Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Entity, 1982

Check out Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom for this Tuesday’s Overlooked Films, Audio & Video. My contribution is a slightly expanded version of a general post on horror movies I wrote two years ago.

The Entity was one of seven horror movies I watched on VCR in my mid-teens. The others were The Omen and Friday the 13th trilogies, The Evil Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, and An American Werewolf in London. I saw them all in a span of one week between 10 pm and 4 am. I can't think of any other period in my life when I was as scared as I was during that one week. I was glad I saw the horror flicks with many of my family members.

Since then and up to now I must have seen about a dozen horror movies, the last of which was The Amityville Horror (2005) starring Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. I'm looking for an opportunity to see the 1979 version that has James Brolin and Margot Kidder in the lead. It ought to be better.

The Entity's most frightening appeal lies in the absence of an entity, unlike in The Exorcist. There is something eerie about horror films without graphic apparitions in plain sight. The other attraction is the background music, slow and haunting, that makes you feel as if someone or something is about to reach out and touch you.

Directed by Sidney J. Furie (Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, 1987), The Entity was well received in India because of its unusual supernatural theme and, I suspect, on account of a young Barbara Hershey. I remember many of the scenes from the movie, particularly how her character Carla Moran's sexual molestation by an invisible spirit begins and ends. One evening Carla, a single mother, is sitting at the dressing table when she is slapped by a mysterious hand and thrown on the bed and raped by no one. What follows is a period of mental and physical agony as Carla tries to convince people of what is happening to her. The film ends with Carla daring the evil spirit to do what it wants followed by the door shutting itself, suggesting that the phantom rapist finally leaves her alone…maybe.

"All right. All right, bastard. I've finished running. So do what you want. Take your time, buddy. Take your time. Really, I'm thankful for the, uh...rest. I'm so... tired of being scared. So it's all right, it really is, it's all right. You can, uh, do anything you want to me, you can, uh, torture me, kill me, anything. But you can't have me. You cannot touch me."

I've never bought the theory that The Entity was based on a true story.

Do you have any good, or bad, memories of horror movies?

14 comments:

  1. I don't see many horror films but I saw this one and was scared.

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    1. Patti, I was pretty scared too, as I'm with most horror flicks.

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  2. I liked the Brolin version of Amitiyville Horror quite a bit better. I've seen all these movies, though it has certainly been a while.

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    1. Charles, I remember enjoying THE OMEN series of films and quite liked the roles of Gregory Peck and Sam Neill. I, too, saw these films a long time ago though THE EXORCIST is often shown on cable.

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  3. I quite like some of Furie's early movies, especially the classic Michael Caine spy thriller THE IPCRESS FILE but this one I liked a bit less and, like you, took its claims to being based on a true story with large doses of salt (as with AMITYVILLE HORROR in fact).

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    1. Sergio, I have THE IPCRESS FILE by Len Deighton although I haven't been inclined to read it so far. Perhaps, I'll read the book first and then watch its film adaptation.

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  4. The Entity scared the hell out of me when I first watched it. I grew obsessed about wanting to know the true story behind it. I'm not sure if I believe it either. If something like this was indeed credible then where was the evidence?

    I can't watch Amityville Horror. I remember those demon eyes in the window that gave me nightmares.

    I don't do well with movies of possession and demons and such. The Exorcist I can rewatch but there are some scenes I have to put my hand up to cover my eyes like the image of the demon possessed Reagan as it is waiting for the exorcist as he is getting ready to enter the home. And I really hated the subliminal images used all throughout the film. I'd rather watch Poltergeist (first film only). Sorry to ramble.

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    1. Keishon, good observations, and you are not rambling. THE EXORCIST is the one film that I can't watch again, however well made. A couple of years ago, I watched THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE but without much interest or inclination. It was no patch on THE EXORCIST. Now I shun horror films almost entirely though I don't mind horror fiction, which is easier on the eyes if not on the mind.

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    2. I can't turn the TV fast enough whenever I come across THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. In fact, if I sleep with my TV on I make sure it's on CNN or something. One night I woke up and there it was on HBO or one of those channels, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE.

      Like you I should shun all horror films. I remember watching THE THING with Kurt Russell. It doesn't scare me now but it did when I was a tween.

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    3. Keishon, I plan to watch THE THING if I get a chance. Of course, I won't be going out of my way to see it. I'm hoping to catch it on cable. I hardly watch television so I'm not aware of the movies telecast, and nor do I buy movie CDs anymore. Nowadays almost every good film is shown on cable within a couple of months or so.

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  5. I can't watch horror movies, Prashant, I'm chicken. Though as I a kid I did see my fair share and don't seem any the worse for it. Ha. I do remember the movie that turned me off horror even though it was not actually a horror movie as we know today. THE LEOPARD MAN. An innocuous serial killer movie with one scene in which all that is seen is blood seeping under the door. But it's the context of the scene which scared me to death. So much so that I never could see the movie again until very a couple of years ago. That's a long time.

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    1. Yvette, ditto. The older I grow the less inclined I'm to watch horror flicks. I'd never heard of THE LEOPARD MAN before and going by your brief I don't think I want to see it. I don't mind watching films that are more thrillers than horror particularly from the black and white era.

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  6. Don't think I have ever seen this one. My son gets us to watch a few now and again, but I can't recall any that have been that memorable, apart from THE MIST, mainly because of the ending.

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    1. Col, I don't remember seeing THE MIST and will check it out when I get a chance, although I'll have a comedy any day.

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