Burnt Offerings (1976)

PG  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  18 October 1976 (USA)
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Ben and Marian Rolf rent a grand old country mansion as a summer getaway for themselves, their twelve year old son Davey, and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth. They feel they can't turn down the rent ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Arnold Allardyce
Roz Allardyce
David Rolf (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Joseph Riley ...
Ben's Father
Todd Turquand ...
Young Ben
Orin Cannon ...
Jim Myers ...
Dr. Ross
Anthony James ...
The Chauffeur


Ben and Marian Rolf rent a grand old country mansion as a summer getaway for themselves, their twelve year old son Davey, and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth. They feel they can't turn down the rent deal offered to them by the house's owners, siblings Roz and Arnold Allardyce, despite some reservations. First amongst those reservations, they are to take care of the house on their own, which Ben feels is too big a job, especially for Marian and the interior housekeeping. In Marian's words, the large size of the house is a "waste". And second and perhaps more important amongst those reservations, the Allardyces' aged mother will be staying in her room at the house, the Rolfs who are to provide a tray of food left outside her room three times a day, which Marian vows to take care of on her own, with no other members of the family to go into that isolated wing of the house so as not to disturb Mrs. Allardyce's peace. Upon their arrival at the house for the first day of their stay, they find a note ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Up the ancient stairs, behind the locked door, something lives, something evil, from which no one has ever returned. [UK] See more »


Horror | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pesadilla diabólica  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In his DVD commentary, director Dan Curtis explains that he dropped an entire 15-minute opening with the family in New York, seeing the ad about the house for rent in the paper and Ben getting a parking ticket, because it was "boring". See more »


When Ben is kissing Marian on the lawn, after they emerge from the pool one night, blue eyeshadow appears & disappears on Marian's face. See more »


Marian Rolf: Alright, you didn't lock it. It locked itself! Now what about the windows?
Aunt Elizabeth: Well, they were open.
Marian Rolf: They were closed when Ben went into that room. Now make sense, Elizabeth!
Aunt Elizabeth: Well, how can I when you keep shouting at me and accusing me of...
Marian Rolf: I'm not accusing you.
Aunt Elizabeth: Where's Ben? Benji will believe me.
Marian Rolf: I believe you, too.
Aunt Elizabeth: No, you don't. It's obvious.
Marian Rolf: We all forget things, Elizabeth. And at your age...
Aunt Elizabeth: I don't forget things! I know what I do.
See more »


Featured in Blood Ties: Lee Montgomery on 'Burnt Offerings' (2015) See more »


A House Reborn/End Title
Written, composed and conducted by Robert Cobert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Understated and scary -- underrated unjustly
10 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

This movie does not play into the pea-soup vomit game started by "The Exorcist." The chills here are subtle, the effect being cumulative over the sum of the movie as the awful truth is revealed too late. People who think "Carnival of Souls" was cheap and corny will also condemn this pic. But the chauffeur in this movie, a truly frightening presence, has a lineage directly to the earlier film.

Low production values do mar the movie, but if you are disposed toward quiet creepy shudders, give "Burnt Offerings" a look.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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