The Entity (1981)
Director: Sidney J. Furie
A single mother (Hershey) sees her normal, everyday life crumble when she repeatedly gets attacked and raped by an unseen spirit. She turns to a psychologist for help (Silver) but he thinks it’s all in her head. The rapes continue until she hooks up with a team of parapsychologist who try to help her get rid of the violent poltergeist.
Effective if not somewhat redundant thriller that managed to do something a horror film hasn’t done to me in a long time…scare the shite out of me. What makes this film very effective is that it’s grounded in a reality that we all can relate too. (like Poltergeist or Exorcist). Carla is an ordinary woman, living in an ordinary house, living an ordinary life. The film has many shocking rape scenes (that some reviewer thought exploitive…I didn’t) and they’re not pleasant to witness. The violence is very real and the aggressive score that plays when they happen make the scenes even more visceral. You really feel for Hershey’s character and want her to get out of it so bad.
The movie starts off very strong but it’s impact lessens as the running time goes up, it becomes a bit repetitive. The spirit is eventually shown (he looks like a splat of green paint) and it’s quite a disappointment. The visual effects are weak to say the least and the movie works better when the spirit stays invisible. The whole parapsychologist angle (they come in her house, install camera’s and monitors) is very "Poltergeist" like and I’m sure good old Spielberg got inspired by watching this flick (Poltergeist was released a year after this one)…too similar to be a coincidence. This film is supposedly based on a true story and leaves many questions un answered. We never get to know the spirits identity or why he’s doing what he’s doing. This film is not about answers, it’s about a woman trying to survive a horrifying, unexplainable ordeal. Slap in some very strong performances by Hershey and Silver, an interesting (but a tad over blown) ending, some very tense moments and you get a flawed film that still gets the job done…you will be scared. Don’t shut the lights…
No gore but scenes of brutal violence that made me feel queasy.
Barbara Hershey (Carla) gives a powerful performance. She goes through so many emotions in this film and delivers the goods. Great show. Ron Silver (Phil) reminds us that he wasn’t always a Van Damme villain, he use to be a solid actor and he keeps up with Hershey. Their scenes together are astounding. Raymon Singer (Joe) lends credible support as Hershey’s son…did he go anywhere?
T & A
Hershey shows it all but trust me it’s not "fun" nudity…she’s getting raped for god’s sakes.
Furie knows how to take the viewer by surprise. He uses sound and shadows brilliantly and loves tilted angles.
The pounding electric guitar score that plays during the attack scenes is one of the more effective use of a score since Halloween. Creepy and aggressing.
Entity is a nerve racking film to sit through. The performances make it happen, the effects weaken it and it’s not really a "fun" movie to watch. It accomplishes the basic goals it sets out to do: create credible drama and scare you. I had trouble sleeping after watching this one, view it in the day…
From 1972 to 1974 Barbara Hershey changed her name to Barbara Seagull…weed anyone???