What a strange film. It ranges from being laughable on quite a few occasions to sometimes (and I do mean sometimes!) being creepy and frequently, it's just downright nasty. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy watching it! As a daft supernatural yarn, it delivers. As a scary film, well...it kinda fails. If you want to see a scary or chilling ghost film then go watch The Changeling instead but if you fancy watching two hours of entertaining hokum, The Entity is certainly worth a spin. I'd certainly rate it higher than Hooper's Poltergeist which came shortly afterwards.
Barbara Hershey plays Carla Moran, a single mother who is repeatably beaten and raped by an unseen force, yep, you guessed it...The Entity. The story is allegedly based on a true incident (let's hope it's more true than The Amityville Horror which has since been confessed as a pack of lies!) but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Barbara Hershey's better than average performance helps to keep you interested as you watch an incredibly unlucky but normal woman break down under the most outrageous ofcircumstances.
The score is a bit odd. The main theme is kind of a blatant Exorcist Tubular Bells rip-off and the normal score heard is respectable...but every time The Entity gets a hard-on, incredibly unsubtle crunching guitars go to work beating out the Psycho 'attack in the shower' musical motif. Not good!! Direction wise, lots of 33 degree or high and low camera angles to be seen in the suspense or supernatural sequences. It sort of works but seems far too cliched and non-effective when you see it being used so darn often. There certainly are impressive moments to note in some scenes such as watching the shadows of leaves dancing on the ceiling and across Hershey's face as we wonder if Mr Entity is feeling horny yet.
Worst moment in entire film? It's got to be the scene where Carla finds her car veering out of control as it speeds down the highway. That's the difference with this poltergeist story, he follows poor ol' Carla everywhere so it's not like you can just pack your bags and escape him. Wait no, I've changed my mind, the worst moment in the entire film is when Carla is raped in front of her three children. Not because it's distasteful, I haven't got a problem with that. It's laughable because when her son tries to save her, he starts shaking around whilst plasma ball type lightning is discharged holding him back. To be fair, that was probably the way that it was documented but it does look incredibly silly.
All I ask from a film is that it entertains and The Entity certainly does that in spades over the course of two hours. It does get rather annoying to have Carla's psychiatrist play the sceptical Scully from X-Files character virtually all of the way through though. You get the impression that Dr Sneiderman still wouldn't believe Carla's story if he got raped by The Entity. It gets much more fun when Carla calls in the ghostbusters from the local university (sadly no Venkman) and they come up with the stupidest planever concieved in their attempt to catch the ghost. All they really had to do was build plasma firing backpacks, not cross the streams, and quickly whip out a containment device and it would have worked.
This region two disc has a 2.35:1 anamorphic print which certainly could be sharper than it is and weirdly, a rather bland 4.1 (?) audio track. It's another meaner than Scrooge disc offering a trailer as an extra and no more so the DVD is only worth picking up at a reduced price. So not that great a dvd for not that great a film, it seems rather fitting somehow. Don't get me wrong, The Entity deserves 3 out of 5 but only just!
If I was reviewing The Entity as a creepy or a scary film, it would be in serious trouble but Sidney Furie's (gotta be a stage name) feature is entertaining stuff, mostly due to Hershey's impressive performance and her lack of modesty in certain unpleasant rape sequences. And it's the only film I've seen where you frequently get to watch an actress get her breasts massaged and kneaded like large lumps of dough by invisible ghost hands. The Entity is a decent enough but not remotely threatening ghost yarn.