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.
Barbara Hershey ... Carla Moran
Ron Silver ... Phil Sneiderman
David Labiosa ... Billy
George Coe ... Dr. Weber
Margaret Blye ... Cindy Nash
Jacqueline Brookes ... Dr. Cooley
Richard Brestoff ... Gene Kraft
Michael Alldredge ... George Nash
Raymond Singer ... Joe Mehan
Allan Rich ... Dr. Walcott
Natasha Ryan ... Julie
Melanie Gaffin ... Kim
Alex Rocco ... Jerry Anderson
Sully Boyar ... Mr. Reisz
Tom Stern ... Woody Browne
The Entity has an extremely sloppy script. First of all, it basically repeats itself a dozen times. Each attack is more or less identical. The biggest problem has to do with the psychologist. He thinks it\'s all in Carla\'s head. It would have been nice for the filmmakers to give us the possibility for interpretation, but we see these attacks outside of Carla\'s point of view. The audience knows for sure that what is happening is real. And then there are half a dozen witnesses. When they corroborate her story, the psychologist still refuses to believe them. Jerry (Alex Rocco) swears that he saw Carla\'s body being manipulated by an unseen force, and Dr. Sneiderman still believes it\'s all just in her head. What this does is make him the bad guy throughout the film - we know that, because of him, Carla\'s attacks are going to go on without a chance of relief. And the script wants us to feel a romantic connection between the two of them. A lot of the film is told from his point of view, trying to get us to believe he is a helpful force, and all we can do is despise him as if he were a weasel taking advantage. This, more than anything else, stops the film dead in its tracks.
However, there are a couple of positive things that save the film and make it worth a watch. Barbara Hershey is absolutely excellent as the frightened victim who gradually grows stronger. The rest of the acting isn\'t bad, either, but only her performance stands out. Also, the special effects, even though they are very cheap, are enormously effective. Well, the lightning wasn\'t, but this film goes to show you that a simple rattling mirror is worth so much more than a million dollar CGI ghost.
...and wait until the final moments of the film. I don\'t think ANYTHING has made me shiver as violently as that moment after the door slams closed. Also, I\'ve rarely been as proud of a character after Carla opens it right back up.
When any film incurs user-comments that are at a 180 degree variance from one to the next, the odds are it is the subject itself which is the catalyst behind the emotion. We have those who admire its technical expertise (at least for 1981) and who recall its fear-factor and professionalism to others who deplore the entire work, branding its laughable script and effects. The truth I suspect lies midway between these inconsistent comments.
To start with there are always going to be a significant percentage of the population who are affronted by the concept of a young girl being sexually assaulted by a ghost for a prolonged period of time....whether it actually happened or not. This, incidentally IS based on a true story that was itself the grounding for Frank De Felita\'s top selling book. If the notion is a distasteful one, the chances of you liking the film are slim HOWEVER technically adept it is. As it transpires, Barbara Hershey is remarkably good as Carla Moran, the young lady with a problem neither the Police, the Medical Profession or the supposed experts of the paranormal have much luck with. The rapes and sexual assaults are both graphic and quite worrying. Some loopy reviewer likened them to scenes in the SCREAM and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID films! Huh? I think being taken apart by a psycho with a knife or hook is way THIS side of normal compared to being sexually molested in your own bed! but hey, thats just MY opinion!
For its day THE ENTITY was nearer the edge of hard-core horror than many of its contemporaries. I suspect those who claimed to have \"laughed\" at the entire thing are having themselves on or at least putting up a front for whatever reason. The film was not laughable! I can understand those who believed the film was exploitive and bordering on the distasteful - but hey, so was SILENCE OF THE LAMBS!
I believe you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this film (a) If you have never seen it or (b) If some reasonably heavy-duty horror scenes appeal to you!
\'The Entity\' is a disturbing account of what are supposed to be true events, obviously they are the usual dramatisation\'s and alterations to the plot to heighten the viewing experience, but it\'s still a damn good film.
Barbara Hershey gives the performance of her life as the frightened character of Carla, who grows and evolves as the film moves forward. She is adequately supported by the rest of the cast who all play likable characters, except for the doctor; he just becomes annoying and ultimately ends up looking very stupid.
Unfortunately the special effects have not withstood the test of time very well, they aren\'t laughably bad by any stretch of the imagination, but they really do look pretty tired now.
Overall \'The Entity\' is an under-rated film that is actually one of the best horror movies of the 80\'s. It has great tension that starts right from the word \'action\', it successfully grabs your attention and doesn\'t let you go and it\'s very graphic and disturbing in the way a horror movie should be.
# The real-life Carla Moran\'s teenage son described a particularly vicious attack in which Carla was thrown by the malevolent force and hit her head. He tried to intervene, but he was also thrown, breaking his arm. In the filming of the movie, the actor playing the son broke his arm in that scene, and the curtains tore from top to bottom without explanation.
# Robert MacNaughton auditioned for a role for this film, after being asked because the casting director saw him in an off-Broadway play, in New York.