‘The Changeling’ is an Incredibly Effective Slow-Burning Horror Masterpiece

A lonely man retires to a large and spacious old home when his wife and daughter are killed in a snow plow accident.  Settled into the mansion, he begins to experience several supernatural occurrences leading him to discover a hidden room, a dusty wheelchair, and the horrible secret of the house’s former owners. 

I remember the first time I saw this movie.  It was Halloween night of 1992 and our local television station was playing a horror movie marathon.  It was late and, as I battled to stay awake during the closing credits of the deliciously tacky creature feature, Night of the Creeps, the announcer told us that The Changeling was coming on next.

I’d never seen The Changeling and didn’t know if I would be able to make it through another movie, but for some reason I stayed awake and started watching.  Soon, I couldn’t go to sleep if I wanted to because, over the course of the next couple of hours, I watched the scariest haunted house movie I had ever seen before… and even to this day, I’ve yet to see one surpass it.

In fact – and this is a true story – I spent the next five years looking for a copy of this movie.  It became almost an obsession.

There’s just so much genuine fear in this movie that it’s almost unreal.  From a child’s disembodied voice to a creepy séance, from a ball bouncing down a stairway to a hidden room and a terrible secret.  This movie has enough scary to keep even the most hardened horror fanatic happy. 

Not to mention a tremendous cast including the late great George C. Scott as the lead.

Skilled directions, minimal special effects, no horror clichés, a terrific cast, and a genuine atmosphere of chills and frights make me wonder why no more people know about this movie.

Correct that problem folks.  Rent this movie, cuddle up with a blanket and some popcorn, and be scared.

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