Ingalls vs. Waltons
Vivian Sotherland (Melissa Sue Anderson) is a very possessive teenager, something which her sort of boyfriend David (Patrick Cassidy) has come to realise as he can't break away from her. But no one else sees it as she is a popular cheerleader who teachers love and even end up confiding in. The thing is that Vivian is a witch having inherited her gifts from the mother and who uses them to have things her way at school and with David. But then enter Robin Prentiss (Mary Beth McDonough) who is new to school and who is secretly a witch herself, but a good one which leads her in to battle against the much more skilled Vivian.
"The Waltons", Little House on the Prairie" and "Happy Days"; these were all pivotal American shows from my childhood which I still have fond memories of. So when I stumbled across "Midnight Offerings" which featured Melissa Sue Anderson from "Little House on the Prairie", Mary Beth McDonough from "The Waltons" and Marion Ross from "Happy Days" I just had to watch it. Yes it is a made for TV movie and a horror which rarely is a good combination but just the trio of actresses was enough to keep me interested.
Now how to describe "Midnight Offerings". Well whilst I could say it is like "Carrie" doubled up or like "The Craft" slimmed down it is much more simpler than that. On one hand we have Vivian who uses her abilities as a witch to get what she wants and that includes murdering people with her magic and on the other we have good witch Robin who is not as skilled at using her magical talents and in fact doesn't want to but of course does when things kick of with Vivian trying to kill her. So we have some magic going on and Vivian being the stronger witch has skills and tricks such as using a Raven to allow her to see what people are up to else where. Basically there is a certain amount of familiarity to bits of "Midnight Offerings" but it is an entertaining good versus evil set up.
At the heart of this are the actresses and what perfect casting it is as Melissa Sue Anderson with those piercing eyes delivers that determined and manipulative look which makes her ideal as bad girl Vivian. And at the opposite end you have Mary Beth McDonough having a softer, more nice girl next door look which actually makes you conflicted because the bad girl is sexy whilst the good girl looks like you could have a future with her. So okay the acting is not always great but it is entertaining.
You may be wondering where Marion Ross fits in to "Midnight Offerings", well once things start kicking off with David aware that Vivian practices witchcraft he has Robin go and visit Marion's character as she is a spiritual woman who maybe able to help her with her powers.
What this all boils down to is that "Midnight Offerings" is not the best horror movie you will ever watch and it is very clearly a made for TV movie with a lack of big screen polish. But for those who grew up on "The Waltons", Little House on the Prairie" and "Happy Days" the pleasure of "Midnight Offerings" is in the casting of Melissa Sue Anderson, Mary Beth McDonough and Marion Ross.