Welcome to Day 4 of 30 Days of Terror. Today is sponsored officially by the 80s. I know I’m a little biased when it comes to the decade. So when I say that most everything that came from the era is practically perfect in every way (like me) you might groan. I don’t care, the 1980s were amazing. When choosing a horror film for today, I knew I had to pick The Changeling.
Some background info
I hadn’t seen The Changeling (1980) in many years, so watching it again is a treat. It is based upon events that writer Russell Hunter claimed he experienced while he lived in the Henry Treat Rogers mansion in the Cheesman Park neighborhood of Denver, Colorado in the late 1960s. Too bad, they demolished the house in the 80s because the haunted house tour is missing something special. I wonder if the people who live in the high rise have experienced any unexplained events.
The strange thing about that part of it is that the movie is set in Seattle, WA after the initial tragic beginning where composer John Russell (George C. Scott) witnessed his wife and daughter get hit and killed by a dump truck on a snow packed highway. The melancholy memories he has while he packs his home are touching. When he first settles in Seattle, it has a short lived moment that feels like The Shining.
Whatever is in this house, demands attention as it bangs in the middle of the night, and turns on all of the faucets. He questions the woman who leased him the house, but she isn’t aware of anything occurring in the home. Minnie Huxley tells him that the house doesn’t want anyone in it and that he shouldn’t live there. The events that follow are superbly chilling as they reveal the history of the house. One last thing I want to mention, is the séance. I’ve seen several in movies throughout the years, but this one is bizarre and terrifying with use of automatic writing, and other basic special effects that they used. For a moment, I thought Shelley Winters played Mrs. Norman, but it was Madeleine Sherwood who was magical in the role.
The Changeling is a perfect example of a haunted house story. It takes a lot for me to be this frightened from a movie and this one gives me the chills like you wouldn’t believe, that’s why I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.