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The Changeling ()

directed by
featuring George C. Scott, Trish VanDevere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh

Peter Medak's The Changeling is among a handful of films, including The Haunting (1963), Ghost Story (1981), and Lady in White (1988), that have successfully recreated the intimate, drawing-room atmosphere of supernatural horror fiction. After his wife and daughter are killed in a snowbound car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) relocates from New York to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to rest and continue writing music, he is referred Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle Historical Preservation Society. Claire shows John a large, sparsely furnished estate in the outlying countryside. He takes the house, appreciating its remoteness and the solitude it might afford, and diverts himself by renovating and settling in. He even starts to compose, putting aside his older work in favor of a new, sentimental piece for the piano. It is not long, however, before he begins having nightmares about the accident that killed his wife and daughter. Possibly because of this trauma, he is open to communications from the house's ghostly occupants. Pursuing a loud, repetitive pounding noise in an upper room, he stumbles on the apparition of a young boy drowning in a tub. Working together with Claire, John discovers frightening parallels between this vision and buried events from the house's past. Horror writer M.R. James once said that his goal as a writer was to make the reader feel "pleasantly uncomfortable." Those looking for a similar experience in movies will appreciate The Changeling as a gem in the horror genre. ~ Anthony Reed, Rovi Hide synopsis

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Reviews of The Changeling

Overall customer rating: 4.000
BobCumbow

Genuinely creepy

by BobCumbow on Aug 18, 2011

Peter Medak's genuinely creepy ghost story is remarkable for an absorbing and evocative premise, realized with intelligent composition, camera movement, and sound design. The film stumbles a little toward the end by shifting its emphasis too much on its almost obligatory 1970s political conspiracy element; but this is one of the great scary movies and deserves another look.

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