Blu-ray Review: THE CHANGELING

THE CHANGELING was directed by Peter Medak from a screenplay by William Gray and Diana Maddox based on a story by Russell Hunter and stars George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse,  Jean Marsh and John Colicos.

Peter Medak’s classic ghost story The Changeling has been out of circulation for years on home video but now looking better than ever in a new HD transfer created from a 4K scan of the inter-positive film element. It is perhaps the most chilling supernatural thriller of our time. It remains a career peak for star George C. Scott stars as a Manhattan composer consumed by grief after his wife and daughter are killed in a shocking accident. But when he moves to a secluded Victorian mansion, he will find himself haunted by a paranormal entity that may unleash an even more disturbing secret. The movie wasbased on actual events.

The Changeling is a child that’s been secretly replaced by the parents for a substitute. The movie follows John Russell (George C. Scott), a composer/ professor who loses his wife and daughter in a tragic car accident while they’re on a wintery vacation. The grieving family man decides to relocate from their home in New York to the outskirts of Seattle where he finds a secluded old mansion to move in with the help of his friend Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere). It doesn’t take long for John to realize that the house is haunted but instead of getting out of there, his curiosity gets the best of him so he starts to do some investigating.

A séance is performed with a small group where John finds out that he’s actually dealing with the ghost of a young boy who was drowned in a bathtub decades earlier, but the big question is, why did this tragedy happen and who killed the boy? John recruits the assistance of his friend Claire and the two of them keep digging up clues and slowly start to put the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together where they ultimately discover the shocking secrets of the boy’s death and why it happened. In the end, this eerie murder mystery is finally solved and this allows the restless spirit to finally find some peace.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The film has been given a brand new 4K scan by Severin Films from the inter-positive film element. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this Blu-ray release. Severin Films did a great job with the HD upgrade for this obscure horror classic.

Bottom line is, The Changeling ended up being another first time watch for me but it’s also a movie that I’ve heard a lot about over the years and I’m so glad that I finally got the opportunity to check it out because it’s a grand haunted house creeper. We get a lot of movies that are based on true stories and actual events but the horror genre does it best when it comes to something like this and The Changeling is a good one. The tragic story is about this man who’s lost his family and if that’s not enough agony on him already he ends up moving into a house that’s haunted by a restless spirit. George C. Scott does a really good job as the main character who takes it upon himself to put the pieces of this myterious puzzle together that allows him to uncover the shocking secrets that dwell within this old mansion. Director Peter Medak constructed a suspenseful and thought-provoking thriller that’s one part gothic haunter and one part murder mystery with the end result being an entertaining watch full of thrills and chills. This 1980 horror classic will finally be available on Blu-ray for the first time ever on August 7th.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 107 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1 )

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / English, Italian, German and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include some audio commentary, three featurettes, two interviews, images, original theatrical trailer and TV spot for the movie.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Peter Medak and Producer Joel B. Michaels, moderated by Severin Films’ David Gregory
  • The House On Cheesman Park: The Haunting True Story of THE CHANGELING (17:32)
  • The Music of THE CHANGELING: Interview with Music Arranger Kenneth Wannberg (08:58)
  • Building The House Of Horror: Interview with Art Director Reuben Freed (10:54)
  • The Psychotronic Tourist: THE CHANGELING (16:02)
  • Master of Horror Mick Garris on THE CHANGELING (05:30)
  • Poster & Still Gallery (08:52)
  • Trailer (02:17)
  • TV Spot (00:27)

 

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