Sunday, April 26, 2009

Obscure Horror Movie Review – “The Sentinel”

If you fell in love with horror during the 70s, there was a steady and promising banquet to feed upon. If you enjoyed the feel of “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Burnt Offerings,” “Watcher in the Woods,” and “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud,” this 1977 film will satisfy.

“The Sentinel” stars some big-time names like Chris Sarandon, John Carradine, Ava Gardner, Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, and Beverly DeAngelo (yeah, as in National Lampoon Vacation movies). With this cast, it has a decidedly “Ghost Story” feel to it. This one isn’t for kids, as there is admittedly some nude shots involving Beverly DeAngelo (which I suppose for some male fans of the Vacation series this might be a selling point).

A model finds a room in an odd boarding house. The people living there are quirky and her encounters with them mystifying. The plot keeps you wondering and the house is so creepy and the occupants so fascinating, that you wonder where this movie is going. It does have a twist ending that creeps you out. Totally. Warning: You’ll probably want to see it a second time soon after just to watch for clues…

I liked this film a lot and keep it in my collection. I keep notes about what mood I might be in and what movie would satisfy that craving. This movie is kept under the categories of “70s feel,” “good acting,” “insanity,” and “twist ending.” This one is a real classic with mood and pacing, acting and dialogue, and was really well plotted out. Definitely worth a look-see and perhaps even a purchase, as it is worth seeing many times.


  1. I remember this one well-scared the bejabbers out of me at the time-I think I even read the book-although I could be getting it mixed up with another 70s film-I hope you are having (or have had about now) a beautiful weekend-all the best!!

  2. Devin;
    You're always a ray of sunshine. Yes, my weekend has gone very well and I'm about to put up a little blip about the Cemetery Crawl event--just got back from the prize awarding finish line for the road trip rally. This movie was a real gem. Have you ever read the book "The Legend of Hell House" I think it was by Mathison? Compared to the movie--it was quite different and very explicit. I liked the book better, but then I write erotic horror, so it's kind of my style. I like the book "The Exorcist" better than the movie and of course Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting" but I must admit that I think Stephen King's books are also better in book form than film. They always come up short at the end with stupid effects. I think I like the world the book makes in my head better than the movie. Some day, they'll make a movie that has the atmosphere in my brain--don't know if that's good or not for the rest of the viewing public, but I'd sure like to make that film. Hoping my manuscript "The Thicket" could go to film--very exciting and pagan. :-)