The Entity (1982) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
150 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
UnderRated Classic
todsolo21 June 2005
I saw this movie in the theaters when I was 6. It scared the crap out of me then... Now I am 30 and it still scares the crap out of me. Wow! What an amazing horror/thriller. This movie is what a suspenseful horror film should be. The directing and cinematography are incredible. The story unfolds as it sucks you in and doesn't let go for a second. It's a shame these types of films are rarely made anymore. The atmosphere is nauseatingly creepy, the acting on every front is exceptional and the soundtrack is fresh and original. The fact that it is based on true events only adds to the scares. Why can't Hollywood make movies like this anymore? 25 years after its release it still holds up! If you want to have some serious nightmares watch it alone, at night with the lights off. I dare you...
53 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
To have stirred up such diametrically opposite views here, THE ENTITY must rate above mediocre.
uds330 September 2002
When any film incurs user-comments that are at a 180 degree variance from one to the next, the odds are it is the subject itself which is the catalyst behind the emotion. We have those who admire its technical expertise (at least for 1981) and who recall its fear-factor and professionalism to others who deplore the entire work, branding its laughable script and effects. The truth I suspect lies midway between these inconsistent comments.

To start with there are always going to be a significant percentage of the population who are affronted by the concept of a young girl being sexually assaulted by a ghost for a prolonged period of time....whether it actually happened or not. This, incidentally IS based on a true story that was itself the grounding for Frank De Felita's top selling book. If the notion is a distasteful one, the chances of you liking the film are slim HOWEVER technically adept it is. As it transpires, Barbara Hershey is remarkably good as Carla Moran, the young lady with a problem neither the Police, the Medical Profession or the supposed experts of the paranormal have much luck with. The rapes and sexual assaults are both graphic and quite worrying. Some loopy reviewer likened them to scenes in the SCREAM and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID films! Huh? I think being taken apart by a psycho with a knife or hook is way THIS side of normal compared to being sexually molested in your own bed! but hey, thats just MY opinion!

For its day THE ENTITY was nearer the edge of hard-core horror than many of its contemporaries. I suspect those who claimed to have "laughed" at the entire thing are having themselves on or at least putting up a front for whatever reason. The film was not laughable! I can understand those who believed the film was exploitive and bordering on the distasteful - but hey, so was SILENCE OF THE LAMBS!

I believe you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this film (a) If you have never seen it or (b) If some reasonably heavy-duty horror scenes appeal to you!

All up I would rate this a 6.6 which probably errs on the side of conservativeness.
71 out of 88 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disturbing recreation of apparently true events
mjw23051 January 2007
'The Entity' is a disturbing account of what are supposed to be true events, obviously they are the usual dramatisation's and alterations to the plot to heighten the viewing experience, but it's still a damn good film.

Barbara Hershey gives the performance of her life as the frightened character of Carla, who grows and evolves as the film moves forward. She is adequately supported by the rest of the cast who all play likable characters, except for the doctor; he just becomes annoying and ultimately ends up looking very stupid.

Unfortunately the special effects have not withstood the test of time very well, they aren't laughably bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they really do look pretty tired now.

Overall 'The Entity' is an under-rated film that is actually one of the best horror movies of the 80's. It has great tension that starts right from the word 'action', it successfully grabs your attention and doesn't let you go and it's very graphic and disturbing in the way a horror movie should be.

8/10 brilliant supernatural Horror
40 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Warning: Invisible Sex Offenders are Always Closer than they ...errr... appear!
Coventry17 May 2006
I never heard about the case before (and I'm too lazy to do further research) but if this story, like it claims, is indeed based on factual events, then it really is one of the greatest supernatural mysteries in the history of mankind! Barbara Hershey stars, in what unquestionably is the role of her life, as the struggling mother of three children who gets (sexually) assaulted – repeatedly – by an invisible spirit everywhere she goes. The inexplicable attacks naturally affect Carla's social life and pretty soon her sanity as well. When seeking for help, Carla becomes the desired study-object of scientists in several different branches, but none of them really cares for the woman's growing agony, since they're all defending their own obnoxious "theories". The theme and background of this remarkable film are a bit similar to Steven Spielberg's blockbuster "Poltergeist", but that's pretty much where the comparison stops. The supernatural "horror" in Poltergeist is childish nonsense compared to the genuinely devastating and often disturbing footage featuring in this film by Sidney J. Furie. The scenes in which Hershey's character is defenselessly thrown around the room are truly rough and the sight of her being raped by something you cannot see makes you feel very, VERY uncomfortable. Despite the sleazy-sounding premise that, in the hands of other directors, easily could have resulted in an overly exploitative and graphic picture, "The Entity" is very suspenseful and compelling. I'm not even sure this movie fully qualifies as horror, as it feels a lot more like psychological drama and – at times – even like a portrait of pure feminist power. Carla Moran is such a strong woman and determined to survive this nightmare, whereas all the male characters in the story are either stubborn egoists or insensitive bastards. Their insufferable personalities are brilliantly illustrated by the camera's reluctance to picture them! The male characters in "The Entity" are often just voices off the screen or partial faces in sequences dominated by Barbara Hershey's image, which is a really efficient trick actually. You can't possibly develop sympathy or respect for someone you can't initially see and, by the time they fully appear on screen, it's too late already. The film delivers great shocks, surprises, uncanny music and special effects and the wholesome is overall very tense. Whether truthful or not, the screenplay approaches the bizarre supernatural events with great respect and inserts absolutely no humorist situations or satirical disbelief. It's a little hard to stomach sometimes and two hours of intense substance like this perhaps is too long, still, it's an impressive piece of 80's cinema.
58 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
not a very well-made film, but effective; 7/10
zetes1 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
The Entity has an extremely sloppy script. First of all, it basically repeats itself a dozen times. Each attack is more or less identical. The biggest problem has to do with the psychologist. He thinks it's all in Carla's head. It would have been nice for the filmmakers to give us the possibility for interpretation, but we see these attacks outside of Carla's point of view. The audience knows for sure that what is happening is real. And then there are half a dozen witnesses. When they corroborate her story, the psychologist still refuses to believe them. Jerry (Alex Rocco) swears that he saw Carla's body being manipulated by an unseen force, and Dr. Sneiderman still believes it's all just in her head. What this does is make him the bad guy throughout the film - we know that, because of him, Carla's attacks are going to go on without a chance of relief. And the script wants us to feel a romantic connection between the two of them. A lot of the film is told from his point of view, trying to get us to believe he is a helpful force, and all we can do is despise him as if he were a weasel taking advantage. This, more than anything else, stops the film dead in its tracks.

However, there are a couple of positive things that save the film and make it worth a watch. Barbara Hershey is absolutely excellent as the frightened victim who gradually grows stronger. The rest of the acting isn't bad, either, but only her performance stands out. Also, the special effects, even though they are very cheap, are enormously effective. Well, the lightning wasn't, but this film goes to show you that a simple rattling mirror is worth so much more than a million dollar CGI ghost.

...and wait until the final moments of the film. I don't think ANYTHING has made me shiver as violently as that moment after the door slams closed. Also, I've rarely been as proud of a character after Carla opens it right back up.
61 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Invisible man assaults Barbara Hershey
Dr. Gore4 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers

Barbara Hershey lives in a house with a son, two little girls and an invisible rapist. Her doctor thinks she's hysterical. She has had a rough life. Therefore, it must be all in her head. Everyone else believes her except the doctor. "It must be mass hallucinations!" People get thrown around, wrists are broken and yet the doctor still can't give in. His skepticism continues unabated throughout the movie. Thankfully some college ghostbusters show up to help Barbara.

The movie's main strength is this: It ain't subtle. The filmmakers go out of their way to show that invisible guy is in fact, raping her. See Barbara Hershey's breasts get squeezed by invisible hands! That was a classic moment. I liked the invisible rapists theme song too. Every time he would attack this loud music would accompany his assault.

The doctor got annoying after awhile. There always seems to be the scientific fool who doesn't believe in ghosts, trying to ruin the movie for everyone. I wish he would have come to his senses a little earlier in the flick than never. Why The Entity is so obsessed with her is never explained. The flick tries to make an argument about female hysteria creating The Entity but that argument loses steam by about the third assault. Invisible man is there, he wants her and there you go. I liked it.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This Movie Still Haunts Me 20+ Years Later
egz-14 August 2002
This was the scariest film I have ever seen. And I have seen pretty much, every horror film made in the last 20 years. As a woman, the thought of an unseen entity consistently sexually abusing you is about the most horrifying thing I can think of. The scenes where she was being touched by the unseen being in bed next to her husband or in front of other people still haunt me today. And that first rape scene was horrifying. I still get the chills every time I think of this film. And after 20 years to still remember most of the scenes in detail is pretty incredible. There are not many films I can say that about. I sometimes think I might want to watch this film again, but then again, maybe not.... at least the images have faded a bit now after 20 years.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hair-raising shocker, based on true events
Libretio6 January 2005

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 6-track Dolby Stereo

(35mm and 70mm release prints)

A busy single mother (Barbara Hershey) is inexplicably targeted by a monstrous, invisible 'entity' which emerges from nowhere and begins to assault her on a regular basis.

Based on events recounted in Frank DeFelitta's bestselling book, Sidney J. Furie's compelling shocker takes all the dramatic liberties one might expect of a Hollywood production, though DeFelitta's script manages to establish a genuine conflict between intractable science (spearheaded by Ron Silver as Hershey's disbelieving psychiatrist) and open-minded parapsychology (led by warm-hearted Jacqueline Brookes). Furie uses dutch angles and vivid closeups to emphasize the human tragedy at the heart of the story, as Hershey struggles to come to terms with her fantastical situation, only to be torn between Silver's increasingly ludicrous 'rationalizations' (he concludes that her experiences amount to little more than a sublimated incestuous crush on her handsome teenage son, played by David Labiosa!) and the day-to-day reality of her encounters with paranormal forces. Thankfully, despite suggestions of Silver's romantic attraction to Hershey, director and screenwriter keep a tight rein on proceedings, stripping all non-essential business from the central narrative.

Giving one of her best performances, Hershey is deeply affecting as the simple woman caught up in extraordinary circumstances beyond her control, and Furie stages the various supernatural assaults with frightening intensity, underlined by Charles Bernstein's pounding music score which elevates proceedings to a whole new level of horror. Despite the sexual nature of the attacks, Furie resists an urge to indulge the audience's voyeurism, and aside from one brief nude scene (employing a fairly obvious body double) and a full-body appliance (courtesy of Stan Winston) to depict invisible fingers manipulating Hershey's torso, the film is quite restrained in its portrayal of this sensitive material. The climactic visual effects - supervised by William Cruse - are remarkably poor, but this minor blemish isn't enough to weaken the film's cumulative impact. Listen out for the entity's only line of 'dialogue', as creepy as it is obscene.
27 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watch it for Barbara Hershey's performance
mikedengler-113 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Watching this 1981 film for the first time after becoming desensitized to paranormal films after years of watching innumerable episodes of X-Files I feel that the portrayal of the paranormal activity experienced by Barbara Hershey's character Carla Moran (Real person: Doris Bither) lacks sufficient impact for today's audience. As horrific as those rape experiences must have been for Carla I felt somewhat detached. I think the psychological aspects of the repeated rapes should be portrayed a lot better in any remake. Despite this weakness Barbara Hershey's performance still holds up well today.

There is an interview floating around on the internet with one of Doris Bither's sons - Brian Harris. He gives an interesting account of the tension within the family. Doris drank heavily as she tried to cope with raising a family of four as a single parent and many failed relationships. There was also friction amongst the children. All this added up to a very dysfunctional and stressful environment. The paranormal activity made it truly frightening. Although Doris suffered the rapes the children also experienced physical incidents. Brian summed it up by saying, "Living in that home was hell." A remake should capture the reality of family life more with some mental disintegration on the parts of the family members as the events fracture their relationships. In reality, the family were forced to leave the house by the owner they were renting from when the house began getting a reputation as being haunted. After the family left the house the paranormal activity followed them but receded over the years. Eventually, Doris Bither passed away in 1995, from Pulmonary Arrest.

At the end of the film we are told by text that "It is considered by psychic researchers to be one of the most extraordinary cases in the history of parapsychology."
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Scary in an interesting way
jhaggardjr25 October 2000
"The Entity" is a well made horror film about a supernatural phenomenon tormenting a woman by sexually attacking her repeatedly. The thing that strikes me interesting about this movie is that it's supposedly based on fact! Barbara Hershey gives a very strong performance as Carla Moran, the woman who one night has her life turned upside down when she's raped by an unseen mass. And this invisible visitor has no intentions of leaving her alone! She seeks help first from a psychiatrist (played by Ron Silver) who she feels ain't helping her. Then she runs into a group of parapsychologists who think have a solution to get rid of this entity. "The Entity" is quite scary in certain spots helped occasionally by an eerie and overbearing music score. There are some scenes that are kind of laughable, but for me "The Entity" provided more scares than laughs. Hershey gives a terrific performance in an early film role that could have been demeaning but isn't. The nude scenes are either the use of a body double or a make-up puppet. And when you watch this scenes, you can see it can't be Hershey's body your looking at. "The Entity" has a few silly moments, but all-in-all it's an effective horror film.

*** (out of four)
27 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Supernatural horror attacking to an excellent Barbara Hershey
ma-cortes1 August 2006
Carla(Barbara Hershey) is a mother living happily with his sons,when is spontaneously raped ,sexually molested and caught up by a ominous,devilish horror.And now a possessed mother is plunged by a demonic force into supernatural spirit that mistreat and beat her.Meanwhile numerous rare,mysterious things are happening and a parapsychologists try to help her to get the bottom of mystery and vanquish the malignant entity but her psychologist(Ron Silver)doesn't believe her.The movie is pàrtially based on a supposedly true events.

The film contains restless horror as when the invisible being attacks.Tension,creepy atmosphere,genuine chills,suspense is continued and appears lurking and menacing into house,rooms and car .Great loads of screams,shocks,exploitation and terror abound with the usual poltergeists phenomenon caused by the weird entity.It's recreated with magnificent make-up and high grade plethora special effects by the master Stan Winston which are frightening and horrifying the spectator.The eerie music(Charles Berstein) with an excessive utilizing of synthesizer adds sensation to the spooky atmosphere. The original ¨Exorcist¨(Friedkin)film spread a wave of demonic possessions movies that continues unabated nowadays ,¨Changeling¨, ¨Amytiville ¨(Stuart Rosemberg )¨are two further examples of this sub-genre following a great number of sequels,imitations and rip off.This is one of the highest horror movie of the 80s .The writing credits by the terror specialist FranK De Felitta.The motion picture is well directed by Sidney J. Furie
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This is scary
Vid-216 February 2004
I saw this film in 1981 and it scared me like no other. I maintain that I have not seen a film as effectively scarey since. In fact it is a goal of mine to find a movie that frightens me more than this one! The task seems fruitless... any ideas?
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
With fangs as sharp today as three decades ago
mecheart12 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Most cinema genre fans remember fondly the few searingly ablaze films that irreversibly branded into their minds a fanaticism for a specific style of silver screen entertainment. Those cherished films were unforgettable for a variety of reasons all very personal to the individual. Sidney J. Furey's 1982 'The Entity' became such a movie for this reviewer. The phantoms that haunt Carla Moran helped to scare into me what would become a lifelong indelible desire to be terrified again and again of turning off the night light or peeking under the bed.

I first viewed 'The Entity' in 1984 at the malleable age of eleven. I had spent the night at my grandparents' home - they alone of all the people we knew back then possessed a marvelous invention known as cable television - and with my grandmother's blessing I tuned into a late night horror double feature that included 'Five Million Years to Earth' followed by the 'The Entity'. The film terrified me then on a primal level and remains a frightening title today, though the fear it inspires now is more the intellectual variety than the afraid to leave the brightly lit room kind it evoked all those years ago.

In a sense 'The Entity' represents the ultimate clash between science and religion. The plot uses the sciences of both study of the mind and physical disturbances on a molecular level to combat the great unknown manifested as violent entities that wreak torture and havoc on a seemingly stable enough young woman. These sciences - fields still in their frontier phases when the book and film were respectively crafted - equate to no more than the building of a campfire against the encroaching night and the beasts which stalk within flickering shadows.

The film lays out for us a ghastly haunting, explores its many deeply psychological effects on its victim, and then finds for both the viewer and the protagonist a highly entertaining way to fight back, to push back the encroaching fangs of night. Where similar films of the era turned to religion for resolution, 'The Entity' introduces the concept and viability of the purely based in science paranormal investigator who rather than holy book, uses custom wired gizmos to lure in and detain bad spirits.

Performances are solid throughout. Barbara Hershey's 'Carla Moran' is amazingly well played. We have no choice but to believe in her animal fear. Whether we identify with her, fear her or classify her as out of her mind is another matter although as events progress, little doubt is left as to what is really causing her world to shatter.

Ron Silver brings us the quintessential skeptic in his 'Dr. Sneiderman'. He is a man with feet firmly planted in the science of his field, yet almost from their first meeting, he senses something different in Carla Moran's presence.

What follows is one woman's life or death struggle with the ultimate unknown in perhaps its most terrifying manifestation. When our protagonist seeks desperate aid outside normal scientific channels her psychologist attempts to rein her in, thinking her delusional. As a team of paranormal investigators delve more deeply into Carla's situation, her doctor begins to recognize a real threat independent of her own psyche. Science and primal otherworldly evil clash in a spectacular finale unrivaled by any film in the intervening three decades.

'The Entity' is a rare horror film that will get to you on some level, and it will leave you wondering for some time about the safety of your home, the validity of the reality in which we exist and the argument for the presence of unseen forces.

Many modern films claim to be the most frightening cinematic experience you will ever have. 'The Entity' makes no such claim, however it a must see for true horror movie devotees and it is a film that might just make you a lifelong fan of the genre.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An utterly intense and gripping drama.
Hey_Sweden22 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"The Entity" is one of those movies where, even if one doesn't really buy into the kinds of ideas presented, it still provides for interesting, fascinating entertainment. It's officially based on a novel by Frank De Felitta, who also scripted, the novel itself inspired by a notorious real life story that's one of the most bizarre in the history of paranormal research. The beautiful Barbara Hershey, giving a performance of conviction and grim determination, plays Carla Moran, a single mother of three who starts to be raped by an unseen antagonist, a crazed force of frightening strength and persistence. She is victimized in her bedroom and the bathroom; the thing also takes control of her car and does a lot of damage as the story plays out. A psychiatrist named Phil Sneiderman (Ron Silver) stubbornly insists that the "phenomena" has to be brought on by Carla's own psychological and sexual baggage (she does admittedly have a melodramatic background), but before long outside parties - including Carla's own children - are able to verify that Carla couldn't be doing this herself. Eventually a team of parapsychologists at a university formulate a plan to bait and hopefully trap the thing. One element the viewer notices quickly is how intent director Sidney J. Furie is at utilizing close ups and some very steep angles. The angles are certainly disorienting and lend a weird perspective to a story that is of course quite fantastic to begin with. The tone definitely leans towards the sensational as the thing is absolutely insatiable and refuses to leave poor Carla alone. (It would be hard not to feel sympathy for this person, especially as she desperately tries to put the experience in some sort of realistic context.) One scene, featuring knockout effects by Stan Winston and James Kagel, just takes the breath away as it features the fondling of Carla's flesh by these invisible fingers. Other visual effects are very well done without going the truly cheesy route and Charles Bernstein's creepy music, pounding away hard during the attack scenes, is perfect accompaniment. Supporting performances are all solid, including David Labiosa as Carla's older child Billy, as well as George Coe, Margaret Blye, Michael Alldredge, and Allan Rich; Alex Rocco has one of his kinder screen roles as Carla's loving current boyfriend, and Jacqueline Brookes, Raymond Singer, and Richard Brestoff create some entertaining characters in the form of the parapsychologists. The movie is riveting through and through, with a fine forward momentum and a memorable finale with Carla made to wait inside a reproduction of her own home. The coda, in particular, is chilling in what it reveals. And one should also check out the accompanying documentary "The Entity Files" that is featured as an extra on the Anchor Bay DVD as it lends a respectable insight into the "true" story that inspired this whole thing. As was said before, it's fascinating stuff. Eight out of 10.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Probably the darkest haunted house movie there is
Superunknovvn12 July 2006
Actually, "The Entity" isn't a haunted house movie as much as it is a haunted person movie since the ghost or "the entity" only follows the main character around. What makes this movie darker than say "Poltergeist" is that we hardly ever see the demon that causes all the trouble. We only see what it does and that's raping its poor victim without remorse.

A story such as this could easily have become campy, especially since it was made in 1981. Surprisingly, "The Entity" still holds up very well. The performances are convincing, the characters are believable and the special effects are reduced to a minimum. The whole script comes dangerously close to losing its balance when in the last third of the movie a team of parapsychologists turns up and has some "really rad ideas" on how to destroy The Entity. However, thankfully the movie doesn't go too much over the top.

The weak points of "The Entity" are that it's not too scary and too long, both for the sake of maintaining veracity since this is supposedly based on a true story. As a horror movie it could have used better pacing and some jump scenes. The score is minimalist in that it's only a thunderous beat that kicks in as soon as The Entity turns up. What worked well in "The Thing" is a bit too little here. The same can be said about the ending. An open ending can be a good thing, but there should at least come a satisfying climax before it and at the end the main character's situation should have changed for better or for worse. "The Entity" kind of just stops without the heroine achieving anything.

A remake by Hideo Nakata is in the works and it seems to be a good idea to hand the project to an Asian director as the rawness of the story would probably get lost in the hands of an American. Here's one original movie that can be bettered as much as it could be worsened. We'll see what happens.
21 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The fear of the unknown is the scariest thing that can happen.
insomniac_rod14 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"The Entity" is a horror movie that will stay in your mind forever.

The movie is not an easy watch, it's rather disturbing but for some reason it catches the viewers' attention.

There's something that isn't mentioned about the "entity". The paranormal phenomenon is known in the occultism field as a demon called an "Incubus". This demon rapes women and there are true Incubus cases registered. The movie doesn't digs in that aspect because there are many sub-plots. Also, the religious point of view isn't shown (I think that in order to avoid a comparison with "The Exorcist") and could've worked to understand more the phenomenon.

"The Entity" works perfectly as a horror movie with dramatic and sci-fi tones. The combination worked and the result is one of the most shocking horror movies of all time. Cheesy is you say but effective. Take the movie seriously and enjoy.

*HUGE SPOILERS* Carla Moran is a middle class working woman with three children (two young girls and a teenager son) with a normal life. Everything seems to be normal in Carla's life until one night she's raped in her bedroom by an unseen evil spirit. The attacks continue and make Carla wonder if she's out of her mind.

After Carla is almost killed in her car by the entity, she seeks help with Philip Sneiderman, a psychologist. The psychological exams' results indicate that Carla is a healthy, intelligent woman that may be experiencing problems caused by childhood-teenage traumas. Carla was molested by her dad as a child and later he married and got pregnant at 16. Billy her son was the result of her first marriage. Carla got married for a second after her first husband's death, but her second marriage also ended abruptly.

Psychologists diagnose that Mrs. Moran's physical injuries are caused by masturbation and deliriums. The truth is that no medicine or treatment is working and the attacks continue and increase on intensity. Desperate for help, Carla and her best friend go to a library in search of books of the occultism and parapsychology. There they find two scientists from the same University as Dr. Sneidermen that agree to help her with her case. At night the entity makes an apparition and the scientists (or doctors, parapsychologists, whatever) take pictures of it and take them to the faculty in order to start investigations about it.

What is this "entity"? Why did it pick Carla? Is it possible that Carla's traumas have something to do with the attacks? The attacks never stop and the entity seems to be challenging the rules of nature.

*** The action starts pretty soon so you get really interested on what could happen next. In the first five minutes the first "entity" attack happens and that's when you know you're watching something different from the genre. That scene is filled with tension, violence, and the feeling of uncertainty that only a few movies can create. The scene where Carla is attacked and Billy (her son) tries to help her but is pushed violently by the entity is a truly frightening scene as the desperate cries for help from Carla look totally believable. The lightning f/x was not called for in my opinion but still added tension to the scene. The most violent scene happens when Jerry (Carla's Moran) enters their bedroom and witnesses how the entity is raping Carla. The scene is very explicit as it's shown how Carla's breasts are being rubbed violently and she's also beaten. The scenes are very disturbing but manage to do something that's not very common in the genre; they scare the audience. Most of the times disturbing scenes (a la "Last House on the Left") provoke repulsion but in this movie they manage to create fear and a feeling of uncertainty. "The Entity" is a scary movie for it's scenes. The ending didn't work for me as the method to "stop" and paralize the entity is beyond reality. That may be the "Hollywood aspect" that was inserted by 20th Century Fox. The recreation of Carla Moran's house in the faculty lab in order to trap the entity didn't work for me.

The very last scene of the movie is truly frightening. The threatening voice of the entity saying "welcome to the house, c***" sent shivers up to my funny bone. The correct way to end a scary movie is with a scary movie.

ACTING Great. Simply great. A powerful, totally believable, performance by Barbara Hershey (Carla Moran) worths the watch. The performance is extremely difficult as Hershey had to create a mix of emotions for a situation that can't be explained! I mean, the difficulty grade on this performance is very high and she delivered greatly. The woman knows how to show pain, happiness, desperation, and fear of now knowing what's going on. A versatile and incredible performance. Ron Silver (Philip Sneiderman) gives a solid performance. The character is annoying but the performance is very good. David Labiosa (Billy) gives a good performance whenever he's on screen. Nice job in choosing the right actors.

DIRECTION Sidney Furey created one of the most stunning horror movies ever. His direction is solid and managed to create very scary scenes. The direction is stylish and totally works for this horror movie. "The Entity" is something that you won't see very often; visually talking.

F/X, CINEMATOGRAPHY, SCORE. -The f/x are just OK. The lightning effects look very cheap but you don't mind as the scenes where they appear are full of tension.

-The cinematography is surprisingly good. There's a correct use of light, dark, and small places. Very good use of cinematography to create fear. -The score is very effective. I describe it as violent and always gives me the creeps. If the attack scenes are frightening is also because the score impresses. The drum violently beating and the electric guitar are stuff to remember.

8.5/10 Scary scenes, powerful performances, chilling soundtrack, and a very interesting plot make this an unforgettable movie. One of the most frightening movies ever that if taken seriously could scare the hell out of you. Worths a watch by EVERY horror fan of the genre. This movie is an underrated basic element for the 80's horror.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Scariest movie ever!
the_headless_cross8 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie about 9 years ago when I was in middle school and I could not sleep a bit that night! Ever since the only other movie that had me that scared was The Exorcist and I could never find another movie that scary. Few days ago I decide to rent it again thinking "Ah, I was in middle school. Of course I'm gonna be scared by it." Opening credits start, and I'm already shivering. Then the first attack happens in less than 6 minutes (something I forgot). Just 10 minutes into this movie and I'm already seeing myself having troubles sleeping that night. After watching it, I realize why not many movies are that scary today. We all know that they're fake! I mean, yeah, Freddy Krueger is a creepy guy, but does he exist? Noooooooooooo. But then movies like Amityville Horror, Exorcist and this movie are based on actual events and to think something of this nature happened to someone makes it even scarier. The fact that it seems this entity randomly picked this woman to rape and other stuff makes you wonder why and what if you were to be attacked by another spirit.

The climax is where it starts to get a little unbelievable and less scary. I mean, wouldn't people know by now that you just cannot capture ghosts? Unless of course, you're part of the Ghostbusters. But then the final moments brought back the intensity with the door closing and the words scrolling on screen talking about the real Carla, especially the point where it mentions that the attacks still occur. Brrrrrrr. Oh and if you get the DVD, the documentary on the special features about the real life case will make you uneasiness much worse.

So, although it has cost me two nights of sleep, it still is one of my favorite horror movies ever and I will watch it again. But never again will I watch it alone in the dark!
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Genuinely creepy and underrated favorite...
Katatonia16 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing The Entity when first when I was around 11 or 12 late night on HBO. It scared the living hell out of me, like few films have. I enjoy horror films greatly, and today probably have at least over 500 in my personal collection from around the world. The Entity would rank in the top 10 as far as genuine scares are concerned.

What I think works in favor for The Entity is what you don't see of the actual "Entity". We get glimpses such as electrical lightning discharges and such, but we never really learn what the Entity truly is. I think this method works extremely well for Horror films. I can watch a truly gore-packed movie and not even be creeped out or disgusted, but with the "see less" approach I generally cringe. The music in this movie is also very effective in creating a truly haunting atmosphere. This was long before studios started using lame rock and pop theme songs in Horror flicks. Another point in favor for The Entity is the cinematography and lighting. The lighting of the sets during night scenes leaves just enough light to see, but still emanates a strong, dark, and oppressive atmosphere.

The Entity was originally shot in 2.35:1 widescreen, and most people have probably only seen it in the Pan & Scan version on TV or home video. It is one instance where it really hurts the film if it's not viewed in it's proper aspect ratio. There are so many important visuals cut from the frame in the Pan & Scan edition, which are there in the original widescreen version.

Supposedly the film is loosely based on a true incident that took place in California in the late 1970's. How much of that is actually true really doesn't concern me. I think the film holds up well even if it was a complete hoax (i.e. Amityville Horror).

About the only complaint I could say would be the scene near the end with the liquid helium freezing the Entity. It looked like a shaky iceberg and looks really laughable today. Still, if you can get past that very minor quibble...The Entity is a very underrated classic of modern Horror cinema.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Popcorn thriller is suspenseful and ridiculous, often at the same time!
moonspinner5522 October 2006
Single mom in southern California is repeatedly attacked by a violent sexual predator--one who is a poltergeist. Frank DeFelitta adapted his own bestseller, allegedly based on a true account, which has pedantic medical diagnoses in the first-half and monster-movie overtones in the second. Barbara Hershey, lovely and freshly-scrubbed like an elfin flower-child, takes on the difficult leading role with casual detachment; her delicacy is welcomed actually, as a role (and a movie) such as this can really go overboard without much effort. The script is a big handicap because the dialogue isn't as smart as the characters or the actors, and when Hershey is asked at key moments to describe her circumstances, she suddenly starts babbling like maybe she really does need a team of doctors. The effects are iffy, too (particularly in one sequence involving a nude body, which doesn't quite convince). However, the intensity of the situation and Sidney J. Furie's tricky direction provide both suspense and morbid amusement, and the film's bombastic finale is tolerable only because the plot really had no place else to go. **1/2 from ****
13 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Touched By SOMETHING...And It's No "Angel"!
cchase5 December 2008
Noticing the review for "AN American HAUNTING", I have to confess that I was interested in seeing it from the preview trailer, but one thing made my interest go soft about as quickly as the hard-on of an adolescent leafing through a medical textbook about STD's...the PG-13 rating.

A case has to be made somehow for ghost stories (actually for ALL horror stories worth telling) that haven't been crafted for members of the Cult of Mary Kate and Ashley. THE ENTITY is one of those stories: a full-strength, balls-to-the-wall excursion into terror about things that go 'bump' in the night. HARD.

Barbara Hershey got critical raves for her unguarded performance as single-mom Carla Moran, who has enough problems in her life just trying to raise two kids and make ends meet. Then one night she is viciously attacked and raped. And if that's not bad enough, she can't I.D. her assailant to the police...because he was INVISIBLE.

An unseen assailant? How does anybody give a logical explanation for that one? That's the least of poor Carla's worries, because the attacks continue, growing in ferocity. Desperate for help, she consults a psychiatrist (Ron Silver), whose advice turns out to be, of course, about as useful as putting Anna Nicole Smith's tits on Horatio Sanz.

When the assaults begin to affect her friends and family, Carla finally turns to a team of parapsycologists for help. The ending is a rush to a certain point, but unfortunately, unlike the wallop packed into the ending of such ghostly thrillers as POLTERGEIST, THE ENTITY's finale seems oddly anti-climactic, (especially since the special FX budget was probably'll see what I mean.)

Hershey and Sidney J. Furie took great pains to make the rape/attack scenes as squirm-inducing as possible, so that even though Carla is admittedly in the "hot babe" category, you still feel like a slimy perv, watching not only what seems incredible, but scenes you feel like you SHOULDN'T be watching or becoming aroused by. Which is not a minus, believe me.

Ron Silver and respected character actor Jacqueline Brookes ably represent the opposite sides of science and the supernatural with their characters, debating heatedly about how the two disciplines can never come to terms with which is right in helping Carla with her case. But Hershey puts a strong human face on the semantic arguments; where these academics and scholars are struggling for their reputations, Carla is fighting for her life.

Though the film is somewhat dated in its execution now, thanks to all the advances that we've made with CGI and blue/green screen work, THE ENTITY still has a worthy place in the pantheon of great modern-day ghost stories, or tales of the unexplained. I'm not a big fan of remakes, but if done right, maybe someone should take a stab at this one.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brilliant when it's on, decent when it's not
slayrrr66613 January 2007
"The Entity" is an incredibly slow but brutal film.


After getting ready for bed, Carla Moran, (Barbara Herschey) finds herself being raped by an invisible presence, and her children, Billy, (David Labiosa) Julie, (Natasha Ryan) and Kim, (Melanie Gaffin) immediately rush to her aide but find nothing. As the incidents continue, she has trouble convincing others that it happened and begins to threaten her professional and personal relationships. Finally forced to turn to Phil Sneiderman, (Ron Silver) a psychiatrist, to help alleviate the problem but the attacks continue. Desperate the solve the situation and getting no help from the psychological community, who think she's inventing problems for attention, and when finally forced into believing the incredible story, a pair of parapsychologists come to help her get rid of it.

The Good News: Quite simply, this type of film lives or dies by the brutality of it's rape scenes, and this one doesn't disappoint. The rape scenes in here are extremely uncomfortable, disturbing and not at all that pleasant an experience, but considering the subject matter, they're not that exploitative and are really a necessity. Had this held back it's rapes, then it wouldn't be that great or remembered that fondly, and that it held them up is a great touch. The first one is one of the best, coming out of nowhere and really not coming across all that clearly, not really suggesting a supernatural existence is behind them at all and really playing itself quite straight. The highlight one is the bathroom rape, which is insanely creepy, really disturbing and really comes across as the showcase one. The moment the door slowly shuts on it's own and the windows lock themselves, the set-up is complete and the anticipation starts, and then it just becomes a matter of time until it starts, and it doesn't loose any power when it does occur. It's just got the benefit of a strong suspense scene before it to help it along. The really close scene to this is a really surreal one in the bedroom, where it appears that the victim is fondled by an invisible entity, and the effect comes across really well. It's a little shocking to see a scene like that, especially considering what's happening. Had any of these not been as powerful or creepy as they are, this really wouldn't have worked as well, so to have them like that is a definite plus. The only other scene that really comes close to them is the one sequence where the forces at work launch an assault on the victim inside an apartment house, with exploding furniture and windows bursting with no warning or explanation given to them, and happening quite suddenly. It makes for a series of continuous jump scenes that never fails to rattle and get the nerves going. This really wasn't that bad.

The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here, but what's here is a huge detriment. The most obvious hindrance is obviously the raping and exploitation angle. The film isn't really exploitative, but the fact that the subject matter deals with the issue, and repeatedly and violently at that, won't be an easy obstacle for some to overcome. After the third or fourth encounter, that might be enough for some to give up on the film and won't want to finish the film due to the confrontational subject matter, and that's a very real problem. It's not that the film itself is exploitative, but just the subject matter itself. That might also be what keeps those who don't wish to even go near a film with that kind of subjects from getting near it, so there is a side-effect, but the film is still a really strict affair. The film's other big problem is the languid and horrible pacing. The middle section especially, which is an endless series of medical examinations and conferences that repeat the same thing over and over again for no real purpose simply make it so. There's hardly any scene in the middle that plays necessary as is, and really could've been trimmed, since this is a way too long film as it is. There's no reason why the film is so long except for the slow middle section, which also grates on the nerves for the endless and unnecessary banter about whether or not the events that had transpired where real or not. It gets old and just drags the film out. Not all that great a point. The film also has a really underwhelming ending that really only provokes annoyance rather than a satisfying conclusion. Other than these, this wasn't all that bad.

The Final Verdict: While not an easy film to finish, it sure does what so many don't attempt to do, and that is to deliver a series of shocks. It's powerful and not really for the squeamish, so those who are far more attuned to the exploitative side of horror will have an easier time with this one, even though it'll certainly be enjoyed by others.

Rated R: Continuous Rapes, Full Nudity, Violence and some Language
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pretty good supernatural horror.
HumanoidOfFlesh15 February 2002
I enjoyed "The Entity" more than quite overrated "Poltergeist",which-I think-is too commercial and not enough scary.This film tells us the story about young woman(Barbara Hershey)who is sexually assaulted and raped by supernatural entity.The acting isn't bad-some of the performances(especially Hershey as a terrified woman)are rather convincing-and there's enough scares to make most of the horror fans happy.The rape scenes aren't graphic,but you feel uneasy while you are watching Hershey's suffering.Overall I'd recommend this film to everyone interested in the genre.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Starts off strong, but falters at the second half and doesn't recover.
fcm43425 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The concept alone is terrifying. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman. The idea of an invisible being or force repeatedly attacking you is enough to explore in one film especially a horror film. To do it right you need someone who can sell this to the audience. Someone who will keep it from coming off as sleazy. Thankfully, Barbara Hershey succeeds in her portrayal of Carla Moran and her performance is one of the biggest strengths of the film. However, without Hershey the film would suffer tremendously and fall apart because unfortunately Hershey's performance is not only one of it's biggest strengths, but one of it's only strengths.

Now I'm not saying the supporting cast is not good. In fact, the performances by the supporting cast members are solid all around for what the script gives them. As others have pointed out in their reviews the script is indeed sloppy. The tension steadily rises for the first half of the film, but after the halfway point the tension is jagged going up and down to the point that it almost feels like another movie. Of course in order for me to go any further I'd have to go into spoiler territory.

***SPOILERS*** Once Carla's friend witnesses the titular Entity in action and Carla no longer feels that she's alone (Hershey does an excellent job portraying the wave of relief one would feel in that situation) the second half of the movie begins leading the film to decline in quality. Earlier I said the second half feels another movie and it does, specifically "Ghostbusters" (1984), but not in a good way.

I'm not joking. Carla gets the help of three parapsychologists who help her combat the supernatural Entity and try to capture it. The film even has it's own Walter Peck in the form of Dr. Sneiderman (Ron Silver), who looks like the coke-head executive Harry Ellis from Die Hard. Sneiderman is a character that is fine for the first half of the film, but ruined in the second half no thanks to the sloppy script.

In the first half of the film Dr. Sneiderman is portrayed as an understandably skeptical and logical man, who is reasonably reticent to think that Carla is affected by anything supernatural. He comes across as fair, level-headed man of science. Yet that all dissolves at the beginning of the second half. Unlike Walter Peck, who had never talked to eyewitnesses of the supernatural had justification for being skeptical of the supernatural whereas Dr. Sneiderman has none. Dr. Sneiderman devolves into an incredibly annoying, close-minded jerk who ignores eyewitness accounts from several people including Carla's boyfriend.

I know I'm spending a lot of time on Dr. Sneiderman, but he really is a big problem for the film during the second half and frankly this character really drags the film down. The psychologists are frustrating to watch at this point because the audience and other characters know there's supernatural forces at work, but they refuse to listen. The end is also a bit of a mess.

By that point in the film Hershey and the supporting cast are doing their best with the material they're given. Sadly, the ending leaves much to be desired. You really don't know what the Entity is and this is an instance where ambiguity hurts the film. There is no real satisfaction save for that Carla has become stronger from this ordeal I guess. Other than that there are a lot of unanswered questions and not in any contemplative or compelling way.

All in all the Entity is a mixed bag of a horror film that starts off strong for a solid hour, but falters at the second half. Still its worth your time at least for Barbara Hershey's wonderful performance. In short, I personally wouldn't call this one of the 11 scariest films of all time like legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, but to each their own.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A film very different from its' poster!
Joxerlives19 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing the VHS video cassette for this film with a beautiful, buxom, naked (or at least topless) dark haired woman lying on her back with her hands held behind her head as if in the throes of surrender/sexual bliss with lightning crackling overhead. It obviously did the trick and intrigued me enough to read the blurb on the back of the case which seemed to belong to an altogether different film. It was probably the semi-pornographic poster which earned the feminist condemnation of the production, I doubt if they'd actually seen the movie they'd feel the same, there's not a hint of eroticism in any of this and indeed Barbara Hershy makes a strong, likable and brave heroine although I do wonder about Eddie Murphy's famous joke of 'Why don't they just get out of the house?'

It is effectively terrifying and I must confess I fast-forwarded through all the rape scenes. Ron Silver is also good in the period before he got typecast playing slimeballs and villains (I guess in 1982 you could still have a beard like that and be a hero?). The ending is effectively ambiguous in keeping with the rest of the film.

As for real life? The scientists did witness and even photograph some strange and as yet unexplained phenomena but nothing definitive and the whole scene where they tried to freeze the Entity was invented. It still stands out though as one of the most puzzling alleged supernatural incidents of all time with no easy explanation.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The scariest film ever!
Scream-713 October 1998
The problem with me and horror films is that, when I see ones that are scary, they're only jump scary. So that day I rented Children of the Corn and Entity. Children of the corn was jump scary, but Entity was Have-trouble-sleeping scary! I mean, when I turned my head to the side, I thought I heard breathing or something being moved! The last time I looked at the clock it was 3:43!

So rent this film if you want Have-trouble-sleeping scary, not Jump scary.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed