The Mixmaster's Horror Movie Countdown, October 20: The Changeling

No, no, no. Not that Angelina Jolie flick from 2008. That's just Changeling, and while Jolie's huge, puffy lips are kinda creepy, they can't hold a candle to 1980's The Changeling, the moody, haunted house spooker starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere and Melvyn Douglas.

OK, you kids, stop that sniggering there in the back. We know you desensitized punk fans of Hostel, Saw and all those gruesome torture-porn flicks may find this hard to believe, but it is possible to get goose flesh from something as simple as strange banging noises in an attic, a spooky seance or the sight of a ball bouncing slowly down at set of darkened stairs. No one is disemboweled. Red food coloring and corn syrup are blessedly absent.

The man who played Old Blood and Guts does not require blood or guts to scare anyone, dammit.

The Most Memorable Scene:

The plot is pretty straightforward. Grieving widower John Russell (Scott) moves to Seattle, where he settles into a giant, creepy mansion that HAS A DARK SECRET.

And a noisy ghost.

Creepy, understated stuff follows. Retribution is delivered. A question mark is attached at the end. Ooooo, scary, keeds.

Now, I mean it. Stop that laughing back there, you brats. What, you're not scared of no haunted rubber balls? If that's not scary, why was The Changeling's ghost-ball sort of ripped off by the new American Horror Story series on FX? Well, honestly, it's probably because that show seems to be ripping off every horror trope ever committed to film, but that's not the point. The point is that a good scare -- like a good drug experience -- depends largely on set and setting. If you dim the lights, get in the proper mindset and turn down the blood lust, The Changeling might just change your mind about what constitutes a good horror movie.

Or it might just bore the shit out of you. In that case, we recommend you try some drugs while you watch. Could help.

Check out this clip from YouTube to see one reason why men hate wet balls.

The Mixmaster's Horror Movie Countdown October 1: Halloween October 2: Antichrist October 3: Student Bodies October 4: Poltergeist October 5: Jaws October 6: Suspiria October 7: Scream October 8: The Fly October 9: Dead Alive October 10: Drag Me to Hell October 11: Se7en October 12: Rosemary's Baby October 13: Friday the 13th October 14: The Thing October 15: Audition October 16 and 17: The Exorcist and The Exorcist III October 18: The Omen October 19: Paranormal Activity

Follow the Mixmaster on Twitter and Facebook.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >