APRIL 6, 2008
I hate when a movie introduces a character like an hour before they become relevant to the rest of the film. Such a thing occurs in The Changeling, and it sort of ruins a bit of the creepiness. We know damn well that this character has some sort of involvement, or else they wouldn’t have spent 3 minutes of screentime having someone explain who he is and what he does. But then it’s another 50 minutes before he’s mentioned again, blah.
Luckily the movie is still pretty good. In fact the movie only really falls apart at the very end, with a silly fire and somewhat confusing turn of events. This old senator dude appears to be in two places at once, and it left me baffled. Did I miss something? Someone explain!
But the earlier part of the film is pretty solid. There are a couple of genuinely creepy sequences (the séance, and subsequent tape playback, for example), and Peter Medak frequently employs a frenetic POV of the ghost, long before Sam Raimi did the same in Evil Dead. Plus, the film is 10 minutes shorter than Blockbuster said it was, so wooo!
I also really liked the opening, in which George C. Scott sees his wife and child get completely DESTROYED by a car. It’s that 70s sensibility that is now pretty much gone; today maybe the wife would die but the kid would live in coma for the rest of the movie. And come back at the end with the cure for Crohn’s or something. Oh and she’d have a dance recital. Not in the 70s though! She’s TOAST. However, her death WOULD have been avoided had her mother had the good sense to push the kid out of the way or something, instead of merely knocking her over and laying on top of her, right in the path of the car. Nice move, schmuck.
One thing I dug about the movie as well was how old everyone is. Scott of course was never young, and everyone else in the movie (except for the dead kid(s), obviously) is pushing 50 or so. I like that, it’s nice to see old people get scared every now and then instead of teens. However, to be fair Scott doesn’t really seem scared by anything, just merely sort of annoyed. His reaction to all of the water in the house turning on is no different than mine when I realize I forgot to buy milk.
Which I forgot to buy this morning! Fuck!
What say you?