Directed by Sidney J. Furie
Written by Frank De Felitta
Starring: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa
Supposedly based partially on a true story, a woman is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.
When I was a kid, growing up in a Southern Baptist home in the Midwest, I had a soft spot for the supernatural. Maybe it was The Exorcist that did it to me, a film I both love and detest to this date. Very few topics terrify me like the ones involving demonic possession or oppressive activity. When it comes to horror movies, I find Satanic influence to be horrifying in every unfathomable way. If a killer breaks into your house, one simple bullet to the head will save your ass. Monsters always have weaknesses, curses can always be broken, ghosts can be identified and released, but demons? Demons require a priest, pastor, or a Christian believer that can invoke the name of Jesus Christ if you want the horror to let up. If you believe in God and Satan, then a fair amount of horror can be traced back to The Devil himself. Much like The Omen or The Exorcist, The Entity is based solely in the power of demons, those powers and principalities that can rule the earthly plane.
This film takes no time to fall into place. Ten minutes, tops, and you’ll be grimacing to the horrifying BUMP BUMP BUMP BUMP that accompanies this spirit’s presence. Carla Moran is a normal, single mother. She works, she takes care of the kids, she could be any one of your neighbors or even you. Carla is lying in bed on night, getting ready for sleep in her California bungalow, when it makes itself known. Demonic movies were nothing new in the early 80s. They were as common place as Michael Myers ripoff flicks. What sets this film apart is the savage sexual nature that it forcibly explores. Ladies, imagine you’re in your nightly routine. Maybe you’ve just put the kids to bed, taken a bath, and you’re settling into your bed, a place of comfort and safety, when an invisible, foul-smelling force slaps you in the mouth, pushes your legs apart, and enters you. Time to move? Time to check in at the mental hospital? Time to just straight up kill yourself out of sheer panic and terror? You can’t run from it because it has a personal attachment to you, so no matter where you are – there it is. Got the picture? Yes, a ghost ejaculating inside you will set your nerves on edge to say the least.
Moran, portrayed by the exquisitely talented, Barbara Hershey, quickly sees her world crash and burn. Confused and scared, she visits a therapist, hoping to find relief even if it means she’s just nuts, which I assure you is a better deal that a spectral sexual predator. Doctors never EVER believe the victim in these kind of films. They always want to put you on a sedative and get to know your life so they can decide what part of your history is causing this unnerving life disturbance. I suppose it’s a normal response, even it your feel the demonic wetness between your thighs. That’s not something you just blow off or rationalize away. That shit is like herpes, because it’s going to last forever, even if it’s just in your mind and nightmares from that point on.
Moran finds her life disintegrating as the attacks continue, often escalating. Insistent that the “attacks” are mental, her doctor, continues to push her towards treatment. The attacks begin to follow her out of her home and nearly kills her when she loses control of her car one, bright, California day. Her doctor is unshakable in his resolve. Moran finds things can always get worse when she’s raped on the couch in front of her kids, Her oldest, teenage son recognizes the real threat and tries to help. He receives a broken wrist for his troubles as the pair of younger girls shriek in fear, forced to watch their mother’s brutal assault. It turns out that a room full of witnesses are worth less than nothing to a room full of doctors. Mass hysteria, and other rational explanations begin to trickle down despite the rawness of the attacks Moran must endure.
Photo of the real life Carla Moran and her crew of parapsychologists.
Moran finally comes into contact with a group of paranormal researches that want to believe her. Once they spend some time at her home, they quickly do. Things escalate rapidly and Moran soon finds herself in an experimental exercise designed to capture the entity with a series of liquid helium blasts. Moran’s home is recreated inside a gymnasium, and Moran herself is the bait. A simple slamming door or fluttering curtain can sometimes be worth more than three million dollars of 2013 CGI.I don’t want to ruin the end for you, but it’s safe to assume things go south before they improve.
The Entity is based on a true story, but of course, fictionalized for entertainment’s sake. Still, the story of the real Moran is frightening on every level and I urge you to read it. This film is all about suspense and intense scare tactics that leaves the viewer with a lump in their throat. Atmosphere and dread play as important a part as Hershey in this dramatized tale of malevolent spirits that love a good rape. If you think these kinds of movies are relics this many years later, then imagine this was happening to you and see what happens.
Much like all great protagonists, Moran slowly becomes empowered and faces her attacker directly. The change she goes through is worth the watch alone. The ending credits state the encounters continues after Moran moved, but the intensity and frequency diminished. Overall, The Entity is hall of fame material as far as I’m concerned, If the intense BUMP BUMP BUMP that precedes the attacks doesn’t phase you, well, you are certainly a bigger man than me. Rent this today!