THE ENTITY (1982) Reviews and overview

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‘A story so shocking, so threatening, it will frighten you beyond all imagination.’
The Entity is a 1982 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Sidney J. Furie (Doctor Blood’s Coffin, The Snake Woman) based on a screenplay written by Frank De Felitta (Dark Night of the Scarecrow; Audrey Rose) from his 1978 novel of the same name, which was based on the 1974 Doris Bither case. Barbara Hershey (Damien TV series; Insidious), Ron Silver (Silent Rage) and David Labiosa star.

Despite being filmed and planned for a 1981 debut, and probably due to its controversial subject matter, the movie was not released worldwide until September 1982, followed by a 20th Century Fox release in the United States in February 1983.

Single mother Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) becomes the victim of a violent carnal assault in her home by an invisible assailant. A subsequent episode of poltergeist activity causes her to flee with her children to the home of her friend Cindy (Margaret Blye).

They return to Carla’s home and the following day, Carla is nearly killed when her car mysteriously goes out of control in traffic. Urged by Cindy to see a psychiatrist, Carla meets with Doctor Sneiderman (Ron Silver) and tentatively agrees to undergo therapy.


A subsequent attack in her bathroom leaves bite marks and bruises on Carla which she shows to Doctor Sneiderman, who believes she has inflicted them on herself. We learn that Carla suffered a variety of traumas in her childhood and adolescence, including abuse, teenage pregnancy and the violent death of her first husband. Sneiderman believes her apparent paranormal experiences are delusions resulting from her past psychological trauma.

Carla is attacked again, this time in front of her children. Her son tries to intervene but he is hit by electrical discharges and his wrist is broken. Doctor Sneiderman urges her to commit herself to a psychiatric hospital for observation, but she refuses…

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” …an entertaining and interesting dramatization of some wild phenomena.  Though the real-life case has been mostly dismissed as manifestations of past physical abuse and current drug use (among other things), the idea is still a powerful one, and what Carla Moran goes through in this film is, not trying to be cheeky, downright haunting.” Allusions of Grandeur

“It’s a simple premise but acted marvellously and crafted sufficiently; the film never relies on camera trickery or an artistic flair to mask shortcomings, but rather makes use of angles and perspective and otherwise skewered shots to enhance, not explicitly generate, an edgy, chaotic, uncertain vibe.”

“The film works best when it remains mysterious. The final act tries too hard to explain things, conjuring up a hokey scientific experiment for the climax — but up until then, I gotta say, for what is essentially a ghost story, I was pretty creeped out.” Into the Dark

“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…” Fister Roboto

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Blu-ray release:

The Entity was released by Scream Factory as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on June 11, 2019. The new sleeve art has been designed by Joel Robinson; with the original theatrical poster on the reverse.

The disc includes DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1 audio mixes. Special features:

Audio commentary with Sidney J. Furie: Life and Films author Daniel Kremer (new)
Interview with actress Barbara Hershey (new)
Interview with actor David Labiosa (new)
Interview with composer Charles Bernstein (new)
Interview with editor Frank J. Urioste (new)
Trailers From Hell – The Entity trailer with commentary by Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino
The Entity Files featurette
Theatrical trailer
TV spots
Radio spots
Still gallery

Double-bill with Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)


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