This is one of my all time favorite ghost stories, right up there with "The Innocents," "The Haunting" and "Ringu." George C. Scott plays John, a famous pianist and composer who has lost his wife and young daughter in a freak car accident. Grief stricken and heartbroken, he moves to Washington state and rents a wonderful old Gothic mansion. Surprise surprise! It's haunted.This movie has everything. Dark, spooky stairways draped with dusty cobwebs, a boarded up room with a terrible secret, a shadowy seance scene, ghostly voices and frightening noises that echo <more>
through the huge house, political intrigue and a very solid looking ghost who scares the absolute hell out of anyone he shows himself to. It boasts a well thought out plot with several great twists and a very angry murder victim, who doesn't want to be at peace - he just wants revenge, and boy does he get it. Fans of "Ringu" will enjoy this tale of murder, ghostly revenge and bodies thrown down wells. Just watch it, preferably on a dark and stormy night with all the lights turned off. I dare you.
Does for Ghosts what AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON does for Werewolves!!!!! (by IAN-Cinemaniac)
THE CHANGELING is by far the scariest film I have ever seen. It's not because of scary monsters or gory F/X. This film has very few gory moments or F/X. It scares with great story telling, sounds and dark corners. It's actually quite a sad story as well. The acting is excellent and the director is quite accomplished. I am a huge movie fanatic and HORROR is one of my favorite genres; and I realize there are very few actually good horror movies, so take my word this is great film making. WATCH IT ALONE and you will be very unpleased by how scared you are. This is not a film to watch <more>
with a group. I tried that once and everyone thought it was boring. You need the quiet to pay attention to build the natural tension and fear. Enjoy. They don't make them better than this. This is up there with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON as the best of the horror genre!!!
Most enjoyable edge of the seat spooky (by davedeb2003)
Never seen the late George C Scott in a film like this before,but i think he just about got away with it.Before you watch it make sure you can watch it without interuptions,prefarbly when its dark,that way you'll get more involved.The film is about a ageing music composer who,after a car accident in which is family are killed,buys a mansion,all is well to start with but soon there is loud banging at night and soon we see a medium being called in to find the ghost of a young boy called Joseph who was murdered in the house 70 years ago,Mr. Scott then trundles through the film trying to find <more>
the reason he was killed and by who.A totally enjoyable super natural movie that as a few twists and turns,a few scenes will make the hair on your arms stand up,having said all this the ending was a little predictable.
"The Changeling" tells the story of a composer George C. Scott who, as the film opens, loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. Getting away from it all, Scott buys an old home to get his mind right and to get back to doing the work he loves. Soon he discovers that his house is haunted and filled with secrets waiting to be revealed. To say much more then that would be unfair to the first time viewer.Suffice to say this is a chilling film with several good scares that aren't achieved by manipulating the audience. By that I mean loud chords of music on the soundtrack or <more>
the unexpected cry of a cat or something like that. "The Changeling" works for its scares and succeeds. Another big reason the film is so well done is the performance by Scott. For a change the hero in a ghost story is not a wimp but a strong, self assured man who is going to fight to the bitter end to find the truth and get his life back. Very few actors could have pulled it off better then Scott.The supporting cast is headed by Melvyn Douglas in one of his last roles and Scott's wife, Trish Van Devere who projects a look of total terror as well as anyone I have seen.Two moments that stand out are the séance scene which is eerie and the unexpected arrival of a child's toy ball. This film will give you shivers. If you are a fan check it out and make sure to watch it with a loved one cuddling up against you with all the lights turned out.
A powerfully shocking movie if you let it be (by choatelodge)
I first saw 'The Changeling' in the mid-eighties and it has lost none of its edge. A few of the reviews I see below seem to be written by those who have read glowing reviews but just didn't get it: Comparisons with 'The Exorcist', a story of demonic possession, are inappropriate. This movie isn't a visual shock feast nor a gore fest, this is a powerful psychological drama. The penultimate ghost story. If you just sit back in a defensive posture and challenge the movie to scare you, you will lose out completely. If however you choose to get involved, you will find <more>
yourself going for one hell of a ride. Few scenes in moviedom rival the poignancy, for instance, of the disbelieving George C. Scott character when he is reviewing the tape of the seance and comes upon the inescapable evidence that there IS a paranormal presence in the house. Here I will make my own inappropriate comparison: In the context of this story, Scotts ultimately human and believable response and the collapse that follows is far scarier than Exorcist's Reagan spewing green puke, by a long shot. And the little girl going alone, summoned into the haunted room in her house at night? Forget about it. My hair stands on end. If 'The Changeling', watched at night doesn't give you a fright, then there are at least six 'Hallowe'en' movies on the rack that should suit your particular needs. The Changeling is something else: the fear of the spiritually macabre.
The Changeling is directed by Peter Medak and co-written by Russell Hunter, William Gray and Diana Maddox. It stars George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos and Jean Marsh. Plot finds Scott as John Russell, a music composer whose life is shattered when an accident kills both his wife and young daughter. Relocating to Seattle, Russell rents a large Gothic style mansion from which to bury himself in his work. But he soon discovers he is not alone in the house, there is a ghost here and it desperately wants his help with something...Not a teenager or a scantily clad bad <more>
actress in sight here, for this is a traditional haunted house spooker for the adults, one that has a distressing mystery at its core that's just aching to be solved. Chief writer Russell Hunter has based much of the film on an incidents that happened to him in real life when he moved into a house in Denver. If you believe him or not is not really the point, because it does not take away from just how well executed The Changeling is, both as a scary movie and a well thought out drama. There's limited characters in the narrative, thus keeping the film free from filler and the clumsy character set-ups that mar so many horror films these days. It's also worth noting that it doesn't suffer from dating either, as Nicole Kidman starrer The Others proved 21 years later, a haunted house tale can be effective in any decade if the writing and direction is spot on. The Changeling has both, plus a towering and believable performance from Scott leading the way.Medak clearly knows that an imposing house is a key element. Utilising the big spaces to emphasise Russell's loneliness, he sweeps his camera around the sets this is not a real house, it's a brilliant mock-up creation by the designers to give the feeling of a spirit observing proceedings. The house is always a main character and acts as the perfect backdrop to some ghostly goings on excellent work from the sound department too . The chills are genuine, the attic room is creepy personified, a rubber ball, a wheelchair, a bath sequence, an old water well and even the gentle tinkling from a music box, all induce the hairs on the back of the neck to stand to attention. And there's a séance! Oh yes indeed, a séance that's tape recorded, more chills down the spine on the way there as well. All played out to some lush unholy musical arrangements from Ken Wannberg the music box theme composed by Howard Blake .Setting it apart from conventional haunted house movies is that it has a most intriguing story to tell. One of murder, greed, deception and grief. The latter part is often forgotten when talk of The Changeling arises. John Russell is absolutely stricken with grief, this stops him from being one of those characters who you shake your head at because they refuse to leave a clearly troubled house. His grief process, which makes him the ideal host for what this spirit wants, means he has no fear, some unhappy ghost can't hurt him anymore than he is hurting anyway. It's a neat and seamless meditation on grief that's threaded into the story. The last quarter of the film slips into action territory, which is a little jarring given the smooth pacing Medak has favoured up to that point. But although the scares have gone, the intelligent story has come full circle and the film closes down triumphantly without copping out or having resorted to unimaginative formula.An essential viewing for those who like haunted house movies; especially if you like slow build and genuine mystery as well. 9/10
Very scary and atmospheric horror film (by Idocamstuf)
In this sadly forgotten horror film, George C. Scott plays a music composer who has just moved to Oregon to escape the painful memories of his wife and daughter who were killed in a car crash. He rents an old and secluded mansion from the historical society as a place to live. Soon after he moves into the house, strange occurrences begin.This is one of those horror movies that can be scary without being bloody and gory. It simply relies on atmosphere and frightening, but subtle images to deliver its chills, and it works. I will never be able to understand that "R" rating mainly <more>
because there is only very mild profanity and there is no blood or gore. Anyway, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good scary ghost story. 8/10.
The first time I saw this film, I was about four years old. I'm not sure if I have slept right since, I am now twenty four and it still haunts me.The tale of a lonely musician, who loses his wife and daughter in a terrible accident, and then decides to rent an old mansion in the pacific norhtwest, only to find the house has a history of it's own. The film is paced well, set perfectly, and reveals a darker side of the bourgeouis than most are willing to explore. A masterpiece.
More Chilling Than I Had Remembered (by ccthemovieman-1)
I found this to be a pretty solid haunted-house thriller...and better than I remembered so I have changed a few things in this review. The cinematography was admirable, mainly in the first half of the film and the special-effects near the end were excellent. That was capped off by a wheelchair chasing Trish Van Devere and a railing catching fire. In all, kind of bizarre and interesting scene.George C. Scott stars and Van Devere and an aged Melvyn Douglas provide noted supporting roles. There are very few dry spots and overall, its a decent horror film and not an expensive DVD purchase - so <more>
grab it, if you can. The suspense build beautifully. Nice direction by Peter Medak.