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Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Entity (1982)

In 1976, a single mother (Barbara Hershey) of three is raped by an invisible entity. After an auto accident caused by the entity, she is placed under the care of a psychiatrist (Ron Silver) who is convinced the activity is psychological and that the seeds are buried in her childhood years. But a chance encounter with two parapsychologists (Richard Brestoff, Raymond Singer) who investigate her home indicates that paranormal activity is real and not a product of her hallucinations. Based on the novel by Frank De Felitta which in turn is very loosely based on the case of Doris Bither. The film (like the novel) is a highly fictionalized account of the case with much dramatic license. Dealing with the subject of rape (even by a poltergeist) is always uncomfortable and the film can't help but feel slightly exploitative. But the director Sidney J. Furie (LADY SINGS THE BLUES) keeps a tight rein on the film and stays focused on the ramifications of the supposed paranormal activity by Silver's doubting psychiatrist who makes a good argument for it being psychological. The actual case is far less exciting but with definite unexplained paranormal activity. But the film succeeds because of Hershey's gutsy performance. Her commitment makes you believe in her situation even if only while you're watching it. With Margaret Blye, Alex Rocco, Jacqueline Brookes, George Coe and David Labiosa.

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