Kids Kill the Darndest Things
Directed by Andrew van den Houten
The horror genre must be doing wonders to Maine’s tourism development. Having spent many a summer on the quaint sandy beaches in small town Maine, never did I once come across a cannibalistic feral child wielding an impressively handcrafted axe nor did I encounter any wild mutts with the sole intention of playing fetch with my intestines. I did, however, see old men, a wicker shop and a life size lobster, which at night time could seem pretty scary. And yet here we have Jack Ketchum’s Offspring (directed by Andrew van den Houten) a traumatically gory look at a nomadic cannibalistic family living in backwoods Maine, feeding off the meat of small town beachcombers, telling me yet another story about how there’s no fucking way I’m ever going back to New England.
It isn’t every day that you get to see a real good gore fest. Let’s not forget that cheap and simple isn’t always a good formula, especially considering how many real bad films get released and then marketed as “gorefests” or “cult sensations”, through in a snazzy cover/poster with some key words on the cover and some poor schlock jock is bound to fall for it. Offspring on the other hand is well worth your dollar. Managing to be both effectively completely gut-wrenching, blood splattering, intestinal spewing good times as well as a highly engaging storyline with strong characters to support its narrative drive. Good performances make their characters untimely deaths all the more frustrating while in the the same time downright satisfying, leaving the viewer both content with continuing the story but apprehensive enough to grab a bucket (“I see where they’re going with this”.) Offspring, along with the 2007 release of Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door (directed by Gregory Wilson) and the underrated Brian Cox driven Red (co-directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Lucky McKee), has created a series of impeccably written, devilishly demented films garnering Ketchum a full own cult following with the unanimous question of what’s next and how fucked up will it be?
Filled to the brim with visceral punishment, including a forced at knife point cannibalistic baby breast feeding scene, as well as intestinal chow-downs, baby tossings, bare-breasted biting and beheadings, Offspring clearly will find an open spot in hearts of gorehounds and anti-Maine enthusiasts.
– Detroit Burns