I’m still catching up with some of the 2018 releases; the one I’m taking a look at here came out from Second Sight Films back in August for the limited edition and October for the standard version. So what’s the movie? Well it’s a horror film from 1980 starring George C. Scott, so without further ado here’s The Changeling blu-ray review.
- The Changeling (1980)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Peter Medak
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: LE 2 / Std 1
- Released By Second Sight Films
- Blu-ray Released: Limited Edition 13 Aug 2018 / Standard 29 Oct 2018
Composer John Russell’s (George C. Scott) life is turned upside down following a tragic accident resulting in the loss of his wife and daughter. He chooses to move away to Seattle and rents an old mansion that has been vacant for some 12 years. However he soon discovers some odd goings on and chooses to investigate and learns the history of the family that lived there. Does the house want rid of him or is it a cry for help?
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Peter Medak with the cinematography handled by John Coquillon. There are plenty of odd camera angles that either has the shot looking up create that uneasy feeling or a moving camera that signifies that someone or something is also present.
This all works exceptionally well and I’d have to say The Changeling is a well directed and paced horror film.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is composed by Rick Wilkins and it really does suit this style of horror film very well. Expect plenty of piano sounds that increase the creepiness factor.
Acting / Characters
George C Scott takes on the lead role of composer John Russell. He gives the film a more believable feel playing the role very seriously. In fact all of the cast do well with their given roles including Trish Van Devere as Claire Norman who shares in the investigation and works rather well against Scott.
- George C. Scott as John Russell
- Trish Van Devere as Claire Norman
- Melvyn Douglas as Sen. Joseph Carmichael
- John Colicos as DeWitt
- Jean Marsh as Joanna Russell
- Barry Morse as Doctor Pemberton
- Madeleine Sherwood as Mrs. Norman
- Helen Burns as Leah Harmon
- Frances Hyland as Mrs. Grey
- Eric Christmas as Albert Harmon
- Roberta Maxwell as Eva Lingstrom
Conclusion: The Changeling (1980) Film Review
This is another film I’d never seen before this Blu-ray release and thanks to Second Sight Films I’m pleased to say it’s one I thoroughly enjoyed. I found the story to be more than just your run of the mill haunted house film, whilst the acting was strong. The overall look and feel is greatly aided by the excellent score, all of which results in an excellent horror film and a type that filmmakers seem to struggle to pull off today.
So to conclude, I highly recommend The Changeling for any fan of the horror genre.
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Conclusion: The Changeling Blu-ray Review
According to the Blu-ray box the film has undergone a “brand new 4K scan and restoration” that said there are still some occasionally marks and the audio does contain a fair bit on hiss in quiet scenes. I wouldn’t say the overall picture quality was bad because it’s not. I’m not sure of the condition the original print before the restoration process occurred but if I’m being critical I think those few little annoying marks could have been removed. For the most part this is more than an acceptable release and I have no reason not to recommend it.
There are two versions available the “Limited Edition” and the “Standard”. You can see the differences listed below but the limited edition can now only be obtained via third party sellers on sites like Amazon. In any case the limited edition comes with a CD of the original soundtrack plus a 40 page booklet. To be fair the standard version is a very good purchase and is still readily available.
On those extras I’ll simply say they are excellent giving plenty of background into the story, the music and filmmaking.
- Audio Commentary with director Peter Medak
- The House on Cheesman Park (18 mins)
- Building The House of Horror (11 mins)
- The Music of The Changeling (9 mins)
- Master of Horror Mick Garris on The Changeling (6 mins)
- The Psychotronic Tourist (16 mins)
- Original Trailer
- TV Spot
Limited Edition Exclusive
- Original Soundtrack CD
- 40 Page Booklet
- Double Sided Poster
On to my movie rating for The Changeling (1980)
- Movie Rating: RECOMMENDED
- Blu-ray Picture: GOOD
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
The Changeling (1980) is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster from the SeverinFilms release.
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
That concludes The Changeling (1980) blu-ray review, there’s plenty more reviews coming very soon.
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: The Changeling (1980) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Changeling (1980)
Duration: 107 mins
Director(s): Peter Medak
Actor(s): George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, John Colicos, Jean Marsh, Barry Morse, Madeleine Sherwood
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
An excellent haunted house horror story well told & acted.
- Good Story
- Excellent Score
- George C. Scott
- 4k Restoration
- Fabulous set of Extras
- A Few Annoying Marks
- Occasional Audio Hiss