in Shocktober

The Entity (1982)

This next title resonated with me because “The Entity” is what I call my cat. Aside from that I didn’t know much about The Entity going in. I’d seen it featured in some horror magazines, I’d seen horror fan Martin Scorsese speak positively about it, but regarding premise or even what kind of film it was I was in the dark. Now I know The Entity is a paranormal thriller loosely based on the real-life experiences of some crazy woman in the 70s. I say crazy because ghosts aren’t real, so you can’t really say any movie about ghosts is “Based on a true story”. The paranormal activity in The Entity mostly involves shaking rooms, droning guitar sound FX, blue lightning, and ghost rape. I know that sounds exciting, but in all honestly I found this film far too slow and far too uneventful.

Barbara Hershey stars as Carla Moran, a single mother with three children (one of which seems way to old to be her son) who one night is raped by an unseen force. She tries to forget the event but is then visited again and again, driving her almost to the brink of insanity. She seeks help from a well-bearded psychiatrist Dr. Sneiderman (Ron Silver), which is possibly the most jewish name I’ve ever heard and attempts to overcome these spirits by any means possible. It sounds basic enough, but it’s not half as flashy as you would expect it to be. Director Sidney J. Furie even goes as far to say that the film is not a horror film, rather it’s a “supernatural suspense thriller”. I on the other hand think that’s bullshit. The Entity is a horror movie, it just happens to be a horror movie where nothing happens.

Most of this film is either Barbara Hershey screaming and being raped by invisible ghosts, Barbara Hersey being consoled, or Ron Silver arguing with stuffy shirted scientists. As far as I’m concerned everything connecting those scenes is just dead space. I understand that they’re trying to tell a “believable” story but come on! Ghosts aren’t real! Give me something visually interesting, anything! Just look at Paranormal Activity. It goes for a sense of realism but it’s still entertaining. That’s because it’s a finely tuned balance of unique visuals and good pacing. This movie is two hours of practically nothing. The only real positives here are Hershey’s performance and Ron Silver’s beard. Certainly not terrible, just tiresome.

This picture has like visual metaphors or something.