It was the perfect family vacation for composer John Russell and his family when a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Consumed by grief, John, at the request of friends, rents an old turn of the century house. Mammoth in size, the house seems all the room that John needs to write music and reflect. He does not realize that he is not alone in the house. He shares it with the spirit of a murdered child who has homed in on John's despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit. With the help of Claire Norman, the one who aided John in procuring the house, they race to find the answers and soon learn that a devious and very powerful man guards them. Written by
(at around 1h 35 mins) The wheelchair rolls down the stairs, crashes upside down and the wheels splinter. After the fire, the wheelchair is seen sitting upright and back intact. See more »
[On the phone with John]
I was driving by and I recognized the car. I don't know how it happened... I don't know how it could have happened there were no other cars, there's nothing. And it's upside down in the middle of the road! It's that man who was just at your house! It's Dewitt! He's dead!
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"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 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.
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