Burnt Offerings [1976]

Director: Dan Curtis
Stars: Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee Montgomery
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 116 minutes

Based on the Robert Marasco novel of the same name, Dan Curtis's eerie movie puts a spin on celluloid haunted-house sagas. The well-adjusted Rolf family (father Oliver Reed, mother Karen Black, aunt Bette Davis, and young son Lee H. Montgomery) rent a huge old summer house only to find that its spirit is in control of the estate. The requisite sinister proceedings appear--including a possessed pool and the vision of a sinister hearse driver following Reed--that disrupt the family's unity. Black also falls under the spell of an elderly woman whom she is required to take care of, but no one ever sees. While it may not be as overtly shocking as other ghost tales, Burnt Offerings has a creepiness that gets under your skin thanks to good performances and the dreamy, soft-focus photography. --Bryan Reesman

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