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The Off Season
The Off Season
Actors: Don Wood, Christina Campanella, Angus Scrimm
Director: James Felix McKenney
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG-13     2005     1hr 30min

Rick & his girlfriend make a crucial mistake by checking into room 13 which is possessed by the demonic spirits of murdered guests. With heart-stopping suspense their lives plunge into a downward spiral into hell. Studio:...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Don Wood, Christina Campanella, Angus Scrimm
Director: James Felix McKenney
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/16/2005
Original Release Date: 10/28/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 10/28/2004
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Almost decent... but almost doesn't count...
Detta | TX | 11/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"And neither, really, do good intentions. Regardless of how little money the filmmakers had and how little time to shoot, this is simply not a good movie. Budget and time constraints do not excuse poor plotting, bad acting and generally unimaginative direction.

The story - what there is of it - involves a couple who are renting a motel for an extended stay in Maine. After discovering someone's left quite a mess in the bathroom of the original room they were to stay in, they're moved to a different room. One that has secrets, causes nightmares and mood swings, where the telephone receives calls from VERY long distance. You know, it's haunted.

Underneath all of the poor execution, there's a decent film - maybe even a good one - trying to be made from this concept. Unfortunately it remains buried. The first thing noticeable in the story is the uniformly bad, BAD acting. The only person who turns in even a reasoanble perfomance is our lead actress. Everyone else is way below par, the lead actor especially. You'll also notice a script that isn't complete enough for a feature length film without having some pretty mundane moments extended for several seconds to pad the running time (how long was that one guy planning on giving the old landlady the finger?) which of course ruins the pacing. In fact the development of the story shows evidence of pretty awful timing. Questions about who's haunting the motel and why aren't really even raised until about the last 3rd of the movie, and the answers are then rushed on us as well. Dialogue is fairly tedious and at times outright horrible.

Still, there are a few inspired moments. The first dream sequence was somewhat eerie and had me thinking that this could be a decent film after all. Likewise the first phone call from beyond the grave, which includes a simple but great answer to a question of "What's your problem?"

All things considered, as I've said before about other low budget horror flicks (i.e., Malevolence) having your heart in the right place doesn't make it okay for your movie to be no good. And nowadays, especially after having seen what could be accomplished with just $7000 in Primer, the "low budget" excuse is wearing pretty thin. This film's not the worst thing I've ever seen, but it hardly qualifies as good."
Waste of a rental
M. Sturgulewski | 10/30/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"don't bother. i had to turn it off about 2/3rds through the movie. bad acting, bad script, bad cinemaphotography, NO effects, NO scares. there's an hour of my life i'll never get back."
Worthwhile Despite Flaws
R. Schultz | Chicago | 08/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This movie has a loveably amateurish quality. The actors lag along some of their lines, trying to maintain momentum through the bad pacing that's imposed on them. The action is riddled with horror movie clichés that echo The Shining or Psycho.

There's the cliché of the movie's premise itself. A young couple takes up residence in a small-town resort motel during the off-season so that the man can have the quiet he needs to work on his play. There's the cliché of the man's assurances that he's progressing with his writing, when in fact something else is going on with him. There's the cliché of the tension over what sort of assault the woman is going to face as she takes a shower.

In spite of these flaws though, I enjoyed the movie and would give it a mild recommendation. It has some genuinely spooky moments. But it's main success lies in its characters. The film is populated by some people with memorable personalities who really talk to each other. This makes it a lot more interesting than most of the slick, strictly action-packed major movie productions.

The elderly, slightly doddering motel owner won me over with her heartfelt regret at having supplied the couple with a stain-prone mattress for their unit. And the eccentric retired rodeo rider in the next unit is equally winning.

Actor Angus Scrimm (could that be his real name?), who plays the retired rodeo rider, brought his own unique contribution to the movie. He wrote the song he sings in nostalgia over his days on the circuit out West. Mr. Scrimm sings a snatch of this song in the movie itself. But we are treated to his full rendition in the DVD's Bonus Materials.

Listen to this last part of the "Making of Off Season" at your own risk. Mr. Scrimm's song is so irresistible, you won't be able to get it out of your head. He came up with a gem - a song that pokes fun at the cowboy mystique at the same time that it expresses a sincere enthusiasm for some of the off-beat pleasures to be found on the open range. There's a twist on "going Brokeback" here. When the singer's Mary is away from him in Tucumcari, he makes do. He kisses him "a prairie dog or two."

Those cute little prairie dogs will haunt you as much as the ghosts that inhabit the off-season motel.
"
Worse than a B movie!
R. Schultz | 01/21/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This movie was a waste of 1 hour and 30 minutes of my life. I can not even tell you how bad it is. It is not even about ghosts really. A couple stay at a hotel, the writer gets drunk, moves to L.A. and leaves his girlfriends, who ends up getting sick and fired from her job. Thats the story. Along with the end where some ghost goes inside the girl. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING OR RENTING THIS MOVIE. YOU WILL TRULY REGRET IT IF YOU RENT THIS."