7.2/10
28,832
317 user 144 critic

The Changeling (1980)

R | | Horror | 28 March 1980 (USA)
A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Director:

Peter Medak

Writers:

Russell Hunter (story), William Gray (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... John Russell
Trish Van Devere ... Claire Norman
Melvyn Douglas ... Senator Carmichael
Jean Marsh ... Joanna Russell
John Colicos ... Captain DeWitt
Barry Morse ... Parapsychologist
Madeleine Sherwood ... Mrs. Norman (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Helen Burns ... Leah Harmon
Frances Hyland ... Mrs. Grey
Ruth Springford ... Minnie Huxley
Eric Christmas ... Albert Harmon
Roberta Maxwell ... Eva Lingstrom
Bernard Behrens ... Robert Lingstrom
James B. Douglas James B. Douglas ... Eugene Carmichael
J. Kenneth Campbell ... Security Guard
Learn more

More Like This 

The Haunting (1963)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Hill House has stood for about 90 years and appears haunted: its inhabitants have always met strange, tragic ends. Now Dr. John Markway has assembled a team of people who he thinks will prove whether or not the house is haunted.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Maniac (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton
The Innocents (1961)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Desperate to break her engagement to a man she does not love, Beatrice enlists the help of the servant De Flores.

Director: Jay Stern
Stars: Clyde Baldo, Chris Brady, Wendy Herlich
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A police Lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased Gemini serial killer, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder
The Entity (1982)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa
Q (1982)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

NYPD detectives Shepard and Powell are working on a bizarre case of a ritualistic Aztec murder. Meanwhile, something big is attacking people of New York and only greedy small time crook Jimmy Quinn knows where its lair is.

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: David Carradine, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

Director: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles
Re-Animator (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Edit

Storyline

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 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 Vampire-Sharpshooter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whatever you do...DON'T GO INTO THE ATTIC. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Peter Medak said he was initially intimidated by stories of actor George C. Scott being difficult to work with. The only trouble Medak had with Scott on the set was when production managers accidentally knocked over a chess board on which Scott had been playing a game against himself for over two weeks. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 07 mins) John and Claire are driving to Mrs. Gray's house and the driver of the car is clearly not John but a younger man with short, dark hair. See more »

Quotes

De Witt: I understand you lost your wife and daughter a little while ago. Maybe it shook you up. Maybe too much... *Maybe*, you need help.
John Russell: I'd like you to leave now...
De Witt: [making his threat a bit more clear] We can see that you get it... do you understand what I'm saying?
John Russell: [points to the door] Out! Now!
De Witt: [pressing] Listen to me, Russell! You've got something of the Senator's... he wants it back. It's a little gold medal, a family heirloom, he lost it. He thinks *you've* got it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Crepuscule (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano, K. 511
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Played by Jan Latham-Koenig
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Amityville What?
1 September 2007 | by Jonny_NumbSee all my reviews

While I am not a big fan of haunted house films, the American public has always been fascinated by the notion of restless spirits at work where we sleep. I consider Mario Bava's "Shock" the high point of this subgenre, though Peter Medak's "The Changeling" comes awfully close in terms of suspense and atmosphere. George C. Scott plays John Russell, a NYC composer/pianist who loses his wife and daughter in a freak accident; decimated, he relocates to Seattle, quickly assuming a teaching position and living in a vacant mansion owned by the local historical society; not long after, Russell is awakened by an inexplicable loud banging, and uncovers a boarded up attic room that portends a revelation I won't give away. The film avoids convention very well (for example, the relationship between Russell and Realtor Trish Van Devere never turns romantic), instead opting for an old-fashioned campfire-story quality where the supernatural is left to our imaginations. While "Shock" was awash in Bava's painterly image overkill (which suited his purposes), Medak is minimalist to a fault: there are some spectacular high- and low-angle shots taken from inside and outside the mansion (like omniscient POV shots from select crevices and corridors) that turn it into a character unto itself; also note the claustrophobic emphasis placed on characters in narrow corridors and stairwells. The first hour of "The Changeling" is very effective, building slowly to two brilliant scenes: the first involves a chest-tightening séance; the second involves Russell listening to the recording of it. But, as is inevitable with film, the plot begins to unravel in its second half, as a string of dark secrets implicating a U.S. Senator (Melvyn Douglas) comes into play. The screenwriters admirably keep the developments as spare as possible, thus maximizing their intended effect--by the end, we are fully convinced that Russell, in his attempts to 'liberate' this spirit, is also trying to purge himself of the grief over his loss. "The Changeling" is a straight-faced, wonderfully subtle horror film, buoyed by fine performances--Scott especially, whose unlikely presence here lends the character and situation a pathos it might not have had otherwise. Think of it as a refreshing alternative to "The Amityville Horror" (both versions).

(By the way, "The Changeling"'s R rating is deceptive; while some scenes are intense (not explicitly violent), it would drift between a PG or PG-13 by today's standards.)


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 317 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House on Chessman Park See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

CAD7,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed