It’s time for a good old fashioned haunted house movie.
The Changeling (1980) is a quiet little horror film. It stars George C. Scott as a composer who rents a mansion in the country to recover after the deaths of his wife and child. Things seem to be fine until some strange occurrences start happening. Doors slam shut and windows mysteriously shatter. It seems the house is haunted. George C. Scott, being George C. Scott, isn’t scared of the ghost. In fact he demands to know what the spirit wants. And so begins his search into the mysterious death of his house companion.
Directed by Peter Medak (The Ruling Class, Romeo Is Bleeding), the film was co-produced by a Canadian company and was shot mostly in Canada. It also won the first ever Genie Award for Best Canadian Film and made Martin Scorsese’s best 11 horror movies ever list.
This is an eerie, creepy movie and it doesn’t fall into the standard idiotic haunted house plot that so many other films do. Scott isn’t too scared by all the goings on, in fact he gets quite mad. But it isn’t just Scott’s attitude that’s different than most haunted house movies, his quick realization that the place is haunted and his quest to solve the ghost’s problem is also a change from the normal. All and all an excellent ghost story.