Thursday, October 8, 2009


Jack Ketchum adapts this nasty little movie from his own novel. A tribe of feral children roam the wilderness, raiding homes in the night to murder and cannibalize the inhabitants, and to find a woman to abduct so she can breast feed their baby.

I'll say this for Offspring, it doesn't fuck around. I definitely wasn't expecting to see this many children get shot in the head in a horror movie. The movie is decidedly a mixed bag. Let's be honest here, the premise is kind of stupid. It would probably lend itself better to a fun horror movie rather than the grim, disturbing, outrageously violent final product.

To varying degrees, I've enjoyed all the other Jack Ketchum movies I've seen (Red, The Lost, The Girl Next Door). The different might have been that Ketchum didn't adapt those works himself, I don't get the sense he's much of a screenwriter. The dialogue is often over-written and clunky, the movie is too brief and builds little momentum, the structure is way fucked up. Too many characters are introduced, cutting between 3 or 4 different groups of people, just to have most of them unceremoniously killed off before they do anything. There is one instance in the film where this is effective, where someone I assumed was the main character ends up biting it relatively early. Mostly it's just unsatisfying, for example we spend 10 or 15 minutes with this one guy, establishing that he is an evil, cruel prick with the potential for violence, but this just turns out to be a red herring, he spends the rest of the movie as a victim and eventually dies.

Some of the violence is effective and disturbing, and the film is never boring, but I have to give it the thumbs down. It's simply too absurd to be so grim.

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