Directed by Peter Medak
Story by Russell Hunter
Screenplay by William Gray and Diana Maddox
The Changeling is a suspenseful, intelligent ghost story and that is really all I know to say about it. It was released in 1980 and of course it has become somewhat dated. When was the last time you saw a fully enclosed phone booth? But that’s nitpicking of the smallest order. The film is actually quite good and while watching I kept asking myself why I avoided it for so many years.
The plot of the film revolves around George C. Scott’s character and of the ghost of a child who is, in Scott’s own words, “trying desperately to communicate with me.” The film has all the things that a good ghost story should have; a haunted house, a séance, ghostly visions and mysterious whisperings; and of course it has a ghost. Scott and his co-star Trish Van Devere mesh very well in their time together on screen. But of course this may be due to the fact that the two had been happily married since 1972.
All in all, The Changeling is an entertaining way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon curled up on the couch with your significant other. Pop some popcorn and enjoy. Oh, and don’t forget to turn off the lights.
The movie is based on events which supposedly took place at a house in Denver, Colorado, in the 1960s. The Chessman Park neighborhood in the movie is a reference to Cheesman Park in Denver, where the original haunting transpired.
- “We’ll tell scary ghost stories and … Oh, let’s just tell scary ghost stories!” (moviemorlocks.com)
- Susan Hill on The Woman in Black/Writing a Ghost Story (Saturday Guardian) (barnsleywriters.wordpress.com)