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The Changeling (1980)

aka The Changeling

"Two people live in this house. One of them has been dead for 70 years."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 107 mins · English · R (USA)

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Needed a different lead

So here is an instance where I am a bit conflicted. Older men are not normally put into the main character role in any horror movie, let alone a ghost one. In this case, one wass, and I am proud of the movie for taking the chance. Sure enough the reason why it isn't common presents itself quickly. Its hard to feel fear for a main character who just isn't afraid. He addresses the supernatural instances like inconveniences and comes across as exhausted more then terrified. The movie is well made with some excellent performances throughout, but unfortunately it is hard to get into it.

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Cast:

Small John Russell
Small Claire Norman
Small Senator Joe Carmichael
Small Joanna Russell
Small Captain DeWitt
No_movie_poster Mrs. Norman
Small Dr. Pemberton
No_movie_poster Leah Harmon

Crew:

No_movie_poster Peter Medak Director
No_movie_poster William Gray Author
No_movie_poster Joel B. Michaels Production

Taglines:

"Two people live in this house. One of them has been dead for 70 years."

"Whatever you do...DON'T GO INTO THE ATTIC."

""How did you die, Joseph...? Did you die in this house...? Why do you remain...?""

Plot:

Dr. John Russell (George C. Scott), a composer living in New York City, moves cross-country to Washington state following the deaths of his wife and daughter in a traffic accident while on a winter vacation in upstate New York. In suburban Seattle, Russell rents a large, old and eerie Victorian-era mansion and begins piecing his life back together.


However, Dr. Russell soon discovers that he has unexpected and unwelcome company in his new home: the unhappy ghost of a murdered young boy. The ghost makes its presence felt by various phenomena such as shattering windows, abruptly opening and shutting doors, and manifests itself dramatically during a seance. Russell investigates the identity of the dead child and finds that the mystery is linked to a powerful local family, the heir of which is a wealthy United States senator, Joseph Carmichael.


Dr. Russell subsequently discovers that the real Joseph Carmichael was murdered by his father. Joseph was a crippled, sickly child, and in the event of his death, the family fortune would pass to his mother's side of the family. Desperate to keep control of the fortune, Joseph's father drowned young Joseph in the bathtub, secretly replaced him with a healthy orphan, and took him to Europe in the guise of seeking a treatment or cure. He returned several years later with the impostor, now grown and "cured" of his illness, and continued as if nothing had happened.


Now, the ghost of the real Joseph haunts the house, making great efforts to persuade Dr. Russell to investigate his murder, and give him some form of justice.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1980-03-28 : United States of America

DVD : 2001-08-21

DVD : 2000-09-12