Known as the movie where a ghost repeatedly rapes Barbara Hershey, THE ENTITY comes across as a (much) more adult version of POLTERGEIST (1982), which came out the same year. 


Based on “actual events,” Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is a single mom with children from different fathers. She had an abusive childhood and this has made her somewhat damaged as an adult. But she is a strong woman and sure of her sanity which is tested to its limits when an invisible attacker suddenly starts visiting her in her home and sexually assaulting her whenever it’s in the mood. 


Afraid that there might be something psychologically wrong with her, she sees Dr. Phil Schneidermann (Ron Silver). He is 100% convinced that the attacks are all in her head and part of some deep-rooted sexual repression, but as the rapes increase in frequency and violence, she seeks some alternative help from a group of parapsychologists at the local university. 


A word of warning, THE ENTITY is not a film for the sensitive. The sexual assaults are particularly graphic and thanks to some high-quality make-up effects by the late Stan Winston, extremely realistic. 


My big issue with the film though is its pacing. At over 2 hours long it moves slow and the first half gets to be repetitive and tedious. Carla is assaulted over and over again before the plot truly moves forward and it almost boarders on exploitive. 


Also the supporting characters are very one-note and muddy up the pacing as well as create logic issues. 


I understand that there is a remake of THE ENTITY in the works and I can see that there is the foundation of a compelling story here especially if handled like the more recent and above-average supernatural films INSIDIOUS (2011) and THE CONJURING (2013) where science and proper skepticism is applied to the well-trod formula. 


If you like those kind of horror films, you might enjoy THE ENTITY as it tries to be realistic in its approach. But as I said before, this certainly isn’t for everyone.

MAY 21, 2014

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THE ENTITY (1981)