Honest Movie Reviews from a Life Long Horror Fan. Each movie is reviewed immediately after viewing.
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The Changeling
★★★★★
Run Time: 107
Released: 1980
Reviewed: 12 Apr 2015
Viewed: 532 ¦  Comments
Category: Reviews, Fantasy, Horror
The Changeling
  

Year: 1980
Directed By: Peter Medak
Starring: , , , , , , , , ,

There are sub-genres in the realm of Horror. We’re all too familiar with the Slasher and Monster variety. Familiar enough, where they don’t really affect me any more. No, the genre that gets my blood flowing, is the Ghost Story – and today, I write about one of the best of the genre.

To hear more, listen to the Monster Club Podcast of this movie.. Click Here!

 

The Changeling (1980)

The Story begins on a mountain road, where John Russell watches, helplessly, as his wife and young daughter are killed in a freak car accident. Still grieving for the loss of his family, John moves to Seattle to pick up his career as a composer and teacher of musical theory at the local college. He moves into a secluded mansion, owned by the Historical Society, which hasn’t been lived in for some time. He’s told the house doesn’t want people.. but, he soon learns that the spirit dwelling within is desperate for his attention.

Loss and despair play vital roles in the overall theme of this story. Though there are some scenes that could have been handled better (See Spoilers below), it still sends chills down my spine as one of the creepiest ghost stories ever filmed. George C Scott (along with all the actors) gave an excellent performance.

Spoilers

  • Honestly, I think the only issue I had with the movie was the tape recording of the seance. The “Electronic Voice Phenomena” was obviously not a child’s voice, but a woman being used for Joseph’s responses.

Trivia

  • The movie is based on events which supposedly took place at Henry Treat Rogers Mansion in Denver, Colorado, whilst writer Russell Hunter was living there during the 1960s. The Chessman Park neighborhood in the movie is a reference to Cheesman Park in Denver, where the original haunting transpired.
  • Director Martin Scorsese included this movie on his Top 11 Scariest Horror Films of all time list.
  • Though predominantly filmed in Canada, the picture was set in Seattle, USA where establishing shots were filmed. These included the Rainier Tower, the SeaTac Airport, the University of Washington’s Red Square, and the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge. Some location filming was shot in New York. Most of the movie was filmed in Vancouver and its environs in British Columbia with Victoria in the same Canadian province also used. Interiors set at the university were shot in Toronto in Canada’s province of Ontario.
  • The house seen in the movie in real life doesn’t and never actually did exist. The film-makers could not find a suitable mansion to use for the film so at a cost of around $200,000, the production had a Victorian gothic mansion facade attached to the front of a much more modern dwelling in a Vancouver street. This construction was used for the filming of all the exteriors of the movie’s Carmichael Mansion. The interiors of the haunted house were an elaborate group of interconnecting sets built inside a film studio in Vancouver.