**/**** Image C+ Sound D+ Extras C
starring Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart
screenplay by William F. Nolan and Dan Curtis, based on the novel by Robert Marasco
directed by Dan Curtis
by Walter Chaw Plodding, ugly, moribund, Burnt Offerings is bolstered by a few great campy turns from a game cast that includes Oliver Reed, Karen Black, and Bette Davis in a performance that runs counter to the self-loathing roles of her Baby Jane/Sweet Charlotte days. Finding its way to the DVD format just a couple of weeks before another haunted house flick (Cold Creek Manor) debuts on the big screen, veteran television director Dan Curtis's horror quickie is one of those comfortable relics that doesn't scare so much as mildly chill, offering countless opportunities to shout at the screen without any sort of discernible payoff--until the end, that is, but even that shocker of a conclusion has been telegraphed since at least the midway point of the first act, muffling its surprise.