The Changeling Review
The Changeling is a slow moving nightmare, and if you stick with it, you're going to like the tour de force acting job done by the cast. The movie itself is not one that is filled with a lot of gore, but it offers some rare scary moments, and deals with the human condition a lot more than straight forward scary notions.
Dr. Russell is our main character and after the tragic loss of his family he moves into an old house. The house starts to act out and the doctor is scared for his life, as we start to believe that the this is just another haunting movie. The movie goes into straight forward haunting mode until it is discovered that the ghost that haunts the place was killed in there, and the true horror begins. The movie transitions from a haunting to a real drama as the story unfolds and we discover that a powerful U.S Senator is linked to the slaying of a young child.
Not scary huh? Yeah, I know, it is a bit of a stretch to try and give you a synopsis of this film as it has a real winding road to understand what's going on. The movie is slow moving and the horror elements are really more of a "scary" haunting variety, rather than gore or random slashings.
Here is a trailer for the 1980 Rated R film The Changeling:
Yes, this film is quietly haunting and brooding at times, but it is slow. It's hard to sit through if you're not accustomed to the pacing of the early 80's as this film epitomizes the storytelling of the time period. While the actor's do a great job with every single piece of dialogue spoken, the scenes can take some time to develop into full blown story mode and the haunting sequences rely heavily on sound effects rather than true visual stages. The most haunting of the pictures is definitely that of the wheelchair and the closing moments of the final act. You'll have to see it to find out, but it definitely causes a stir in your mind as you see the closing arguments of the secret revelations that this house has.
I don't recommend The Changeling for everyone. Most people will not enjoy how this one unfolds and at times you really want to just sleep through it. However, if you're brave and you can sit through this one, it does have a twist of horror that is unique to the year that this was made, and who can say that George C. Scott's performance wasn't award worthy? He did a great job with the material, and it might even be rivaled by Christopher Walken's performance in a very loosely similar film The Dead Zone. Check out The Changeling if you want a somewhat serious horror film, not really for the new fans of horror, but definitely a close crossover hit for the genre.