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The Entity (1982)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
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5.0
 / 10
7 votes
Genres:
Haunted House Film, Horror, Science Fiction
Director:
Sidney J. Furie Sidney J. Furie
Starring:
Barbara Hershey Barbara Hershey
Ron Silver Ron Silver
David Labiosa David Labiosa
George Coe George Coe
Margaret Blye Margaret Blye
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Review by Chad
Added: July 06, 2005
Here we have another "true" haunting film, this time focusing on a poltergeist that repeatedly rapes and torments Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey). Yes, this ghost not only groans and rattles chains, but it also rapes the heroine of the film. Of course, nobody believes Carla's story of a ghostly rapist; her son Billy (David Labiosa) thinks that she was dreaming while her best friend suspects that she's on drugs. Then, as if being raped, slapped, and bitten by this poltergeist wasn't enough, it takes control of her car while she's en route to college and nearly causes her to have an accident. After this event, she goes to Dr. Phil Schneidermann (Ron Silver), a purely-medical doctor that thinks that she has some serious mental issues stemming from a sexually-abusive father. As the attacks escalate in both frequency and intensity, the people around Carla start to believe that she is going completely insane... until a few of them witness it themselves. Even these witnesses aren't enough, however, as Dr. Phil believes this to be a case of mass hysteria and attempts to have Carla committed to a mental hospital. In a desperate attempt for help, Carla turns to a team of paranormal investigators led by Dr. Cooley (Jacqueline Brookes) for help, and so begins the start of the meat of the film.

Ahh yes, the "true" horror film. While the people responsible for the grand majority of films today seem to think that massive amounts of CGI effects or (but preferably and) a remake tag are required in order to have a successful film, the movies of the late seventies / early eighties were damned near required to have a "true story!" or "inspired by real events!" tag attached to them. While I do believe in the paranormal and I haven't read any sort of back-story on this film, I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar that this film wasn't true and wasn't even remotely related to any real events. Just call it a hunch.

Now, that's not to say that the lack of truth makes this a bad film. It certainly has a great first half going for it, and the ghostly attacks made for some great scares. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that we could have had a classic rivaling such films as "The Exorcist" and "Poltergeist" on our hands had one thing been changed... the running time. The movie clocks in at over two hours, and while the first hour or so is great, it really loses its steam after that. Whereas the first hour shows how brutal this ghost is towards Carla and how those around her think that she is losing it, the second half focuses on a group of paranormal investigators who are, well, investigating. After they've investigated, they investigate a bit more. Then people go on to speculate about how crazy Carla is. Finally, we're treated to a ludicrous method of tricking and trapping the poltergeist. Even this ending, as ludicrous as it was, could have worked had it not been stretched out for so long. There was a number of scenes throughout the second half where I was idly twiddling my thumbs, hoping that the ghost would show up and rape Carla again just to break the monotony found in some of these on-screen conversations and events. Basically, think of the deleted scenes section of most DVD's. You know those scenes that usually pop up that were either trimmed or outright removed not as a result of the cast involved or the storyline progression, but simply because they ran for far too long and would have killed the flow of the movie? The Entity has about forty-five minutes worth of those scenes, and they aren't tucked away in a deleted scenes section.

The movie isn't all bad, however. As I mentioned, the first half of the movie is great and features some truly scary scenes. The main strength of the movie, however, is leading lady Barbara Hershey. The lady does a terrific job at acting out the attacks in a realistic way, and even though the ghost is invisible and (outside of the storyline) she's only struggling against herself, she does a damned good job at making the attacks look authentic. You really feel like there is someone there holding her down and attacking her, and that you would see them if only the camera would pan just a tiny bit to the side. Indeed, Hershey was perfect for this role, and for the most part, the supporting cast turned in some excellent performances as well.

Overall, this was a decent film that could have been great had someone spent a bit more time editing out some unnecessary scenes. Fans of the haunted house / ghostly visitor style of movies would most likely enjoy this one, though you may want to keep the fast-forward button on your remote handy towards the second half. 5/10.
Recommended Movies
The Evil Dead Evil Dead II The Thing Poltergeist Silk Halloween III: Season Of The Witch Amityville II: The Possession The Shining
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