The Changeling (Widescreen)
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Changeling, The (DVD)
When a recent widower (the wonderfully overemphatic George C. Scott ) moves into an antique Washington mansion, his realization that he may not be the only resident leads him toward a deadly secret that refuses to remain buried....The best haunted-house film since the legendary Haunting, this potent, classy combination of the mystery and horror genres eschews explicit gore and dumb shocks in exchange for a subtle creepiness that occasionally builds to a terrifying peak (watch out for that seance scene!). The result is a satisfyingly intelligent horror film with an intriguing dash of Watergate-era paranoia. Director Peter Medak went on to direct the considerably more gratuitous and somewhat less effective Romeo Is Bleeding and The Krays. --Andrew Wright --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
So expect a lot of that in "The Changeling," a quiet, compelling ghost story that harkens back to old-fashioned chillers. No ghouls, buckets of blood, chainsaws or serial killers. Instead, this movie relies on outstanding acting, and a timeless feeling that permeates the simple story. And it'll scare the skin off you.
John Russell (George C. Scott) is on a trip with his wife and daughter, when a freak car accident kills them both. Months later, the grieving composer moves to Seattle and rents an enormous historical house, trying to bury himself in his new job. But there are odd sounds and sights in his house -- faucets running, eerie voices the piano clashing, and a boy drowned in the tub.
John becomes increasingly desperate to find out the truth, assisted by the real estate agent who got him the house (Trish Van Devere). With seances, visions and a well under the floorboards, he begins to piece together a terrible crime from many years ago -- and the "changeling" that the ghost wants revenge on.
Anyone who wants blood, special effects and lots of screaming had better look elsewhere for their horror kicks. "The Changeling" is a very different kind of movie -- think Shirley Jackson, not Stephen King -- where a wheelchair rattling down the stairs is enough to make your hair stand on end. (And do I detect some influence on "The Ring" in certain scenes?)
This movie also feels elegant and timeless. Old mossy mansions, horseback riding in damp forests, and a composer trying to overcome his grief.Read more ›
The wonderful George C.Scott plays a troubled musician, John Russell whose tragic past has made him crave solitude. He rents a beautiful but remotely located house that is hiding a terrible secret that calls out to him, begging him to help, to unearth a terrible sin committed by its previous owner.
What is causing the hollow banging noise that John hears nearly every night and why does a small wheelchair creak its way across the attic and the glimpse of a child that cannot exist haunt his dreams?
Forced by nightmares and a compulsion that he cannot ignore John starts to dredge up the past but in doing so he is taking on a powerful man, a man whose very childhood is built on lies, lies that he cannot afford to be exposed because if they are, a horrific crime will be exposed and his world of privilege and wealth will come tumbling around his ears.
A truly frightening masterpiece with a haunting musical score and all round good acting from the talented cast which includes Barry Morse and Jean Marsh.
The music, set design, script and acting are all on top form however the cinematography is what makes this film stand out. Nowhere since Rosemary's Baby has a house looked so creepy and yet still remained homely at the same time. What is upstairs in this house is the kind of the place that you would never want to visit with a group, yet Scott goes up there by himself alone. Most other films of this type do silly things like putting people in haunted places when obviously they would run away in two second flat but Scott is a BIG MAN and looks tough. He could probably walk down any alley in the world unscathed. So Scott is free to roam his house and live there on his own. The audience does not disbelieve it for one second and this is why the film manages to transcend many for its type. It is that kind of eye of direction and storytelling that makes Peter Medak's little haunted house tale really shine.
This film has it down-pat in atmosphere and haunting ambiance. It does scare. Just make sure that you turn off the lights and watch this one late for full impact. Watching this one during the day almost had me walking around the house looking behind doors and jumping a mile into the air when frozen icicles broke off the roof and landed on my windowsill.
The premise is good - John Russell (Scott) a music professor and composer, loses his wife and family in a terrible accident.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Scared the hell out of my as a child. A slow yet disturbingly haunting film. George C. Scott at his finest.Published 5 months ago by Richard Elsom
Make no mistake: This is a Supense/Thriller, not a Horror movie. This movie has been in my Top 5 for decades. I got tired of waiting for it to pop up on Netflix, or on TV. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Artaith
Amazing. I love movies from this era. George C. Scott is also worth watching. Creepy vibe.Published 10 months ago by sherrie wilson
Classic 70's thriller, takes very little to envoke fear, still holds up.Published 13 months ago by Lisa
John Russell (George C Scott) , a grieving composer who is trying to piece his life back together after losing his wife and daughter in a horrific car accident, rents a large, turn... Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. Valero
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