The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling (1980) - IMDb

Day 27 of the NOFS podcast 31-day horror challenge has the theme of getting ghosty. I went with The Changeling because the main thing that I knew about it was the fact that it’s a haunted house movie dealing with a ghost. I had thought of this for day 25, but I didn’t have another choice for today. This was my first time watch the movie and I understand why I’ve heard so many good things about it.

The Changeling was directed by Peter Medak. The screenplay was by William Gray and Diana Maddox with the story by Russell Hunter. I had to look up what everyone did other than this. Both William Gray and Peter Medak have worked on a wide variety of things. Diana Maddox has done a lot more work as an actor than as a writer, though with this as one of your writing credits I can understand branching out.

The Changeling stars George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melyvn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Helen Burns, and Madeleine Sherwood. I’ve not really seen George C. Scott in a great many things, mainly The Exorcist III and Angus. This is the most well-rounded role that I’ve seen him in. He has to deal with some really heavy stuff in this role and he really shows why he’s a celebrated actor. Trish Van Devere works really well off of him so they make a captivating duo. I also want to mention Jean Marsh, mostly because it took me a little bit to realize I recognized her from Willow.

The Changeling tells the story of John Russell. He loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident while on vacation. He moves across the country to Seattle from New York City. He takes a job teaching music as well as composing for a University in Seattle. He rents a big old house from the local historic society. The house has been vacant for 12 years and has a history of weird happenings. He soon discovers that its haunted. He also learns of its connection to a mystery, that he resolves to learn to the truth of.

The music is absolutely amazing, as you would expect where the lead is a composer. Rick Wilkins did the music and he makes each piece work well where it was used. The effects team did an amazing job with all of the mechanical effects from the haunting. Those look amazing and how they did the burning of the house is something is just a sight to see.

The Changeling is a classic for a reason. Its currently on Shudder and there are kind of two different versions. There’s the version that is from The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs where Joe Bob give you information that deepens your enjoyment of the movie and then there’s the movie by itself. I plan on giving this a rewatch with Joe Bob giving me the deets on the movie. I give The Changeling 10 old music boxes out of 10.

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