134 user 83 critic

Burnt Offerings (1976)

A family moves into an old, haunted house that regenerates itself by feeding off of the life forces of its injured occupants.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
David Rolf (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Joseph Riley ...
Ben's Father
Todd Turquand ...
Young Ben
Orin Cannon ...
Jim Myers ...
Dr. Ross


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 | Plot Synopsis


The perfect summer rental for the last vacation you'll ever take. See more »


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?


Bette Davis detested Oliver Reed, refering to him as "that man" and only speaking to him when they shared onscreen dialogue. After filming, she described him as "possibly one of the most loathesome human beings I have ever had the misfortune of meeting". See more »


At the end of the movie, as they are preparing to leave the house, the shadow of a boom mic is clearly visible as the family walks around their car. See more »


Roz Allardyce: The house takes care of itself.
See more »


Referenced in Command Performance (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Atmospheric chiller
20 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

Talky, but unusual and creepy haunted house movie concerns an ordinary family from the city who rent a country estate for the summer--at a suspiciously low price! A bit confusing at first, but whenever something bad happens (like the father cutting his thumb on the champagne bottle) something good immediately takes its place (the kid switching on what was previously a dead light bulb). The house absorbs the good (the sacrificial new family's spirit and energy) while its inhabitants wither away, physically or mentally. Bette Davis' Aunt Elizabeth ages suddenly (with frighteningly effective make-up), and Anthony James as the chauffeur who haunts Oliver Reed's head is a scary, freaky presence. Karen Black is even odder than usual: I'm not certain whether her not-quite-there expression is what was intended for the role of Marion, but she does something very gutsy for an actress, making herself into a gargoyle (only in her final scene does she overdo it). Superior to the source novel by Robert Marasco, "Burnt Offerings" (the title taken from a biblical reference) is a well-directed slice of the macabre. *** from ****

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