Film Title: The Entity
Release Date: 1982
Runtime: 125 minutes
Region Coding: Region A
Studio: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)
Audio Format: DTS-HD MA 2.0 / 4.1 / 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Formats Available: Blu-ray
Version Reviewed: Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Release Date: 06/11/19
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Cast: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, Margaret Blye, Richard Brestoff, Raymond Singer, Michael Alldredge, Jacqueline Brookes, George Coe, Alex Rocco
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Full Blu-ray Tech Specs can be found at the very bottom.
“The Entity” was a 1982 Drama/Horror film directed by Sidney J. Furie. Furie is best known for directing the old school superhero film “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace“ (1987), as well as the films “The Ipcress File” (1965), “The Appaloosa” (1966), “The Boys in C Company” (1978), “Iron Eagle” (1986), and “Ladybugs“ (1992). The story to the film was written originally as a 1978 novel (of the same title) and the screenplay adaptation was then written by the very same author of the novel, Frank De Felitta.
The story here is based on real-life events, according to the end credits:
“The film [you have just seen] is a fictionalized account of a true incident which took place in Los Angeles, California, in October 1976.
It is considered by psychic researchers to be one of the most extraordinary cases in the history of parapsychology.”
The real-life woman here was a single mother by the name of “Carla Moran” (Barbara Hershey) that was violently sexually attacked, in fact, raped numerous times, by an invisible entity. That’s where the novel and film both get their name (The Entity). A lot of people would have been quick to deem Carla crazy once she and her children had witnessed enough to be afraid to leave their home but she confides in a female friend “Cindy” (Margaret Blye) for help. Cindy first offers to let Carla and her three children stay with her and her husband, against Cindy’s husband’s approval. Eventually, Carla feels comfortable enough to tell her friend about the experiences that she’s been having. At first, Cindy suggests she goes to visit a doctor and Carla decides to take her advice.
Carla goes to a local University and asks for help from a psychiatrist by the name of “Dr. Phil Sneiderman” (Ron Silver) who is a very nice, compassionate man and is willing to listen. Dr. Sneiderman goes as far as to analyze some physical bruises and such on Carla’s person, to which he agrees are real but doesn’t totally agree that they came from some supernatural entity. She continues to receive the doctor’s care and he even goes as far as to visit her home, where the events occurred. Eventually, the events will get worse and it’s going to mean that some other people in Carla’s life will believe her, however not so much the doctor.
Once Carla has had enough of being attacked constantly every night by this mysterious angry sexually deviant manifestation of evil she decides to look for some information regarding supernatural events such as poltergeists. It’s at while browsing at a local book store while she’s looking through some books on the supernatural subject matter where she comes across two parapsychologists by the names of “Gene Kraft” (Richard Brestoff) and “Joe Mehan” (Raymond Singer). She tells the two men, skeptic but eager to listen, about her experiences and even invites the two men (complete strangers she met in a book store) to come to her home and visit where it took place. These guys go about things in a scientific approach that would be well beyond what today some folks might consider “ghost hunters” and such as they had some academic credentials, working at the very same University as her psychiatrist.
Things will be done from both psychiatric and parapsychological perspectives to help Carla and essentially her family (three children) as well. The Entity really proves to be a unique horror with lots of drama, some downright unnerving moments and let’s face it: some (real and fake) nudity with it all being of a supernatural sexual nature. I think some adult moviegoers may never have really taken this film as serious as they perhaps should have. It’s all pretty scary if you instead focus on the real paranormal aspect of it all and look at it from a rape victim’s perspective, be it strange or not. It’s obvious that the film “Poltergeist” being released this very same year (1982) played some part in this film not getting as much attention, especially with it not at all being of a family-friendly type of subject matter.
Movie Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)
“The Entity” on Blu-ray is presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, just as it was shown theatrically. According to IMDb, this movie was shot on 35mm film using Panavision cameras. This new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of the film features just a standard transfer, without a new scan, however it looks pretty good.
The first thing that you’ll notice is that a very nice amount of film grain has been left intact here, all throughout the presentation. Also, there are some occasional slight visual imperfections left in like light scratches, tiny hairs, and whatnot. There’s an impressive amount of detail here, especially in facial close-ups as you’ll be able to tell by looking at some of the screenshots (above and below). The color palette is represented nicely here and it delivers a pleasant and fitting visual style, along with accurate flesh tones and a pretty close to solid black level. Things can look rather impressive at times and sure some of the visual effects might seem a tad bit dated by today’s standards, showing off their flaws now in HD.
Really, it’s a pretty impressive visual presentation. It’s also a really nice improvement over what was found on the previously released 2012 Blu-ray from another distributor. You’ll find it’s much brighter and sharper overall. For example, let me use comparisons of a screenshot from the 2012 release (via Blu-ray.com) and HERE from the 2019 release. Now first, keep in mind that their shots are 720p and JPG and mine are 1080p and PNG (uncompressed), but you’ll clearly notice how much brighter the new shot is. That’s just a taste of how much better it looks. If you’re a true fan of this film, you’ll definitely want to replace that old release and if you’re in the market for a cult-classic horror film and haven’t already seen this film you’ll want to pick it up. As usual Scream Factory delivers a nice high definition presentation.
Video Quality Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)
Audio here is presented in a variety of configurations (mixes). These lossless sound mixes include DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1 surround, and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound.
Now, the first real thing I want to address here is that there’s an obvious amount of hiss (namely in the real channels) all throughout the 5.1 mix and as a result, I decided to not opt for it other than for sampling purposes and to make sure that hiss was present all throughout. I really found the 4.1 surround mix to be the best mix and it even decoded as 5.1 through my AVR (audio video receiver). The 2.0 Stereo lossless mix is also very good and I chose to give it a listen upon my second viewing both through the AVR and once through high-end headphones. So, it just seems that the 5.1 mix admittedly has some sort of problem with hiss but if you’re looking for a surround mix I’d just opt for the 4.1 and chances are that it will either decode in 5.1 (as it did for me) or that it’ll be enough to impress you in its proper 4.1 configuration (minus a center channel).
As for the sound mixes here, you’re going to notice that the dialogue is delivered spot-on all throughout the film across all three mixes (even the 5.1). There are nice evident and at times somewhat daunting amounts of bass that you’ll hear coming from the subwoofer from either the film’s sound effects or it’s original music. Speaking of the film’s original music, composed by Charles Bernstein, it is delivered very appropriately and effectively across the stereo and surround sound mixes, as well are sound effects. At times Bernstein’s original music can have these almost hypnotic pulsating beats and they sound really nice here, no matter which mix you choose. However, if you choose one surround mixes you’ll notice the music getting some nice rear channel use as well as effective amounts of bass represented via the subwoofer. All and all, it’s a good mix for a paranormal horror film with its slower dramatic moments and sounds as impressive as I had expected it to.
Audio Quality Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)
Bonus materials on this release are presented in HD (high definition) video with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo sound – unless otherwise noted below. They include the following:
- NEW Audio Commentary with author/filmmaker Daniel Kremer (“Sidney J. Furie: Life and Films”) is included. This proves to be rather informative and as close as we likely will ever get to an audio commentary by the director. This author of a book about the film’s director is very well suited to do this and offers up some very interesting input all throughout. Fans will absolutely enjoy this.
- NEW “Inner Strength” (19:29 – HD) is an interview with the film’s star, actress Barbara Hershey. This proves to be very informative as you’ll learn things like that the film’s director shot the film in chronological order, how they used fake bodies for some nude scenes, and much more. It’s really fun to hear Hershey discuss working on this film and taking the risks she did by doing a film of this type of subject matter. She seems rather proud of her work, as she should be.
- NEW “Seeing Is Believing” (13:31 – HD) is an interview with the film’s co-star, actor David Labiosa that played the son (“Billy”). Labiosa chimes in on what it was like working on this movie and such.
- NEW “High Dread” (16:59 – HD) is an interview with the film’s musical composer Charles Bernstein. Bernstein discusses making the music for this film and such, just as one would expect. It’s really worth giving this interview a watch, as this film had one memorable score.
- NEW “Spirits & Sprocket Holes” (12:08 – HD) is an interview with the film’s editor Frank J. Urioste. This gets a bit technical for the average film viewer but folks like myself will find this very much worthy of watching and informative.
- “Trailers From Hell – The Entity with audio commentary by Luca Guadagnino” (2:19 – HD) has the director of the 2018 remake of the film “Suspiria” chiming in on his love for this film. This obviously is not the entire film with audio commentary and instead is just a short summarized version.
- “The Entity Files” Featurette (27:30 – HD) originally appeared on the 2005 (Anchor Bay) DVD release of the film. This focuses on the real-life case that this film is based on. Here you will get an interview with Dr. Barry Taff (parapsychologist), as well as old stock video footage, videos of re-creations, and even some photographic evidence regarding the event. There is the discussion of some of the people depicted in this film such as Kerry Gaynor, the man who met the woman depicted as Carla (Doris in real-life) at a bookstore. He and Kerry went to the woman’s house in Culver City, California and listened to her story. They continued to come back and visit the woman and you’ll just have to watch this to hear the rest. It’s very, very interesting to say the least. I’m glad that this featurette was ported over to this new Collector’s Edition release on Blu-ray. Note: This featurette was produced and directed by Perry Martin.
- Theatrical Trailer (1:23 – HD) is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- TV Spots (0:59 – HD) is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- Radio Spots (1:02 – HD) is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
- Still Gallery (2:09 – HD) plays like a slideshow.
Overall the bonus materials here prove to be really solid and you get just over 100 minutes of extras, both new and old, as well as a new audio commentary track and a few other extras. This really is enough to leave fans of the film satisfied that this finally has received a nice treatment in terms of extras.
Bonus Materials Rating: 4 (out of 5)
“The Entity” was a really good supernatural dramatic thriller and is often times just downright underrated because of its sexual subject matter. If you, like myself, are intrigued by supernatural stories involving ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, or even entities, this is a film that you likely should give a watch. Actress Barbara Hershey gives a really great performance that is pretty unforgettable.
In terms of video quality here you get a standard transfer that seems to be newer than what was found on the previously issued Blu-ray from another distributor (as mentioned above) and it’s an improvement over that for sure. If you never saw that release and are just judging it based on that I’d say it has its impressive moments in regards to showing off some detail and beautiful cinematography finally done a bit more justice than it ever has before. In terms of the audio mixes, you’ll get three options (as mentioned), and I found two out of three of those to be a bit more than solid, and at times even somewhat impressive. Those were the 2.0 and 4.1 lossless mixes that I preferred here.
Lastly, in regards to bonus materials, you’ll get more than you’ve ever seen before for this film even one that was ported over from a previous DVD release. There are lots of new interviews here that Scream Factory did as well as a new audio commentary track and few other archival extras regarding the promo materials and whatnot.
In terms of Blu-ray release, this gets:
4.25 (out of 5) for video quality
4.25 (out of 5) for audio quality
4 (out of 5) for bonus materials
Good Film & Presentation
Blu-ray Disc Screenshots:
Blu-ray Technical Specifications:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Exact Runtime: 2:05:08
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1
Disc Size: BD-50
Disc Use: 45.27GB total / 37.3GB for the film