Available to rent on Amazon Prime!
Directed by Andrew Van Den Houten
Written by Jack Ketchum (based on a book by Jack Ketchum)
Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Jessica Butler, Kelly Carey, Holter Graham, T.J. Graye, Amy Hargreaves, Art Hindle, & Spencer List
When I was a kid, the reason I loved FRIDAY THE 13TH films is because I stumbled upon them by accident. Not knowing it was a series, I watched the first F13 and was shocked to see that another was on cable the next night. After that was shown, I found that a third one was on the next night, and finally Part 4, the rumored FINAL CHAPTER, premiered in theaters that Friday. It was one of those happy accidents that was one of the most memorable times in my childhood (I know, I’m a twisted shit).
After I first saw THE WOMAN, I had no idea it was part of a series of Jack Ketchum books. THE WOMAN is actually a sequel to Jack Ketchum’s earlier novel OFFSPRING and that that book was made into a film. I had no idea this film existed, let alone Pollyanna McIntosh, who gave a star making performance in THE WOMAN, starred in OFFSPRING as well! I told myself I had to seek this film out, pronto Squanto!
Though director Andrew Van Den Houten is no Lucky McKee, he does give us a brutal story of a family of feral people roaming the coast of Maine and killing and eating everything in their wake. Still as beastly as ever, Pollyanna McIntosh hisses and growls out lines in a guttural caveman speak to her family. The actress, though a bit younger, continues to be a force to be reckoned with when the camera focuses on her. The rest of her brood is a bit less effective, especially the Thing One- and Thing Two-looking feral children, though the scrappy wild child who always smiles does resonate a high amount of creep. The brutality in OFFSPRING is definitely there too, just not in the stylized and musically genius way McKee did with THE WOMAN.
Comparing this film to THE WOMAN isn’t really fair. McKee’s THE WOMAN is a modern masterpiece. OFFSPRING is a good film. Though the concept of the wild family striking out against modern family has been done to death with THE HILLS HAVE EYES and WRONG TURN, it definitely is a brutal film, full of terrifying moments that skate the line between horror and taboo. If you’re going to watch both films written by Jack Ketchum back-to-back, definitely watch OFFSPRING first. It’s a great lead in to the greatness that is THE WOMAN.
The first book in the series by Ketchum is “Off Season”. Highly recommended and a quick read. The rumor was they were going to make a film of that if “Offspring” was successful. No idea why they’d do it that way, but that’s what I read way back when. Sadly, Ketchum dies a few years ago.