Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sentinel

Description from Netflix:
Model Alison Parker gets a great deal on a Brooklyn, NY apartment - but there's just one catch: it's also the gateway to Hell, and she's on the invite list.  Universal's answer to The Exorcist features a stellar supporting cast.

Notable actors: Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D'Angelo, Tom Berenger

My thoughts:
First of all, that's a lot of famous people.  Granted, they didn't all have large roles (for instance, Jeff Goldblum was barely in it, and Christopher Walken only had 1 or 2 lines), but it's a pretty impressive cast.  That's without even mentioning the main girl, played by Cristina Raines.  I had never seen her in anything before, but she did a great job.  I wish I had seen her in something before.

The description calls it "Universal's answer to The Exorcist", but that doesn't seem quite right.  If anything, the mood felt more like Rosemary's Baby than anything.  Except I enjoyed it more than Rosemary's Baby, because it moved along at a better pace.
It had a really good atmosphere, and there was a sense of mystery that drove the movie.  I could kind of sense where the movie was going, but it took a much different path than I thought it would.

Chris Sarandon and his awesome mustache

I watched this movie because Ricky Butler talks about it in The Burbs, and I realized I had never seen it.  Besides that reference, I didn't know too much about it.  It was well worth a watch.  It really felt more like a mystery than a horror movie, but the last 10 minutes were legitimately creepy.
I had a few problems with the ending, which I will talk about here.  Even though this came out in 1977, I'm still going to throw a "spoiler alert" on it.

Alison was a model, and a pretty high-profile on at that.  She was in dozens of print ads, and quite a few television ads, including one that seemed to be getting quite a bit of air time recently.  Pretty much everyone she met in the movie recognized her.  Yet, at the end of the movie, she becomes the sentinel to guard against the gates of Hell, and no one missed her?  Surely someone would have been looking for her?  Her best friend?  Her employers?  I just don't believe that a popular model can just drop off the face of the Earth without anyone looking for her.

If you haven't seen this yet, I recommend that you check it out.  It's currently on Netflix Instant.

Rating: 4/5

Christopher Walken: Demon Detective

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