10/31/22 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE PICK #31 – The Changeling (1980).

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.

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