The Changeling (1980)

John Russell (George C. Scott) is a celebrated composer who suffers a life changing personal tragedy and decides to move away to a small town college where he will lecture in music.  Peter (The Krays) Medak’s superb ghost story The Changeling chronicles the events of when John moves into an old empty house with the intention of writing some new music.

The house John moves into has been empty for a number of years but is cared for by the local historical society who one of it’s staff recommends as it’s has a grand piano suited just right for any one with musical ability.  Everything is just fine, John is appreciated by his students and also strikes up a friendship with the woman who ‘sold’ him the house played by Scott’s real life wife Trish Van Devere.  However, things literally start going bump in the night with banging noises, taps turning themselves on and a frightening image appears of a young boy drowning.

Obviously something isn’t right, so John investigates further and more mysteries begin to unfold especially when he finds a secret room hidden away from the rest of the house.

The Changeling is one decent supernatural chiller dripping in atmosphere and some generally creepy moments to make you go a bit cold.  George C. Scott was a powerhouse of an actor and what could have been a run of the mill haunted house picture is elevated to a higher plain with him taking the material seriously.  He is backed up with a good supporting cast including his wife as I mentioned above and fellow Hollywood vet Melvyn Douglas as a local politician harbouring a deep secret.

Along with their recent release of Xtro, Second Sight continue knocking out some terrific special editions with The Changeling featuring a soundtrack CD, a book and poster as well as a great presentation of the film and some decent extras.

Cracking stuff and you’re probably never feel the same about a bouncing ball again, it scared the crap out of Stephen King at the time and it might just do the same to you.

  • Starring George C. Scott  Trish Van Devere  John Colicos  Jean Marsh
  • Director Peter Medak
  • Distributor Second Sight