The Entity (1981)


“Carla Moran awakens one night to find herself being beaten and raped by an unseen presence. Terrified of what’s happening to her, and shunned by friends and family who think she’s lost her mind, she seeks help from parapsychologists. The researchers soon discover that evil spiritual force has been drawn to Carla and is responsible for the violent attacks. The question now, however, is how do they stop it? Based on a supposedly true story.”


The Entity I recall seeing when I was very young – about 7-8 years of age at my grandmother’s house. I remember one of my uncle’s had rented this from a video store (yes, remember those?) and we all settled down to watch it together once Nana had gone to bed!

Popcorn and coke in hand, I settled in to watch perhaps one of the scariest films I’d seen up until that point in my life. Does this still live up to it’s taught atmosphere of utter dread and despair?

Sort of.

Supposedly, this is based upon the true story of Doris Bither (played by Barbara Hershey here, as Carla Moran).

It’s safe to say that this is perhaps Barbara’s best role, she handles it very well, and looks truly terrified in some of these scenes (this has not changed over the years, I would actually love to hear commentary on how she dealt with these scenes and prepared for them).

One of the only things which has degraded over the years is the Entity itself, when it is shown in full form etc, it just looks…well, cheap, not menacing at all, really.

The one thing I have always wondered about (even as a kid) was – what was the backstory of The Entity? Where did it come from/what caused it? Why did it want Carla/Doris so badly?

Being raped by a force that you cannot physically see, nothing could be more truly terrifying for an individual, surely? This film’s use of very minimalist music (sometimes using only one-two tones throughout a scene) is very effective here, and this has also not changed today.

I would highly reccomend checking this out, if not for nostalgic value, then for the tour-de-force performance of Barbara Hershey in this role.



7.3 out o f 10 – an early 80’s ghost story which still holds up today.


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