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Changeling, The (1980)
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Changeling, The
Plot / Comments:
John Russell, a composer and music professor, loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. Seeking solace, he moves into an old mansion unoccupied for twelve years. But a child-like presence seems to be sharing the house, and trying to share its secrets, with him. Through research into the house's past and a seance held within, Russell discovers the horrific secret of the house's past, a secret that the presence will no longer allow to be kept.
"Peter Medak's The Changeling is among a handful of films, including The Haunting (1963) and Ghost Story (1981), that have successfully recreated the intimate, drawing-room atmosphere of classic supernatural horror fiction. After his wife and daughter are killed in a snow-bound car accident, composer John Russell (George C. Scott) relocates from New York to Seattle to teach at his alma mater. Looking for a quiet place to rest and continue writing music, he is recommended to Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere) at the Seattle Historical Preservation Society. Claire shows John a large, sparsely furnished estate in the outlying countryside. He takes the house, appreciating its remoteness and the solitude it might afford, and diverts himself by renovating and settling in. He even starts to compose, putting aside his older work in favor of a new, sentimental piece for the piano. It is not long, however, before he begins having nightmares about the accident that killed his wife and daughter. Possibly because of this trauma, he is open to communications from the house's ghostly occupants. Pursuing a loud, repetitive pounding noise in an upper room, he stumbles on the apparition of a young boy drowning in a tub. Soon after, he discovers a hidden doorway in one of the mansion's closets and is led up a narrow flight of stairs to a forgotten room in the attic. In the cobweb-ridden darkness, he finds a child's wheelchair, a small bed, and a music box -- which, as he opens it, plays the very tune that he has been trying to write on the piano. With Claire's help, John investigates the manor's history, and they discover that in 1909 a young girl who lived there was killed accidentally (much like his own daughter) when she was struck down by a coal cart. Thinking that this girl may be the source of the mystery, Claire and John invite a trance medium (Helen Burns) to the house, and with her help they conduct a seance on the lower floor. They discover that the house is troubled not by the girl but by a crippled boy named Joseph Carmichael, who was drowned by his own father in the attic room. Fearing that he would lose an inheritance because of the boy's ill health, Joseph's father murdered him, pretended to send him away for treatment, and substituted a new, healthy boy in his place. Claire and John learn that this substitute, the changeling, is in fact local Senator Joseph Carmichael (Melvyn Douglas), who does not want the secret exposed. Horror writer M.R. James once said that his goal as a writer was to make the reader feel "pleasantly uncomfortable." Those looking for a similar experience in movies will appreciate The Changeling as a gem in the horror film genre."
Video Codec: XviD
Bitrate: 1454 kb/s
Resolution: 704x384
Length: 01:42:01 25fps
Ripper: charlie wild
Audio Codec: ac3
Bitrate: 192 kb/s (96/ch, stereo) CBR
Source: DVD-rip
Filesize: 733663246 bytes / 730294080 bytes
Version / Cut? Other Info:
Uncut Enfant du diable, L'

Entry Info
Date Added: 2003-11-09
Hits: 915
Reviewer: spudthedestroyer
Score: 6 / 10

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