- Movie Rating -

The Entity (1983)

| February 4, 1983

The Entity is a movie that I wasn’t sure how to feel about when it was over.  It is a supernatural fantasy, but its predicament for its heroine is all too real.  It is the story of a single mother whose home is invaded by an unseen force that beats her unmercifully then pins her to her bed and rapes her.  Night after night, she is assaulted by this evil spirit but, of course, who can she turn to?

The template of this story is the experience of thousands of women each and every day who are raped and, in fact, Barbara Hershey plays the role with stark staring seriousness even as the movie gets more and more ridiculous.  She can’t go to the police, so she turns to a group of parapsychologists who build a mock-up of her home in their lab with a plan to trap the spirit by spraying it with liquid nitrogen in hopes that they can freeze it in mid-air.

Okay, on an exploitation level, the plot involving the parapsychologists is pretty unique, I hadn’t seen that before.  How exactly do you catch a ghost with liquid nitrogen?  Are ghosts made of matter that can be frozen in this way.  Are they molecular?  Do they have cells?

I was smiling at these scenes but I questioned exactly how I supposed to take this?  Am I supposed to see it as a fantastical ghost story or as a very real drama about a woman who has been sexually assaulted and can’t get anyone to listen to her?

I’m at odds, and I was also a little put off by the scenes of the actual rape which are very well produced on an exploitation level with nudity and clever editing and exciting music.  The presentation isn’t one of violation but of the kinds of excitement that horror movies are supposed to give us.  The rape scenes in this movie – and there are at least two – are presented more or less on the same level as the murders in Halloween, and that just feels wrong.  This is a violation and the way that the movie presents it, we’re suppose to feel something other than the sickness that comes with the act of rape.  I’m at odds here.  I felt unsettled but probably not in the way that the filmmakers had intended.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1983) View IMDB Filed in: Horror