The Changeling (1980)

This is the type of underappreciated horror movie that deserves a wider audience. From the opening credits, you know you’re in for something special: A haunted house movie where the ghost is not necessarily malevolent, director Peter Medak’s eerie tale finds as much creepy inspiration from grief and sorrow than it does unexplained sounds in the night and ghostly apparitions. In my opinion the only glaring flaw the movie has is a woefully miscast George C. Scott, who is both too inscrutable and too harsh to play the role of a grieving father. Nevertheless, Medak works around the unfortunate central performance by highlighting its surroundings, in particular the interior of Scott’s house which feels like a character in of itself, not to mention a judiciously used score that contributes to the movie’s oppressive atmosphere. This is not to be missed by horror fans.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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