Dir: Sidney J. Furie, 1982
Based on an alleged true story, this tale of paranormal sexual asbut hsuntingsault has lost very little of its power to scare.
Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is a single mother, working hard to provide for her family.
One night, out of the blue, Carla is thrown around the bathroom and violently raped by an unseen force.
This happens on numerous occasions and is witnessed by her adult son.
Despite physical signs of an attack, the doctors don’t believe her.
Eventually, parasychologists look into her claims and are able to make contact with the entity itself.
But how do they stop what they can’t see?
Adapted from his own book, Frank DeFelitta was inspired by the case of Doris Bither.
Information on the case is sparse so it is difficult to assess film in relation to the true story tag.
Bither was reclusive about the haunting and didn’t give any interviews. Aside from a few photos taken from the investigation, we have very little to go on.
Looking at it with that in mind, the only course of action is to judge the film on its own merits with the truth element omitted.
The Entity is a genuinely frightening film. Furie is able to create suspense and a feeling of fear.
The paranormal assaults are surprisingly brutal and made more terrifying by Hershey acting all alone.
This shows how much of a good actress she is. She conveys a feeling of helplessness and terror that is pivotal to the success of the film.
The special effects are understated and basic but work so brilliantly. A scene with the actress naked on the bed being prodded by the invisible force is of particular note.
But the scenes wouldn’t have the impact they do if it wasn’t for Charles Bernstein’s uncomfortable score.
A single, recurring beat is played on a loop underscoring the vicious onslaught. The theme itself is haunting and perfectly conjures up a sense of dread and is one you’ll never forget.
At two hours in length, The Entity can’t help but drag. This isn’t helped by the abundance of scientific lingo, liberally strewn in the second half of the film.
In real life, Doris Bither never found out who the entity was or why it targeted her. This leaves the film at a loss as there’s no ending.
A scroll informs us that the attacks continued but subsided in frequency and severity.
The Entity is good for a few chills and unease that makes for uncomfortable viewing.