Offering to the Storm
Grisly violence, suicide in overlong sequel.
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Offering to the Storm
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Offering to the Storm is a 2020 Spanish-German subtitled thriller in which a homicide detective looks into grisly murders, infanticide, and how these connect to a death cult. Based on a novel, this is the third movie in the "Baztan Trilogy," and the convoluted storyline isn't always easy to follow if you haven't seen the first two. A man is shown killing his infant in a crib by smothering the baby with a pillow. Characters shown committing suicide by a gun to the mouth, by slitting their throat with a large knife, and by stabbing themselves in the throat with a knife. Photos show a body found dead in a prison hallway, stabbed repeatedly. Character found murdered; pool of blood around their head. Character found murdered after dying from being forced to swallow walnut shells. Characters find the skeletons of dozens of dead infants. Talk of human sacrifice. One of the characters loses an eye and two fingers after trying to use old explosives. Brief nudity -- breast, female buttocks. Regular use of profanity, including "motherf---er" used once, and "f--k" used several times. Whiskey drinking in a bar, wine drinking.
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What's the Story?
In OFFERING TO THE STORM, a man smothers his baby to death with a pillow in the crib, and then later tries to steal the body from the casket before being apprehended. Detective Chief Amaia Salazar (Marta Etura) begins the investigation, and soon, the man, after telling Salazar that he must complete the job, dies in prison, followed by a series of mysterious and gruesome murders. While trying to get to the bottom of this, Salazar continues to postpone, to the chagrin of family, the funeral of her mother, and while her husband and daughter are in America to take care of his ailing father, she also begins an affair with the judge who can be of the most help in allowing her to investigate the numerous infanticides that have happened in the area in recent years. These infant "sacrifices" are believed by some to be the work of an ancient demon known as Inguma, but continued investigation reveals it to be the work of a death cult dating back to the 1970s, whose hippie followers are now wealthy and powerful. As the deaths continue, Salazar must find out once and for all who, or what, is behind these brutal killings.
Is It Any Good?
Even if the viewer has seen the previous two movies in the "Baztan Trilogy," this movie is still an overlong and convoluted story. Offering to the Storm is based on a novel, and while this kind of complexity is likely to work in book form, to try and include that level of detail in a movie results in a two-hour-and-eighteen-minute movie that constantly feels like it should be about 45 minutes shorter, at least. The plot includes, but isn't limited to: hippie cults that turned messianic and deadly as their followers (the ones who weren't killed) grew old and rich and successful, mysticism, a demon called "Inguma," the Church, infanticide, suicide, death by walnuts, the thorny legal issues involved in trying to exhume infant corpses from graves, and why you should never use old explosives under any circumstances. If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is.
It's a textbook case of a movie trying to "kitchen sink" its way through a story, with plenty of gory violence included when the complexity of the story proves tedious. On top of that, somehow the lead character has time to have an affair while her husband and daughter, conveniently enough, must leave the country, and this affair seems altogether pointless and forced. Without the excess, repetition, and at least three of the subplots, Offering to the Storm might have been an enjoyable movie on its own terms, whether or not one had watched the previous two movies in the trilogy or not. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the grisly violence in Offering to the Storm. How did the violence seem necessary for the story, and where did it seem gratuitous?
This movie is based on a novel. What would be the challenges in trying to adapt a novel into a feature-length movie? In terms of storytelling, what can novels do that movies cannot, and vice-versa?
How does this movie compare to other movies (or novels) that center on one detective and their attempts to solve complex cases?
- On DVD or streaming: July 24, 2020
- Cast: Marta Etura, Leonardo Sbargalia, Francesc Orella
- Director: Fernando Gonzalez Molina
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 139 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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