THE POSSESSED (1977)
Article 4126 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jerry Thorpe
Featuring James Farentino, Claudette Nevins, Eugene Roche
What it is: Evil incarnate thriller
A girls’ school is beset with incidents of spontaneous combustion and other strange events. A defrocked priest who underwent a near-death experience comes in to investigate.
There’s some nice ambiance on hand at times in this movie, as well as some effective music, a few striking performances (including one from a pre-STAR WARS Harrison Ford and a weird one by Joan Hackett), and a somewhat offbeat feel. But it’s sometimes trying to be too mysterious for its own good, and the movie often comes across as being annoyingly vague. A torpid pace and too many talky scenes mar the movie as well. It’s a bit of a shame; the movie has a unique vibe, and I wished it worked better than it did. As it is, it comes across as a missed opportunity.