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The Entity (1982) | The supernatural suspense pulsates and Barbara Hershey electrifies in Eureka’s HD release

From Eureka Entertainment comes the Blu-ray release of supernatural terror tale, The Entity, starring Barbara Hershey.

The Entity (1982)

Hershey stars as single mum Carla who, one night, is sexually assaulted in her bedroom by someone – or something – that she cannot see.  Met with scepticism by her attending psychiatrist Dr. Sneiderman (Ron Silver), she is repeatedly attacked in her car, in the bath, and in front of her children.

Could this be a case of hysteria or something even more horrific? Now, with a group of liberal-minded parapsychologists, Carla agrees to take part in a bizarre experiment: to seduce, trap and ultimately capture the spectral fury…

The Entity (1982)

Penned by Frank De Felitta, the author of the disturbing reincarnation thriller Audrey Rose, who draws on a real-life 1974 case in California, and helmed by veteran director Sidney J Furie, this strange slice of spectrophilia horror hokum caused a protest when the film first opened in London cinemas.

The Entity (1982)

Whether you believe in the film’s premise or not, you’ll be hard-pressed not to be gripped by Hersey’s genuinely moving performance (she’s in nearly every scene), or get angry at the male characters, who regard her (and all women) as merely hysterical and seem to be engaged in a macho pissing game between each other.

Interestingly, the film was made at a time when the feminist establishment in the US was becoming increasingly autocratic and puritan, espousing dogmatic views that were anti – men, sex, art, porn and censorship. And watching the film today, you can see a deliberately provocative anti-patriarchal subtext that warrants further analysis. And while Martin Scorsese regards The Entity as the scariest horror films of all time, maybe its not supernatural elements that unnerves, but male fears of a woman’s true sexual power? It’s certainly food for thought.

The Entity (1982)

The HD remaster looks super, but it also shows up the so-so effects of the Entity when it’s finally trapped – it reminded me of a giant-sized Mr Whippy ice cream version of the Carroon-creature in The Quatermass Xperiment

Kudos, however, go to the pounding sound effects by Nightmare on Elm Street composer Elmer Bernstein, whose evocative score can also be heard in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds.

The Entity is released on Blu-ray in the UK through Eureka Entertainment and is available from Amazon

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Insidious (2010) | A spooktacular chiller from the fiends behind Saw

Insidious quad poster

With Saw director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell at the helm, I was fearful this was going to be another slice of torture porn. Thankfully Wan and Whannell have reigned in their bloodlust to create a spooktacular haunted horror packed with shocks and scares that are guaranteed to have you jumping out of your seat.

Suspense is the real name of the game here, thanks in part to the producers of Paranormal Activity being on board with the Saw boys. It’s a marriage made in heaven – or should that be Hell? Frankly, I haven’t had such a genuine case of the frights since the underground car park scene in Drag Me to Hell.

In the tradition of classic possession chillers like The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, Insidious begins with nice young couple Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson) moving into a new home with their two sons and baby daughter.

But tragedy strikes when their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma following a fall. While nursing him, Renai begins hearing and seeing unexplainable things in the house. Believing it to be haunted, Renai convinces her husband to move out. But after settling into their next home, Renai is shocked to discover that the ghostly apparitions have moved as well.

Barbara Hershey then appears as Josh’s mother, who calls in the services of a psychic called Elise (Lin Shaye). No stranger to the paranormal herself, Hershey is best known for being violently ghost raped in The Entity. When she tells her son it’s not the first time she’s needed a psychic, I couldn’t help thinking she was referring to that 1970s frightener. Nice touch, guys.

With the aid of two geeky ghostbusters, Specs (played by Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), Elise holds a séance (wearing a gas mask – how very bizarre) and learns that the comatose Dalton (who has the ability to astral travel) has become lost in a dark realm called ‘The Further’. Dalton’s presence in this realm has allowed a number of entities to crossover – including baby doll twin ghosts and a malevolent red-faced demon. It’s then up to Dalton’s ‘I can’t handle stress’ dad to use his own latent astral travelling skills to save his son.

The best thing about Insidious is the way the filmmakers slowly rack up the tension before hitting you with some truly frightening scares. The first one made me jump, but another had me shouting ‘Holy F***!’ quite audibly during the screening. The ghostly apparitions are very subtle, just faces appearing in windows and from out of darkened corners, but it works. So do the sound effects: creaks, groans, whispers, and very loud piano strings dominate. It’s all very effective.  Even the demon is quite something, with his cloven feet and metal talons – though it did remind me of Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace with his black and red face.

Of course comparisons will be made to films like Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, Drag Me to Hell – even Ghostbusters, but while Insidious does draw on those classics for inspiration, it’s still a cleverly crafted chiller and a bloody good scare, and way better than the sequel.

Saw fans take note: Bill the puppet makes a cameo appearance. Try spotting him.

Insidious screens on Film4 on Friday 6 & 11 December at 9pm and is available to watch on YouTube for £2.49.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1YbOMDI59k%5D

Insidious ( 2011) | A spooktacular chiller from the fiends behind Saw

Insidious quad poster

With Saw director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell at the helm, I was fearful this was going to be another slice of torture porn. Thankfully Wan and Whannell have reigned in their bloodlust to create a spooktacular haunted horror packed with shocks and scares that are guaranteed to have you jumping out of your seat.

Suspense is the real name of the game here, thanks in part to the producers of Paranormal Activity being on board with the Saw boys. It’s a marriage made in heaven – or should that be Hell? Frankly, I haven’t had such a genuine case of the frights since the underground car park scene in Drag Me to Hell.

THE STORY
In the tradition of classic possession chillers like The Amityville Horror and Poltergeist, Insidious begins with nice young couple Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson) moving into a new home with their two sons and baby daughter.

But tragedy strikes when their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) falls into a coma following a fall. While nursing him, Renai begins hearing and seeing unexplainable things in the house. Believing it to be haunted, Renai convinces her husband to move out. But after settling into their next home, Renai is shocked to discover that the ghostly apparitions have moved as well.

Black Swan‘s Barbara Hershey then appears as Josh’s mother, who calls in the services of a psychic called Elise (Lin Shaye). No stranger to the paranormal herself, Hershey is best known for being violently ghost raped in The Entity. When she tells her son it’s not the first time she’s needed a psychic, I couldn’t help thinking she was referring to that 1970s frightener. Nice touch, guys.

With the aid of two geeky ghostbusters, Specs (played by Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), Elise holds a séance (wearing a gas mask – how very bizarre) and learns that the comatose Dalton (who has the ability to astral travel) has become lost in a dark realm called ‘The Further’. Dalton’s presence in this realm has allowed a number of entities to crossover – including baby doll twin ghosts and a malevolent red-faced demon. It’s then up to Dalton’s ‘I can’t handle stress’ dad to use his own latent astral travelling skills to save his son.

THE LOWDOWN
The best thing about Insidious is the way the filmmakers slowly rack up the tension before hitting you with some truly frightening scares. The first one made me jump, but another had me shouting ‘Holy F***!’ quite audibly during the screening. The ghostly apparitions are very subtle, just faces appearing in windows and from out of darkened corners, but it works. So do the sound effects: creaks, groans, whispers, and very loud piano strings dominate. It’s all very effective.  Even the demon is quite something, with his cloven feet and metal talons – though it did remind me of Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace with his black and red face.

Of course comparisons will be made to films like Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, Drag Me to Hell – even Ghostbusters, but while Insidious does draw on those classics for inspiration, it’s still a cleverly crafted chiller and a bloody good scare!

THE VERDICT
A must see, of course!

Saw fans take note: Bill the puppet makes a cameo appearance. Try spotting him.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfcHoXTlMX0%5D
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