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DVD Review: The Changeling (1980)

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The Changeling  (1980)
(aka  L'Enfant Du Diable)

Directed by Peter Medak

The Changeling DVDAfter his wife and daughter are killed in a road accident composer John Russell (George C. Scott) moves out of the family home and leases an old mansion. It's a big house for the old guy to be rattling around in on his own, but it turns out that he isn't as alone as he thinks. The house is haunted.

The first indication the viewer gets that the house is haunted is when one of the keys on Russell's piano is pressed down by invisible fingers. The first indication that Russell receives is when he is woken up one morning by the sound of banging reverberating throughout the house. Then a little later, in true haunted house fashion, a door opens itself. These things are only the beginning though, and when the composer hears the sound of dripping tap, and goes to investigate, he finds that the bath has filled with water. Russell turns off the tap and the manifestation of a young boy appears in the bath and floats to the surface. It has to be said that Russell handles this unexpected occurrence a lot better than most people would. He is one brave, old guy.

At a seance, conducted in the house, it is revealed that the young boy's name is Joseph and he died in the house 70 years ago and wants Russell's help.

Russell later has a vision that reveals the way Joseph died. His death, like his short life, was tragic. With the help of his friend Claire Norman Russell tries to uncover the truth about Joseph's death and upsets some wealthy and influential people in the process.

The Changeling is an incredibly good haunted house story and it terrified me the first time I saw it. That was many years ago, I have seen it several times since, and even now it never fails to raise a few goose bumps whenever I watch it. Special effects in the movie are minimal when compared to today's standards, but that does not matter because the general creepiness of the film is more than enough to keep the viewer's attention, and one of the scariest things in the film, strange to say, is an old wheelchair that moves around on its own. I think one of the reasons that the wheelchair idea works so well is because it isn't overused. The chair moves slightly a couple of times in the film, and then, when Joseph has a tantrum, it is thrown down the stairs. The scene in which this happens is probably one the most terrifying ones in the entire movie, but is not, by any means, the only scene that sends a cold shiver down the spine.

The Changeling DVD

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DVD ExtrasTrailer

DVD ExtrasAnimated Photo Gallery

DVD ExtrasExclusive Audio Commentary By Director Peter Medak


 George C. Scott  ...  John Russell
 Trish Van Devere ...  Claire Norman

 Melvyn Douglas ...  Sen. Joseph Carmichael

 Jean Marsh               ...  Joanna Russell
 John Colicos             ...  De Witt
 Barry Morse             ...  Parapsychologist
 Madeleine Sherwood ...  Mrs. Norman
 Helen Burns              ...  Leah Harmon
 Frances Hyland         ...  Elizabeth Grey
 Ruth Springford        ...  Minnie Huxley
 Eric Christmas          ...  Albert Harmon
 Roberta Maxwell       ...  Eva Lingstrom
 Bernard Behrens       ...  Prof. Robert Lingstrom
 James B. Douglas     ...  Eugene Carmichael

 J. Kenneth Campbell ...  Security guard

 C.M. Campel     ...  Mr. Tuttle
 Voldi Way         ...  Joseph Carmichael
 Michelle Martin  ...  Kathy Russell
 Janne Mortil .      ..  Linda Grey
 Terence Kelly     ...  Sgt. Durban
 Robert Monroe   ...  Archives clerk
 Hagan Beggs       ...  Coroner

 Anna Hagan         ...  Secretary
 Antonia Rey .        ..  Estancia
 Sammy Smith       ...  Stan (the doorman)
 Paul Rothery         ...  Terry Grey
 Bruce MacLeod     ...  Security guard
 Fred Latremouille   ...  Airport guard
 David Peevers        ...  Microfilm clerk
 Sera Johnstone       ...  Sarah Lingstrom
 Adam Earle            ...  Adam Lingstrom
 Carl Boychuk          ...  Music student
 Bryan King              ...  Music student
 Susan Round            ...  Music student
 Nicki Steida              ...  Music student
 Randolph Blankinship ...  Pilot
 Travis Major             ...  Pilot

DVD Information:


Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen




Dutch, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

Aspect Ratio


Dubbed Language Options

German, Italian, Spanish


102 minutes


Choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo or mono

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