Horror Review: The Entity (1982)

A woman is tormented by an invisible demon.

When it comes to paranormal films we are definitely spoilt for choice, but some are just in a class of their own.

Now whether you believe in this sort of thing or not, there’s no doubting that this sub-genre has given us some amazing films. In my opinion “The Entity” is easily one of the best and I’m not on my own, Director Martin Scorsese included this movie on his ‘Top 11 Scariest Horror Films Of All Time’ list.
As you can see on the poster we have the good old ‘Based On A True Story’, this film is centred on the investigation of Doris Bither in the 70’s. Of-course names and identities have been changed and there is dramatisations and slight alterations of what supposedly happened but it still tries it’s best to stick to it’s source.
Barbara Hershey who plays the lead ‘Carla Moran’ puts in an absolutely amazing performance, actresses Jane Fonda, Jill Clayburgh, Bette Midler and Sally Field were initially sought for the role but for me Barbara was the perfect choice in casting, she keeps the film at a believable level without going over the top.
I have to be honest, I’d never heard of Director Sidney J. Furie before this film but he did such an amazing job that I soon delved into his other works, funnily enough in a recent interviewpublished in ‘Rue Morgue’ magazine, Sidney J. Furie said that he did not consider this movie to be a horror film and I guess he does have a point in some sense but still the Horror genre has claimed this as one of it’s own.
“The Entity” is a highly under-rated film, sure it hasn’t aged that well but the story is still as gripping as it was all those years ago.

If you want to see “The Entity” trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:
The film was made and released about four years after its source novel of the same name by Frank De Felitta was first published in 1978. A frequent dust-jacket blurb for the book read: “Beyond physical reality, beyond ecstasy and pain, to a dark netherworld of psycho-sexual truth”.
For the scenes where the entity disturbs Carla Moran by touching her, the visual effects team designed a hot air stream’s system, pretending fingers that “touch” her body.
The real-life Carla Moran’s teenage son described a particularly vicious attack in which Carla was thrown by the malevolent force and hit her head. He tried to intervene, but he was also thrown, breaking his arm.
Robert MacNaughton auditioned for a role for this film, after being asked because the casting director saw him in an off-Broadway play, in New York.
The paranormal and supernatural events depicted in this movie purportedly first took place in 1974 which was around seven to eight years before this film was made and released.
The picture was originally planned to be released in 1981 but did not debut in theatres until late 1982 with some territories including Australian and its American release in the USA not launching until early 1983. Generally, the picture was released a short time after 1982’s other poltergeist movie Poltergeist (1982).
One of two supernatural horror movies made during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that were adapted from a novel by Frank De Felitta. The other was Audrey Rose (1977).
Composer Charles Bernstein’s score for this film is excerpted in Quentin Tarantinos Inglourious Basterds (2009).
A whole dream sequence where Carla was forced to have incestuous thoughts about her son by the Entity was dropped for the movie by director ‘Sidney J Furie’ because it was to sexually controversial at that time. This was despite the then recently released Bernardo Bertolucci film Luna (1979) which examined a mother-son relationship and also being from the same 20th Century Fox studio.

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