mention that they are laughably unconvincing in bad wigs, over-the-top acting, grunting communication skills, shaved legs and all.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

” …somehow along the way, it feels like there may have been something lost in translation. The film still manages to deliver major gross outs and it certainly gets the mental wheels turning a little bit…” Jamie Lee, Yell!

Cast and characters:

  • Jessica Butler … Eartheater
  • Kelly Carey … Loreen Kaltsas
  • Holter Graham … Vic Manetti – The Curse (1999); Two Evil Eyes; Maximum Overdrive
  • T.J. Graye … Gloria
  • Stephen Grey … First Stolen
  • Amy Hargreaves … Amy Halbard – Brainscan
  • Art Hindle … George Chandler – The VoidSicilian Vampire; Monster BrawlThe Brood; Black Christmas; et al
  • Erick Kastel … Stephen Carey
  • John Kochaney … Cave Baby (as John Kochahney)
  • Matt Larkin … Cop #1
  • Daniel Lemieux … Cop #2
  • Spencer List … Rabbit
  • Jack Ketchum … Max Joseph (as Dallas Mayr)
  • Pollyanna McIntosh … Woman
  • Scott Mellema … Detective
  • Emma Elizabeth Messing … Baby Melissa (as Emma Messing)
  • Andrew Elvis Miller … David Halbard
  • Will Miller … Biting Baby Double
  • Preston Mulligan … Boy
  • Ed Nelson … Cow (as Edward Nelson)
  • Tommy Nelson … Luke
  • Frank Olsen Frank Olsen … Will Campbell
  • Taylor Piedmonte … Miles Harrison (as Taylor John Piedmonte)
  • Leigh Shannan Feldpausch … Second Stolen (as Leigh Shannan)
  • Ahna Tessler … Claire Carey
  • Andrew van den Houten … Assistant Medical Examiner
  • Jana Veldheer … Hitchhiker Susan
  • Rachel White … Girl
  • Robert Tonino … EMS

Filming locations:

Muskegon, Michigan

Technical credits:

79 minutes (USA) | 100 minutes (European Film Market) | 1.78: 1 | Super 16

Related:

The Woman – USA, 2011

Darlin’ – USA, 2019

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