REVIEW: The Offering

Kelvin Tong’s newest film The Offering (AKA The Faith of Anna Waters) takes us on an eerie and unsettling journey through Singapore to settle the score between good and evil. Reporter Jamie Waters (Elizabeth Rice) has just found out that her sister Anna (Rayann Condy) has died– committed suicide actually– in Singapore; although Jamie is sure that her sister would never even contemplate suicide, a video she recorded performing the finite act proves otherwise . However, her suicide comes with great suspicion and being the proactive  reporter that she is, Jamie takes it upon herself to fly out to Singapore and find some answers.

In Singapore Anna has left behind an ex-husband Sam (Matthew Settle) and her daughter Katie (Adina Herz). Sam uses his familiarity with Singapore to help out Jamie as they team up to get to the bottom of her sister’s so-called suicide. While investigating her sister’s crime scene, Jamie comes across a symbol found on the chair that her sister died on. The symbol is a carved Leviathan Cross– which is basically an upside down double-cross resting on an infinity symbol. If this alchemical symbol is indicative of anything, it is also endearingly known as the Crux Satanus or Satan’s Cross.

Meanwhile, at home, Katie has fallen under prospects of some ghostly figures, who are fluent in morse and anagrams, sending messages and clues to the young girl. But are these forces out to help the young girl or are they merely malevolent forces at play, desperately trying to overtake her? Meanwhile, as Jamie and Sam dig deeper, they find that a spate of suicides have plagued other Singaporeans and the same symbol are found at those crime scenes, as well.

The Offering has some genuine scares and unsettling moments that’ll more often than not surprise while combining it’s dark and excellent cinematography from Wade Muller to evoke a sense of pervading dread. The movie is a blend of the occult and religious overtones– like the story of the tower of Babel– with a modern digital-world twist peppered with elements of ghost stories and possession films.

The film is directed by Singapore based filmmaker Kelvin Tong who’s behind such films as The Maid, Kidnapper, and 7 Letters and has been making movies since the late nineties. Kelvin Tong wrote and directed this film which you can catch in its limited release on May 6 at Arena Cinemas in Hollywood.