Day Six : The Off Season

Happy Halloween Countdown: Day Six

Imagine that Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining is Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Continuing with that analogy, imagine digging through the fridge a week later looking for leftovers.  You find one last slice of dry white meat and a glob of congealed gravy in a Tupperware container labeled “The Off Season.”  Yeah.  This movie is like the old leftovers of another, better movie.

The Off Season is a Glass Eye Pix production. I confess, I have a soft spot for their films.  They have produced some of the best low budget horror films made in the last decade, including I Sell the Dead, which is one of my favorite movies of all time.   Being well disposed towards them, I’m inclined be more forgiving than I might be in other cases.

The basic premise of the movie is interesting: a struggling writer and his girlfriend rent a room haunted by the unsettled dead.  The problem is in the execution.  The script is plagued with weak dialogue. The story is hideously unbalanced, often forgetting what it’s supposed to be about.   Initially the movie focuses on Rick Holland (Don Wood) until the last 15 minutes or so when it shifts over to his girlfriend Kathryn Bennett (Christina Campanella), who it really the center of the film.  Honesty, even though we spend the lion’s share of the film with Rick, he wasn’t needed.  It would have been easy enough to write him out altogether.

Visually, The Off Season is a dreadful.  It looks like it was shot on cheap video camcorder which only makes the already horrible shot composition look even worse.  Dutch angles, shaky cam, and long static shots all serve to make the movie come off as amateurish.   I should be immersed in the story instead of thinking about how I’d have shot and edited this scene or that.  Mah gawd!

Even with all of its deficiencies such as: a long winded story that gets hopelessly lost in itself, uneven acting, terrible dialogue, cinematography and sound design– The Off Season does manage to have a small handful of scary moments.  I’m just not sure that it’s worth sitting through the whole movie just for that.

Starring:

Don Wood

Christina Campanella

Angus Scrimm

Larry Fessenden

Ruth Kulerman

 

One and a half of five Vincents

 

Director:

James Felix McKenney

 

Screenplay:

James Felix McKenney

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