Directed by Oliver Park with a screenplay from Hank Hoffman and Jonathan Yunger, the old-school horror film The Offering (2023) is based on a Jewish folktale of Abyzou – a female demon. As per the folklore of the Near East and Europe, the notorious spirit was blamed for miscarriages and infant mortality.

The evil spirit, known by many names, is widely popular in many cultures and art forms as a shape-shifting spirit thought to be motivated by jealousy due to her infertility. The demon played a critical role as Dybbuk in the 2012 horror film, The Possession, as the one that haunts the film’s protagonist, Emily. Abyzou has also been featured as the primary antagonist in the fantasy series Sleepy Hollow, and Slender Man, besides playing the main villain in the Bulgaria-shot horror thriller, The Offering.

Park’s The Offering (2023) takes us to a dysfunctional family in a Hasidic community where they are trying to resolve trauma and conflicts. Things turn worse when an ancient demon known as a child-stealer follows and entraps them for their selfish deeds.

Family horror drama and unresolved issues with religious context have become a culture to lure the audience to the genre. However, The Offering has very little to offer. The film’s plot is basic, and the director really wanted to go hard on the non-efficient jump scares. The clumsy script is cluttered with many things it wants to say but doesn’t do anything right.

Park also tries too hard to create a dark atmosphere with old-school horror elements, but it doesn’t thrill the viewer in any way. The performance in the film also doesn’t add anything to lift the film’s spirit. The creature representing the evil demon resembles Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Faun but on a low budget.

In the following article, I explain in detail what takes place in the horror movie’s wild narrative swings with an added explanation of the movie’s ending. Spoiler Alert, please read at your discretion.

The Offering (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film begins with the death of Yosille Fishbein, a renowned scholar who turned wild to bring his dead wife back from the other side. However, his hopes started to deteriorate after trying several times and examining and exploring ways to be with his beloved. During one of his trials, an ancient spirit awakens that tricks and manipulates Fishbein leading him to his death.

In the following scene, we are introduced to Art and Claire, who are expecting their first baby. Art or Arthur wants to reconcile with his father; hence the couple decides to visit the old man at his house. Art’s father, Saul, is a religious man and was earlier against the marriage of his son to a woman out of the community. The father and son duo lost all contact until Art decided to patch up the broken ties again. When Saul meets his son’s pregnant wife, Claire, he welcomes her with open arms.

While conversing over dinner with his family, Art receives a phone call and rushes to the other room. We learn that Art is a realtor and has been out of business for two years. He wishes to take a bank loan but intends to use his father’s property as collateral. After all, the reconciliation with his father was an act to get his affairs in order, risking the trust of others.

Right after dinner, Yosille’s body is brought to Saul’s chamber for postmortem by Heimish. Saul asks Art to start working on the body, taking care of the business while he speaks to Heimish, who warns the old man that Art could be back for selfish means.

When Art opens the dead body’s bag, he is shocked to see a dagger pushed into Yosille’s chest. He takes it out and throws it in the basin. Art notices a shiny blue stone amulet on the dead body’s neck while removing Yosille’s clothes. While inspecting it, he mistakenly drops the charm on the floor, breaking it into pieces. Art pushes the broken pieces into a drain as his father enters the room. When the duo starts working on the body, Saul notices the dagger on the sink. He analyzes it and realizes the scriptures engraved on the dagger don’t make it an ordinary one.

He then asks his son to leave the room and starts going through Yosille’s possessions. When Art leaves, Saul hears demonic whispers from the corridors that become unbearably loud. Saul cries out for help, but because of the high-pitched noise, nobody can listen to him.

Despite the strange things happening in the basement, Art goes to sleep, but Claire can sense something odd in their room. She wakes up to look around but finds nothing. After using the washroom, she turns the lights off, but someone turns them on. Claire sees Yosille in the mirror, trying to take her baby out of her body. Soon we see a red blood stain on the bed sheet through the mirror reflection. Claire panics, wakes up from sleep and realizes it was her nightmare.

What did Saul find out about the inscribed dagger?

After going through a strange experience last night, Saul doesn’t waste any more minutes and contacts Chayim, a kabbalist, to inspect the scripture on the dagger. He explains to him that it is God’s name, written but backward, that summons demons and seals them to a body.

Chayim asks if there is any amulet on the body, but Saul tells him no since he didn’t see one. Chayim further explains that if there is no amulet on the body, there is no way a demon can possess it. However, the body must be burned to avoid any danger in the surrounding. Saul requests Chayim if he can bury the body.

On the other hand, Heimish discovers the truth behind Art’s reason for reconnecting with the old man. He informs Saul, who is heartbroken to find his son is a selfish person. Saul asks Claire if she knows anything about her husband’s financial downfall. Art is ashamed and egotistical at the same time, so he decides to leave the house. However, Claire wants him to apologize to his father. When Art visits his father’s room to apologize, he doesn’t find enough courage to talk to him, so he leaves.

At the same time, Saul senses that someone is in his room, and when he looks around, he finds no one. The lights start to flicker, and suddenly Saul is confronted by the demon who takes his soul. The following day, Art finds his father’s assistant in the basement.

When he goes inside, he sees his father dead. Not understanding how things escalated, he starts crying and questions how all this happened. He feels remorse that he couldn’t share his feelings with his father before his death.

The person in charge of the examination points out that Saul’s cause of death was a heart attack, and Heimish blames Art for his father’s death. He hands over the documents of the house signed by Art’s father.

Is Claire’s baby in danger?

During Saul’s funeral, Claire starts to see the spirit of a little girl named Sarah, who comes to her to ask for help. When Claire follows her, she disappears. Soon we learn that Sarah had vanished, and her body was discovered after many days of searching. Nobody knew what happened to her or how did she die. When Claire panics and asks Art to help her, she finds him lost in his world.

After Saul’s death, Art looks after his father’s chamber. He calls men to bury Yosille’s body, but they want him first to report the body to the police. Without the permission of Yosille’s next of kin, they can not do anything with the body. Since his father’s death, Art has distanced himself from Heimish, who could have arranged things for him quickly. He could either find the person in relation to Yosille or get clearance to bury him from the police. Art finds a way to figure things out on his own, so he visits Yosille’s house to find contacts.

When Art enters Yosille’s house, he finds the entire place covered with spiritual books and motifs. He also finds an audio recording describing the demon as a notorious shapeshifter who tricks people into getting things they want. Under the wooden floor, Yosille kept the recordings titled, The Miracle of Sarah Scheindel (the girl who follows Claire for help.) Art also finds a sigil on the floor that he recognizes from his dreams the other night. Art plays one of the recording tapes and finds that Yosille had performed a ritual to bring his wife back from the afterlife. However, he made a pact with Abyzou, but the demon killed him and took Sarah’s life as an offering.

The Offering (2023) Movie Ending Explained (2)

Meanwhile, while Art is away, Claire is greeted by Yossille’s wife, Aida. She demands to see her husband’s body. Claire is confused and calls Art but is unable to get through. Noticing the old woman desperate to see her dead man’s body, Claire takes her to the basement. Claire is shocked to see Yosille’s face when Aida points at the locker where her husband has been kept. She remembers him from her dream where he tried to harm her baby.

Aida recounts Claire’s dream and asks her to burn the amulet lying on the drain. We soon learn that the demon took the form of Aida to burn the charm to release itself from the body it was sealed in. When Claire burns the amulet, Yosille’s body also starts to burn, freeing the demon. Claire tries to run away from it, and the dark powers of Abyzou follow her. Claire tries to hide from the devil, but it finds her.

Art enters the house but finds Sarah waiting for him. She gives him two options – either to sacrifice a child to the demon, or he can lose his wife and unborn child forever. In a dilemma, Art calls Heimish to help him tackle the situation.

The Offering (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

Was Art able to save Claire and her baby in the end?

When Heimish realizes that all this is Abyzou’s work, he calls Chayim. They explain that Yosille had trapped the demon in his body using an amulet. However, both body and the charm have been destroyed, which freed the demonic spirit. They further explain that Abyzou hunts people who agree to feed her little children, and she must be stopped. So Heimish and Chayim decide to stop what Yosille had started. According to the ritual, Abyzou always targets a child who is inside a sigil to feed on it. Using an amulet, Chayim plans to trap the demon while reciting prayers to force it into it.

How do they plan to do it?

Art would need to kill himself to trap the demon inside him. He would need to stand within a sigil created using Yosille’s body ashes. Art would then wear an amulet to let the demon enter his will, eventually killing him. However, things escalate quickly when the devil enters the room and kills Chayim. Art and Heimish were only left to save Claire and her baby.

While Heimish was still finishing the protective circle using the ashes, the demon killed him. Art was now left alone to complete the ritual. As he read the prayer, the demon started to manipulate his mind. The devil also dragged Claire to a room and closed it. Hearing his wife screaming, Art moves from the sigil, making him an easy target for the demon to finish him.

When Art tried to kill himself with the dagger, he could not do so. Suddenly Heimish appears and helps Art push the dagger into his heart. However, Art realizes that Abyzou shape-shifted into Heimish to kill him. Since Art moved out of the sigil and dropped the amulet to save his wife, the demon was able to kill him.

On the other hand, Claire wakes up and finds herself lying under a table. Everything felt like a dream, and it felt to her that nothing had happened. She leaves the room and finds Art alive by the entrance door. The film ends when she runs to him to hug him – but Art turns into Abyzou and kills Claire and her baby, thus feeding on yet another child.

Will there be a sequel to The Offering (2023)?

At the point where the film ends, it seems like the demon is still on the loose and hunting her prey, trying to trap them and cater to her needs. Even though the film has no end credit, the last sequence could lead to another story about how Abyzou continues to prey on little children.

Read More: Top 10 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2023


The Offering (2023) Movie Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Offering (2023) Movie Cast – Nick Blood, Emily Wiseman, Paul Kaye, Allan Corduner
Where to watch The Offering

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