So after seeing the video of the guy freaking out at the screening of "The Woman" at Sundance and his six-minute tirade against it at some Sundance dude after getting kicked out, I REALLY WANT TO SEE "THE WOMAN." But that movie seems to have fallen into the strange, gaseous ether of movies that people hated at Sundance, and searching for a nationwide release date for it turns up bupkiss. Instead I turn my attention back to Offspring, the 2009 film version of Jack Ketchum's second novel about feral cannibal people living in the caves of Maine. I say I'm going back to it because I tried to watch it online once many months ago and it pooped out on me halfway through.
The sequel starts off with a grisly murder of three people by the children of the cannibal clan, which sets the local police and one harried ex-cop whose dealt with their damage before off on a mission to find the family and stop them for good. Meanwhile, David and Amy Halbard (a young couple with an infant daughter) and their houseguests Claire and young Luke must fight against the bloodthirsty killers, while also dealing with Claire's psycho soon-to-be ex-husband.
Of the movie-izations of Ketchum's novels that I've seen so far - Red, The Girl Next Door, The Lost, and Offspring - I honestly haven't been that impressed, with the exception of The Girl Next Door. But even that one, though it had great actors in the main roles, fell a little flat in some respects. I just feel like Ketchum's work has not gotten the treatment it deserves by movie standards. Is his work too disturbing? Gore is all over the place in movies nowadays but the underlying subject matter is perhaps what people can't handle about him.
I'm a little - but not totally - put off by the look of the cannibals. With their crazy afro hair and dress that makes them look like aboriginal headhunters or something, it's a bit too on the nose. Why don't they just wear the clothes of the people they kill? How do they even know how to make their fur bikinis and crop tops? Also they speak in their own cave-people language which is funny, but if they were the descendants of lighthouse people or whatever, wouldn't they have known English and passed it on to the rest of the clan? Just sayin'.
The acting choices are interesting. Not a single recognizable face and in fact, if you click on some of their names on IMDb, Offspring is their only credit. That tells you something right there. The portrayals are mediocre, not terrible and not great. The people playing the cannibals are the best thing about the movie (besides the part where Stephen's gets his head half cut off and the main chick starts munching on his brain) is how these guys go all out and really get their cannibal freak on.
See it if you love Jack Ketchum but even then, don't be expecting the greatest depiction of his classic stories of cannibals.
Sidenote: Jack Ketchum is an awesome guy. If you go to his website (www.jackketchum.net) and check out the message board, you can leave a message for Jack himself and, wait for it, HE'LL REPLY BACK TO YOU. I wrote him something about how much I liked The Girl Next Door and he wrote a nice little appreciative message back. Very cool, Jack, very cool indeed. And watch for his cameo in this movie as the EMS guy Max at the first crime scene in the beginning.