March 26th: Para-psychology bollocks.

78. The Entity (Sidney J. Furie, 1981)

Barbara Hershey was gorgeous, lovely, beautiful and then some. She was also a talented actress – as evidenced in this film. I’m talking about her in the past tense because she has reached the unfortunate age where female actors suddenly disappear from view. I’ll not go on about that but if you do want to know some more then you could do worse than to seek out Rosanna Arquette’s documentary Searching for Debra Winger (2002). And then send it to me because I’d quite like to watch it.

The Entity is a fairly silly film. Hershey is Carla Moran, a woman who is repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by something invisible. The film is punctuated by about 4 or 5 of these assaults and each one is quite uncomfortable to watch. Unfortunately any tension the film builds is undone by the jarring soundtrack. Crunching industrial guitar riffs accompany the arrival of the rapist ghost making the scenes in question take on an air of some kind of dingy S&M pornography. It’s a shame because Barbara Hershey has acted her socks off throughout the film and it unravels her performance a little. I was pretty upset at the treatment of Ron Silver’s doctor character too, his attempts to rationalise Carla’s problems fall by the wayside of the supernatural storyline. I try not to get too hung up on this because the same accusation can be leveled at one of my favourite films – Ghostbusters. The Entity spirals further into silliness by the conclusion as some dodgy effects contribute to the bizarre attempt to ‘catch’ the ghost. Overall it’s a pretty poor film with some upsetting scenes of sexual abuse.

The Entity  is listed in the Neon book 1000 Essential Movies on Video under ‘Ghost Stories’.