Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Changeling (1980)

Today is the first day of Fall!  I am very happy about this.  For the past two months, it's been over 100° every day.  And I have to be outside a lot.  This morning, it actually got down to 84°, but then the sun came up, but there's still hope!

When it gets cold outside (maybe even all the way to 70° people)  I like to stay in and watch horror movies.  So today's film will be The Changeling.  It showcases my most favorite genre which is haunted house horror movies.  Where even the house itself can be considered a character.

It starts off with a man, John Russell (played by George C. Scott) losing his wife and daughter in a car accident.  He moves across the country to start his life anew.  He wants a house to practice his music, and he is offered a chance to rent a historical mansion.  Of course it is haunted!

 I really enjoyed how everyone is rational in this film.  The ghost isn't trying to murder everyone, and Russell and his friends are genuinely concerned with what is happening and do a lot of research. The lady who rented him the mansion, Claire, helps him with the research.  Claire was played by George C. Scott's wife, Trish van Devere.  They found out a child died so they hold a seance.  But what happens surprises everyone!  The child that was hit by a carriage was just a red herring.  The ghost was actually a small boy that we murdered by his own father.  His father found an orphan to replace him so they could get their inheritance money.  This orphan grew up to be the senator.  

After some more research, they find the child's body, or what's left of it. Russell goes to confront the senator.  How is the senator supposed to take this news? That his father, that loved him very much is a murderer?  And that's not really his father?  And that he's not even himself,  just someone else's replacement? 

When I first saw the title, changeling, I thought of fairy lore.  But the reality is more rational.  The senator is the changeling, a replacement for the murdered child.  The ghost shows the senator a vision of his murder,and he collapses.  The ghost also sets the mansion on fire, but lets Russell and Claire escape unharmed.  Now the ghost is free to leave his prison.  This is the best haunted house movie I have ever seen.  Everything was well thought out, and no one did anything extraordinarily stupid like in most horror films. I will give it a 9/10.

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