Ross Hughes goes back to 2009 for a gentle reminder of where The Woman came from
Its heart is firmly in the explortation area….
There is something quite alright about this horror that many will call just another The Hills Have Eyes rip off!
What I liked about this horror and also what is the strongest aspect of the entire film, is that there are moments when the word unexpected will soak into your brain. What is the normal trait of all horrors are totally ignored, one point that emphasis this is that at the beginning we spend an enormous amount of time with one character who we all think must be the hero of the piece. The build up is quite nice, and just when you think that this one human will fight back, we are stunned by the fact that they die so brutally and harshly. It was that on that moment when this horror put me on a path of uncertainly and the unknown, and for that, I can only admire it.
For such uncertainly we do start with certainly, in a title sequence that is becoming a norm for horrors these days. Newspaper cut outs in which you probably have to read, tell the story of a lighthouse family who went missing over 100 years ago in a storm. Never to be found, over the years people, especially children have gone missing never to be seen again, and the myth is that the missing family survived the storm that engulfed the area and lived in the dense forest. Over the years and a lot of inbreeding, they now live us cannibals, and their need for human flesh, results in many innocent people being killed and eaten. They also have a bizarre upbringing rule of stealing children to either have as their own or to kill, for the latter reason the film never quite explains. It is this rule that brings them to the family of the Halbards, who have friends over and a newborn baby.
How it all began for The Woman
After a prolonged start in which the film does not quite build the impending doom, maybe to do with the sub acting that at times gets on your nerves, the film kicks off when we visit the cave in which the humans animals live. We witness a sex scene in which one of these very young looking things gets on one of their relatives who is chained up and called a cow by their language of grunts which thanks to the aid of subtitles we get what they are saying. While she is jumping up and down in what is an uncomfortable scene due to the fact that there are very young children creatures watching the whole show, the leader of this clan is making plans to go the house and do what they do best.
Please forgive me as well, I usually manage to put all the name of the characters in my reviews but its very hard here. With names of Rabbit, First Stolen and Eartheater, it was quite impossible to know who was playing who, the only person I pinpointed was the character of Steven played by Eriick Kastel but I get to the reason for that in a bit!
When the attack happens, its here that the film mightily kicks off. The normal family is having a night in, there is a knock on the door and all of a sudden blood, death, rape, it all happens in what is a relentless horror assault and despite its quite low budget status, it really is a very strong horror set piece, that will delight all gore hounds.
The film does not stop there, those who die are left there and the unlucky ones get dragged back to the cave, and again this where the strong aspect of the film, the unexpectedly again kicks in. Having been stunned at who dies, we then see kids die. Ok not everyone’s cup of tea but there is a reason here, its not added on for shock value like some films do. When you fighting off survival and have these kids dressed in primitive clothes coming to attack you, what would you do, especially when they are holding knives and hatchets. You do anything to survive in those circumstances even though if it means killing young children. Its not done in a gruesome way as well, its what would happen if normal people are confronted with blood thirsty children.
So lets get to Steve. Now this is the clever part of the film. An ex husband of one of the family who get attacked and who is on his way to the house to cause trouble, he really is a disgusting excuse of a human being. When we first meet him, he picks up a female hitchhiker and then sexually assaults her. By the time he gets sucked into all the terror, the film makes you think who is the most brutal human being. These things that only know one way of living and at no fault of their own, or this man, that does things in here that you can can not help but shake your head in disbelief. When the two attitudes clash, it brings a scene of shockness to the lengths at which Steve goes to and its this theme that harks back to the 70’s when this social debate was a strong fore in horror films.
And that is where Offspring belongs, its heart is firmly in the explortation era. Its not shocking has those films, in fact its quite tame, and the movie may struggle to find much of an audience. What I mean by that is the low budget and dubious acting will put many off, and those who are a fans of the modern Wrong Turn may laugh at what is on offer, but there are a few who remember when these kind of films were the rage, will get a lot of kicks from watching and like I said before, the lack of any hero and character base means you will never know who will survive and for that, the unexpected edge is a huge bonus for a film that does what many has done before, and it needs to be watched just to be introduced to the character of The Woman which the role is played brilliantly in both the films by Pollyanna McIntosh, and for a double header……the two films are a brilliant watch.
OVERALL: 70’s horror revisited, this may be a clone to many superior films of this nature, but it delivers when required, and not many horror films make you root for characters who kill little kids……….