Acting?

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The Offering is another horror film on Prime, and it is another bad movie at that. I think it has been at least a few days since I have complained about the lack of quality horror on Prime, but here we go again.

We follow Jamie (Elizabeth Rice) as she investigates her sister’s death. While all the evidence points to suicide, she soon discovers that there is something more sinister at play and must unravel the mystery. It ends up there is a supernatural twist to this family tragedy, and we are along for the ride.

This one is not another cheap-ass pile of garbage, but it still sucks. The camera work is surprisingly okay for most of it. The angles generally work, and the lighting (albeit too dim) provides a decent amount of atmosphere. The music also works, too. I don’t really know how to describe this, but it is like they got some talented folks behind the camera and forgot to think about who would be in front of it. The acting is simply dreadful. There is really no other way for me to put it, every piece of dialogue is stilted as though it were being read for the first time. There is almost no emotion from the folks when discussing death (or even during an exorcism), and this gives the film a really odd feeling when watching. Seriously, these people are waaayyy too calm about ghosts.

We end up with two stories wrapped in one. The story of Jamie is (probably) the more interesting one. The other involves a group of priests trying to find/reform the Tower of Babel. Why? I’m not entirely sure—the movie makes it clear that this is something that good Christians wouldn’t do, but whatever.

Both sides of the story add a lot of weird shit to the film without any rhyme or reason. What this practically translates to is a lot of empty scenes with only forced connections shoved in later—at best. This seems to be a trend in horror recently. We can’t just have a single note story; nope, got to have as much other stuff as possible. I know a lot of horror junkies aren’t wild about James Wan, but at least he usually knows how to stay on point.

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“Why did you let me eat Taco Bell?”

Honestly, either half of the story could probably be remade into a decent film. They are weaker in their combination. I have seen a lot of horror movies try to add technology into the mix, and I just am not certain it works. Horror works better without so many rules in place, and when you add technology into the mix your have to rationalize a lot of what is happening. This demon is somehow using technology to influence others—fine, I’m with you, but I don’t really care about all the discussions of binary. Adding in rules makes the magic of horror not work as well. Films like It Follows work because you walk away with questions of what exactly It is capable of. If we knew all the limitations and rules surrounding the creature it would have been boring.

The film isn’t scary. The plot is too far up its own butt to really have any investment, and the cheap jump scares are all fairly predictable. Bad acting, dumb plot, annoying kids, and an overall more boring than scary time. Yeah, not worth it. 2/10.

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