Movie Reviews 99 – The Entity (1982)

The EntityI’m sometimes surprised when I hear about a film that came out so long ago, was successful, still holds up and and has a following, and yet I don’t recall ever hearing about it. This is where my Rue Morgue magazine usually comes through for me by not only pointing out such movies, but making them feature cover articles. In this case it was the July 2012 issue featuring The Entity that clued me in that this was a movie that I should keep my eye out for.

Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey), a single mother of two is terrorized and raped in her own home by an unseen ghost capable of not only moving objects but seeming to have groping ‘hands’ (for lack of a better word) as a human. When seeking medical assistance after the horrific event she is of course assumed to be mentally unstable and is put in the care of a psychiatrist (Ron Silver). Insistent that she did not imagine the event, she is later even attacked while driving through town in her car.

When the psychiatrist continues to insist her problems are all in her head, a chance encounter with  two semi comical Ghostbusters-like paranormal investigators gives her some hope. The two ghostbusters bring in their senior female leader and in scenes reminiscent of ‘Poltergeist’ spend an eerie night witnessing undeniable activity. This ‘research’ is then escalated to a full academic project in which Carla’s house is recreated within the confines of a huge warehouse. The academics not only aim to coerce ‘the entity’ in revealing itself in the controlled environment, but also have a plan to corner it and drop a load of liquid helium to terminate it.

Some of the FX are pretty cool (the ‘hands’ of the ghost) but the film is very uneven. The replicated false house is pretty corny especially since we already know the entity is not attached to Carla’s house in any way having already molested her in other places. They may as well have put her in any confined area for their experiment.

I guess I’m glad I watched it but this is not a ‘must see’ classic or anything like that. Just a decent and somewhat unconventional movie.

 

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