Tarzan’s family meets the New England coast
Based on Jack Ketchum’s novel (he even wrote the screenplay), this horror follows police as they try to stop a nomadic family along the New England coast as they kill and devour parents, and steal their babies.
Sounds interesting – at first – but I couldn’t get by Michael Bevin’s costume design. Granted, I’m not certain if he was following Ketchum’s vision or that of director Andrew van den Houten’s, but this nomadic tribe came straight out of a 1930’s Tarzan flick – with a little Pebbles and Bam Bam thrown in for good measure. Deerskin clothes, beads, skanky hair and moss covered teeth enveloped the feral family – and the women even wore deerskin bikinis! Their look was such a ludicrous distration, I couldn’t wipe away my smirk – even though Barbara Bach might have been proud.
What was beyond comprehension was that this clan had existed for decades, even to the point of developing their own language with better grammar than most English speakers. Furthermore, if they were cannibals on the hunt, why capture adults and keep them alive? This would obviously put the small clan at risk.
Regardless, we watch mothers make a stand to defend themselves and their children. Due to the improbabilities and silly costuming, the suspense was sorely lacking. There were definitely no scares and any thematic elements were lost in laughter. The idea may have worked, but the filmmakers failed to capture tension. Whether you love or hate THE HILLS HAVE EYES, there was something there: A group of people to follow as they struggled to survive against crazed cannibals. At one point in OFFSPRING the camera followed a group of policemen, a family, and a boy. Three different scenes that never allowed the audience to cling onto one desperate character long enough to feel for them. A poor execution of story ruined the day.
Once again, however, Pollyanna McIntosh, rocked her role. We can only hope her playing feral woman days are now behind her (see THE WOMEN). Veteran Art Hindle, as the retired cop with all the knowledge, did a wonderful tongue-in-cheek job. The one star goes to them.
2.5 out of 5 stars