Offseason (2021) Review
Offseason is undoubtedly un film de Mickey Keating, which will either fill you with excitement or dread. Opening with the great Melora Walters (give her more work!) delivering a monologue to camera before erupting into shrieks of terror, the movie seems to be purposely trying to stop us connecting with it. This is a theme in Keating’s stubbornly arthouse work, best exemplified in the execrable Psychopaths, which has more characters than ideas and is physically painful to get through. Thankfully, Offseason presents something of a departure for the enigmatic filmmaker.
That film involved a woman’s trip to a touristy coastal town in search of her missing and presumed dead father, Offseason opens with Marie Aldrich (Jocelin Donahue, All the Creatures Were Stirring, House of the Devil) heading to the touristy island where Ava is buried. It seems her grave was desecrated and her presence is required to remedy it.
As she and George (Joe Swanberg, Lace Crater, The Sacrament) arrive their trip is almost derailed. It seems the drawbridge to the island is raised during the offseason and the Bridge Man (Richard Brake, Mandy, Tremors: Shrieker Island) only relents and lowers it after finding out why she’s there. He also warns them that after tomorrow it’ll be locked until spring.
As a result, Offseason has some great moments, but never really comes together as a whole. Too much time is wasted on atmospheric but repetitive shots of Marie running through dark, deserted streets instead of building up the plot and giving a bit more explanation of what’s going on. I’m not sure if that’s by design or due to budget, but there really needed to be someone, or something, for Marie to interact with as she tries to escape. Instead, it all just sputters out and ends in an entirely predictable place.
Offseason really needed another revision to pull all of its elements together. Based on his past work I know Keating has the talent, and with four years between it and Psychopaths, the time to do it. But he didn’t and the result is a film that’s perfectly watchable but frustrating because of the opportunities it squanders.
RJLE Films will release Offseason In Select Theaters and to Digital and VOD platforms on March 10th. Shudder also turns up in the credits so I would assume it will be available there in due time. You can check RJLE’s Facebook page for more information.