Offseason Movie Review: Holistically Brilliant

A Shudder exclusive, Offseason is the newest film from writer and director Mickey Keating.

Broken into chapters, the film starts when Marie (Jocelin Donahue) receives news that her movie star mother’s grave has been vandalized and Marie must return to the small and isolated island where her mother was raised and eventually buried. But upon arrival, she and her companion George (Joe Swanberg) learn that their time on the island must be short as the bridge man (Richard Brake) is about to raise the bridge and cut off all access to the island until the spring. Looking to get answers from the man who sent the letter, Marie reaches out to the locals to try and find him. But the tight knit community doesn’t make it easy for this outsider or her companion. And Marie soon discovers that her mother’s frightening past is affecting Marie’s present.

Offseason is a holistically brilliant film. It is beautifully framed and shot. The gorgeous muted tones of the production set the mood of the film and help capture the feeling of a seaside town in fall. Keating uses the setting of an off-season tourist area to its creepy fullest as there is something inherently unsettling about places that are normally filled with people being empty and seemingly abandoned. The soundtrack choices are also great and help create feelings of unsettling nostalgia.

The plot is beautiful in its sophisticated simplicity. I came away from my viewing of this film with the same instant desire to re-watch it as I did when I watched the original Night of the Living Dead for the first time. The plot choices Keating makes throughout the film drive the twists and turns, but they make sense and feel organic. He did not feel the need to over explain or over complicate the supernatural elements, which is a mistake many horror writers and directors easily make these days. I know this is a film I will return to many times in the future and I think you will too.

Offseason has a runtime 1 hour, 23 minutes and will be released exclusively on Shudder June 10th and then on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 14th.

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Darcy Staniforth

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