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 horror magazines, I’d seen horror fan Martin Scorsese speak positively about the film as well, but regarding premise or what kind of film it was, I was in the dark. Now I know The Entity is a paranormal thriller based on the real-life experiences of a 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 involves shaking rooms, droning guitar sounds, blue lightning, and ghost rape. I know that sounds like a wild ride, but it isn’t. This is like the Hall of Presidents of horror movies.

Barbara Hershey stars as Carla Moran, a single mother with three children (one of which seems way too 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 near 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. Director Sidney J. Furie even goes as far as to say the film is not horror, rather a “supernatural suspense thriller”. I say that’s bullshit. The Entity is a horror movie, it’s just a horror movie where nothing happens.

Most of this film is either Barbara Hershey screaming and being attacked by invisible ghosts, Barbara Hersey being consoled, or Ron Silver arguing with stuffy shirted scientists. Everything connecting those scenes is dead space. I understand that they’re trying to tell a “believable” story but film is a visual medium. Give me something to look at, anything! 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.