Haunted House films have been around for as long as movies have been coming out of Hollywood. There are also as many Haunted House films as there are years Hollywood’s been pumping them out. Some have been downright scary, and others have been knee-slapping hilarious.
A number of these films are bound to find their way into this list of 31 Horror films. Today’s, I’m happy to write, is worthy of your time.
31 Days of Howl-oween
A Review of Films Filled with Frights
~ The Changeling ~
After his family is killed in an auto accident, composer Dr. Russell (Scott) rents an old Victorian house in suburban Seattle to regroup his thoughts while he works on his next composition. Soon Dr. Russell learns that the house in haunted by the spirit of a young child. As Dr. Russell researches the past of the house and its spiritual inhabitant, he uncovers a dark secret with ties to a powerful politician.
A wonderfully suspenseful haunted house film, with plenty of scares for the uninitiated. George C. Scott is the perfect choice to play the inquisitive Dr., and he delivers with perfection. The film plays like a mystery suspense more than an in-your-face shock or gimmicky horror film. The moody lighting, as well as the mesmerizing musical score all lend to the likability of this ghost story.
While the ending does border on the contrived, and is rather abrupt at that, it doesn’t deter from the overall experience of the film, thankfully. The rest of the film more than makes up for this minor quibble.
An even more surprising aspect to the film is that is doesn’t rely on anything gratuitous as a crutch to make up for missing plot. Surprising in that the director is the same who would bring us the 1998 film “Species II”. I digress, so I’ll save that for another day…
My Rating: **** / B
Available on Amazon: The Changeling
To Be Continued…