Review of The Entity (1982)

Moving picture, 125 minutes

Seen in 2016.

A refreshingly sincere attempt to integrate feminism, scientific skepticism and rapey supernatural horror with good actors and a budget. That attempt breaks down in the finale: The parapsychological research team unreasonably goes straight from recording activity in the home to hitting a cold-generating entity with cold. When this attempt briefly succeeds and skepticism is no longer tenable, one eye witness idiotically rejects the evidence. In that choice, the makers of the film finally discard their laudable idea of credible investigation, in favour of an empty spectacle with a badly masked blob of ice. Immediately following this, they make another bad choice: having the entity suddenly speak English.

This could easily have been better, more Delta Green. It would only have taken a more honest portrayal of science and an avoidance of the implication that the entity is driven by something more or something other than an abstract evil wish to regularly do harm. On a lesser note, Jacqueline Brookes is good in this one as Dr. Cooley, and the sound design surrounding the entity recalls the time when heavy metal was still hilariously associated with genuine horror and evil.

moving picture fiction