The 1980 incarnation of the spectacular chiller thriller The Changeling was released on Blu-ray on 20 August this year and it’s lost none of it’s appealing jump-a-minute drama – in fact it’s even more horror-tastic than I remember.
It’s a movie that has been described by King of horror, Stephen King as a film that has scared him personally “A child’s ball bouncing down a flight of stairs was enough to scare the daylights out of me” quotes King, and I have to agree with him. The subtlety of suggestion is one of the film’s many strengths.
The story follows central character, John Russell (George C. Scott) as he starts a new life in the wake of the tragic death of his wife and daughter in a car crash.
To choose the top five scariest moments to get into the Halloween ‘spirit’ is easy! There are five stand out scenes that have me racing for the back of the sofa, so without further ado:
The apparition of a boy in the bath tub – I find it horrific on every level. From the way the scene is shot to the implications, it sets the tone.
The voice of the spirit (Joseph Carmichael) heard over audio during a séance is psychologically disturbing. It’s quite clear and that makes it all the more effective!
When Claire Norman from the historical society is chased down the stairs by a wheelchair, the horror ups its game again, and this is towards the climax of the film too. Given the year of the movie’s production it feels all the scarier in the first incarnation too.
To end a film on the note of a lullaby from a music box, given that the storyline revolves around the murder of a six year old boy, absolutely messes with my mind! It’s actually one of the most chilling scenes of the movie as it’s not entirely overt and extremely suggestive.
For the full review of the film, check this out from my viewing this summer: The Changeling
Purchase your copy of The Changeling here: