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Sidney J. Furie, 1982
USA | Format: 35mm | 125 minutes
Starring Barbara Hershey in a tour de force performance, this notorious, truly harrowing shocker has a deeply disturbing premise: A single mother is repeatedly visited, overpowered and sexually assaulted by an invisible being or force. She seeks help from a sympathetic but skeptical psychiatrist (Ron Silver) and eventually turns to a group of university parapsychologists who attempt to investigate these visitations by scientific means. Supposedly based on a true case, the film was picketed by feminists when originally released. (In more recent years, its images have been repurposed by avant-garde filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky, while Quentin Tarantino borrowed cues from the soundtrack for use in Inglourious Basterds.) Per horror authority David Pirie, "The Entity doesn't emerge as quite as one-dimensionally nasty as its synopsis suggests. The film's men are uniformly creepy, and its heroine so strong and sympathetic, that apart from a couple of unpleasant moments, the story seems less like horror than a feminist parable, especially when Hershey is reduced to a laboratory subject with her home re-created in the psychology department."