A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Failure to compromise or understand other people's beliefs and values can lead to a breakdown in relations.
Positive Role Models
Saul is a practicing Jew and his more traditionalist values leads to conflict with his son, Art, who holds a more modern stance. For example, Saul did not go to his son's wedding due to him marrying an "infidel." But he opens up and admits that change can be difficult. He hopes to rebuild his relationship with his son and bond with his daughter-in-law, Claire. Although both Saul and Art attempt to understand each other, Art is deceiving his father, as he has an ulterior motive for his visit, to sell his father's property.
The film is set within a practicing Jewish community and traditional Jewish practices are shown. The narrative revolves around an interesting and unique representation of the Jewish community, utilizing old Jewish folklore and demonology.
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Violence & Scariness
The film contains disturbing images. There is a demon, who kills freely and is known for taking children. Characters are murdered and their corpses are shown. Several dead bodies are seen in a morgue. One dead body is shown going into rigor mortis. Several jump scares. A character stabs themself in the heart, before dying a supernatural death. There is a house fire. The film plays on the vulnerability of a heavily pregnant character. A character threatens to punch another.
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Use of "piss." A character calls another a "schmuck."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character is seen smoking a cigarette. The family drink wine with their dinner and alcohol is also consumed at a wake.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Offering is a horror movie that cleverly and uniquely uses Jewish folklore as a means to help tell its supernatural tale. There are plenty of jump scares and disturbing images with a demon terrorizing a family, including expectant parents Art (Nick Blood) and Claire (Emily Wiseman). The demon torments the characters psychologically as well as physically, with the idea being that it survives by taking a life for a life. The violence can be graphic at times. It includes a man stabbing himself and, given the film is set in a funeral home, there are several corpses on display. Though the film falls into some horror cliches, it always feels affectionate in its exploration of Judaism and demonology. The film looks at the differences between traditionalist religious values with a more modernized take, as Art and his estranged, more conservative father, Saul (Allan Corduner), struggle to see eye to eye. But the pair do attempt to reconnect, to understand their respective differences, and move past them. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This low-budget modern horror cleverly uses religious folklore to help craft a narrative, exploring old Jewish demonology. Though while The Offering begins with this unique aspect, eventually it just becomes like so many films in this genre. Big mansions, where spirits with vengeance attack the minds and bodies of those who live within, is already a saturated market, and this film feels too familiar in that regard. Instead it works more triumphantly as a human piece, with an impressive opening act to help set the scene. The complex family dynamics are nuanced and compelling. It's when it ventures into generic horror territory that it falls flat. On that note, the viewer is also too privy to the leading antagonist; the demon. Our minds are always more imaginative and more dark than what can be conjured on-screen. Perhaps leaving a little more to our weird and wonderful imaginations would have been to the movie's benefit.
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