When Marie (Jocelin Donahue) receives a letter from a cemetery advising her that her mother’s tombstone has been badly damaged and vandalised, she decides to do the right thing. Travelling to the far off island where her mother was buried, Marie and her partner George (Joe Swanberg) arrive at the same time as a horrible storm. The two are told to go home instead of entering the island but filled with determination, Marie decides to cross the bridge and check her mother’s grave, even if it means she could be stuck or, worse, trapped.
When Marie and George find the graveyard, they confirm the tombstone is badly damaged, but they can’t seem to find anyone who can assist them further. What happens next are several odd and bizarre moments that will push Marie and George to the limits as they now appear to be stuck on the island with a community that is uninterested in helping them. Can Marie and George escape the island and learn the truth about all the strange occurrences?
Offseason is best described as a horror and thriller film. The film includes a basic storyline with vague subplots surrounding Marie’s mother, provided in various flashbacks. The film is slow and relies heavily on moments that feel like dream sequences. Marie walks around various locations, looking stumped and investigating her surroundings. Sometimes these moments are interesting, but they are slow and uninteresting to the viewer for the vast majority. The rest of the film feels extremely hollow and almost empty. Sure, there is a core mystery here, but the mystery was the only thing that truly held me until the finish.
Upon my first watch, I was shocked to find that I still knew very little information about the plot after watching over thirty minutes, and there had been little advancement in the main story. The first thirty minutes are largely filled with characters looking and walking around, and some scenes feel pointless. Any dialogue is fairly offputting, awkward, unfitting and unrealistic. Character choices are generally poor and often silly, with characters often not taking the opportunities offered to them to get help. Reactions from characters do not always match the scene either. An example of this is when Marie can’t seem to find David and sees many strange (and creepy) faces while walking through the mist. Despite this, she remains calm and lacks showing any distress, still only focused on finding how to repair her mother’s grave. If I saw a fistful of ghosts or anything disturbing like what Marie just witnessed, I’m telling you now; I’m running, not calmly going about my business! Painful.
Overall, apart from an interesting yet basic mystery and some fun creative moments visually, Offseason is a massive disappointment as a horror film. With a slow pace and characters just walking around having random moments for the vast majority of the runtime, the film fails to deliver any real impact or excitement. Characters are unlikeable, and the dialogue feels unfitting and far too challenging to accept. Plus, the character choices are poor and exhausting to watch. In the end, I’m saddened to say I found this film unrewarding, unrealistic, painfully dull and forgettable. Offseason (2021) is Available from June 10th on Shudder or via the AMC+ Bundle on Amazon Video or Apple Tv Channels.