Monday, 26 June 2017
The Changeling: 1980
I was scrolling through the television listings yesterday afternoon and chanced upon The Changeling--not to be confused with the 2008 movie of the same name but with different subject matter--and felt compelled to stop and watch it once again. I've seen it about eight times, and I'm sure I'll watch it again.
What's so striking about this movie is its excellent cast, including George C. Scott as the protagonist, and its atmosphere. Very few movies have evoked such a strong theme of loss, sadness, and regret. The sets are stunning, and the panning, wide-angle shooting of scenes in a huge house ironically creates a sense of a world closing in on itself. The sound effects and music are also effectively used to heighten the tension. And what makes it even more credible as a horror/supernatural film is the believability of Scott as the central character. This is not a man easily given to flights of fancy: this is someone looking for rational explanations and ultimately being unable to find them.
As one critic wrote of the film:" [It is] a solidly made, genuinely creepy and effective ghost story of a type the movies rarely attempt and even more rarely get right." (Ken Hanke)
If you haven't had the opportunity to watch this classic of psychological horror, please check it out. It's one of those movies that never seem dated despite the fact that it was made almost 40 years ago.