RLJE FILMS PRESENTS: OFF SEASON
Written and directed by Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), OFFSEASON stars Jocelin Donahue (Doctor Sleep), Joe Swanberg (The Rental, “Easy”), Richard Brake (3 From Hell, Mandy), Melora Walters (The Pale Door, “Pen15”) and Jeremy Gardner (After Midnight, The Mind’s Eye).
Film Review: By Chris Hammond
OFF SEASON, starts with a conversational flashback between Marie and her mother. Flash-forward to Marie receiving a mysterious letter that her mother’s gravesite has been vandalized. Marie Aldrich (Jocelin Donahue) returns to the isolated offshore island where her late mother was buried. She discovers that the island is closing for the offseason with the bridges raised until Spring, leaving her stranded. To make matters worse there is a giant storm brewing. With some strange interactions between the locals, Marie soon realizes that something is not quite right in this small town. She must unveil the mystery behind her mother’s troubled past to make it out alive.
I knew nothing about this film beforehand. Director/Writer Mickey Keating who also wrote/directs 2015’s POD is back to his roots with the horror/fantasy OFFSEASON. Keating does a more than admirable job of setting up this strange island universe.
The film itself is an 83-minute slow-burn “Lovecraftian” story. The creep factor relies on a good narrative and direction instead of opting for a jump scare motif. Every character is put to good use and Jocelin Donahue as Marie impresses with her acting chops. She is game for everything that the film is serving up.
OFF SEASON is the embodiment of an HP Lovecraft story. If the Lovecraft Universe is your thing then you’ll be more than happy from start to finish.
If this is the first introduction to this Universe, viewers may feel the slower pace is negative. Pacing aside the island town feels real to life and the film’s atmosphere is dark, rainy and dreary.
Richard Brake is dynamic when onscreen, My one gripe is they didn’t find a way to utilize him more. Jeremy Gardner as “The Fisherman” helps to move the story along while drawing viewers in with his character.
OFF SEASON’s only real negative is that the final payoff could have been longer or handled better. The mysteries can appear throughout the film, instead of in the final act. This might make it more appealing to a broader audience
OFF SEASON is a worthy slow-burn film that checks most boxes when it comes to a horror/thriller film. The acting by everyone involved is quite believable. The Lovecraft lore is a major plus. The film is quite scary by using its content and not jump scares throughout.
Review of the Blu Ray Disc
|OFFSEASON DVD Genre: Horror Rating: Not Rated Language: English Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Format: Color Year: 2021 SRP: $27.97 # of Discs: 1 Length: 83 minutes UPC: 014381144628 Cat#: SDT14462DVD Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 Audio Format: Dolby Digital 5.1||OFFSEASON BLU-RAY Genre: Horror Rating: Not Rated Language: English Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish Format: Color Year: 2021 SRP: $28.96 # of Discs: 1 Length: 83 minutes UPC: 014381144642 Cat#: SDT14464BD Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 Audio Format: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
The transfer on this pristine. English, SDH, and French subtitles are included. There are no extras to speak of and the main menu screen is very basic. The film’s aspect ratio is 2.39:1 and has an audio format of DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. The Blu-Ray disc also comes with a slipcover over the actual case. This is a no-frills release and with a price point of over $25 dollars, it’s a hard sell. The film is more than worth the price, but it’s the replay value that one has to ask themselves “Is it worth the price”. Overall, the Blu-Ray release is great, but a few extras would go a long way to saying this is a must-have.
OFF SEASON is Available on DVD & Blu-ray on June 14th