Traumafession:: Reader Walt on Burnt Offerings (1976)

Waaaay tooooo long, no talk.

Many moons ago you posted a few confessions from me (Reader Walt – way back in 2008). I’ve been away for a long time, but I haven’t forgotten you guys! Over this time I had a complete trauma happen that finally put a button on a nightmare from when I was a little kid. This was really a “Name That Trauma” for me for years until recently.

I remembered watching a movie when I was REALLY young where a man’s face crashes through a car’s windshield and scares a boy sitting in the car. I know I had nightmares for years because of this. This image was seared into my brain. It wasn’t until a few years ago when my wife wanted to re-watch “Burnt Offerings” with me (of course I married a horror movie fanatic). We get though most of the movie OK until the end when Oliver Reed jumps out the house window and “spoiler” crashes through the car’s windshield with his son in the car.

At this moment, I stood up, moaned and pointed at the screen, much like Donald Sutherland in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” ‘That’s it!” I yelled. “That’s the scene!”

My wife stared at me, unaware of the childhood trauma that was caused by this movie and how this almost cathartic moment has brought both closure and utter dread to me.

After explaining how this was an ever-running scene in my head and how I never quite knew if it was something I made up or an actual movie my parents let me watch when I was 7 years old, she was actually more upset that I hadn’t watched such an iconic movie like “Burnt Offerings” in the last 25 years than the impact it had had on me.

I was just glad I had solved this KinderTrauma mystery.

I’m back to reading your site regularly and want to atone for being away from my favorite Aunt and Uncle for so long. Assume that Our Father’s and Hail Mary’s aren’t going to be enough…

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5 years ago

That was an intense scene ..

Hey !!! What other Cult 70’s horror movie was that mansion in???

Brother Bill
Brother Bill
5 years ago

The house where the movie was filmed is the historic Dunsmuir Mansion in Oakland, CA, which is open to the public and offers tours! Stepping into that house some day is on my bucket list.

5 years ago

The old woman at the end still freaks me out. But I have to agree about BURNT OFFERINGS inspiring THE SHINING. Most of Stephen King’s stuff wasn’t original at all. It was mostly retreaded material he acquired from other sources: E.C. Comics, Twilight Zone episodes, other novels like DRACULA. Even CUJO is just a twist on OLD YELLER if you think about it. In an extension of this argument, I’d say EVENT HORIZON is a futuristic twist on THE SHINING with the climax of Disney’s THE BLACK HOLE thrown in for good measure!