As I’ve mentioned every year on this day, there are a special batch of movies I hold in a “holy grail” category. These are ones that no matter how badly I want to put them on earlier days, I save and divvy them out sparingly each year on Halloween. That way I still have a few juggernauts to appear on this holy day of Oct 31. This year, it’s The Changeling, one of the greatest haunted house movies ever made. Here is the brief IMDB synopsis:
After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying at a long-vacant Seattle mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion’s attic.
George C. Scott is widely appreciated for being one of the greatest actors ever. But I feel like he is under-appreciated for his contributions to the horror world. Even if he didn’t return later in horror movies like Firestarter or Exorcist III, he had already cemented his horror creed with his magnificent turn in The Changeling. The Changeling is one of those films that just gets the haunted house genre right. Every creak, shadow, hidden room, or ghostly sound, hits perfectly. There are so many moments in this movie that are spine-tingling in their simplicity. It’s amazing how a simple bouncing ball can be terrifying, but here it is. And when that wheelchair appears at the top of the stairs, I remember feeling flat-out dread (granted I saw this when I was WAY too young.) But then you’ve got the pitch-perfect seance scene, and the recordings from it afterward. I’m telling you, this film is chock full of incredible moments. If you’ve never seen The Changeling, or haven’t see it in a while, it deserves a watch (or rewatch) immediately. It’s just a classic all the way around.
Where to Watch: Streaming on Peacock, Shudder, AMC+ and a few others.
Food/Drink Pairing: Some wild caught salmon from the Pacific Northwest, and a jet black beer.
3 thoughts on “10/31/22 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE PICK #31 – The Changeling (1980).”
I knew Russell Hunter personally and professionally, this movie really terrified me, knowing it was based on Hunter’s actual experience living in a mansion in Denver’s Cheesman Park. Cheesman Park was originally a cemetery. A contractor was hired to move the graves to the newly designated cemetery. Yes, you guessed it, he moved a few and scattered the bones of the rest across the property.
Mansions were built and the rest of the property was turned into a park where people picnic, jog and bike through and enjoy the scenery. I was hired to investigate a mansion owned by Hunter’s neighbors. I was fairly new to Denver, I lived in Boulder and had no idea about the history of Cheesman Park. Hunter was present when I arrived at my clients home. He was impressed with my assessment of the activity my clients were experiencing and invited me to his home. When we were walking to his place, I got chills. I told him I was sensing activity at the edge of the Park. I knelt down and touched the ground, I told him people are buried here. He just smiled at me and gave me the history. The creep factor grew when I entered his house and a ball bounced down the stairs. I swear to God, if an antique wheel chair approached me rolling on its own I’m not sure what I would do. I laughed and said, “ok very funny, you staged this didn’t you?” I went up the stairs expecting to find someone hiding. Nobody was there, I checked thoroughly. Yeah, that movie gave me nightmares for years to come.
This is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. The fact that a damn ball bounced down the stairs when you were there is INSANE. Yeah, I can see why that movie may have affected you more than most haha. Just wow.
Thanks for responding, I’ll be following you for more 😊