The Changeling (1980)

THE CHANGELING (1980)
Article 2275 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-14-2007
Posting Date: 11-4-2007
Directed by Peter Medak
Featuring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas

A composer moves into an old mansion that turns out to be haunted by the spirit of a murdered child. He decides to find out the truth about the murder.

I really found myself enjoying this horror/mystery thriller. Though it’s made out of some very familiar material (it’s basically a variation on THE UNINVITED ), it manages the neat trick of being both a good horror movie and interesting mystery without sacrificing either of the genres to the other. I also like the performances, especially George C. Scott’s, who makes the acting choice to not overplay. This gives his character an intelligence that many lead characters in other horror movies lack; for one thing, he refuses to tell all he knows to the police because he knows that the methods he used to get the information will not be taken seriously. The story’s a little slow out of the gate, but it does use the time effectively to build up the suspense; I especially like the moment with the dead key on the piano. The movie was supposedly based on a true haunting of a house in Denver.

 

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