Based on a book by Frank De Felitta, The Entity follows single mother Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) as she’s repeatedly attacked by a malevolent (and invisible) force in her home – with the situation quickly exacerbated by Carla’s realization that nobody believes her (especially not Ron Silver’s sympathetic yet dubious psychiatrist). It’s a decidedly novel premise that’s utilized to consistently underwhelming and frequently dull effect by filmmaker Sidney J. Furie, as the director has infused the proceedings with an aggressively deliberate pace that inevitably proves disastrous. And while the initial attack (and the handful of subsequent demonic encounters) are admittedly quite well done (despite the silly hard-rock theme that accompanies such moments), The Entity is primarily devoted to long sequences in which Carla attempts to convince various figures that what’s happening to her is real and not just a figment of her imagination. The inherent pointlessness of these interludes is heightened by the fact that it’s made clear almost immediately that Carla is telling the truth, so it’s impossible not to wonder just why Furie is placing such a tremendous emphasis on questions surrounding Carla’s sanity. The movie’s repetitive structure – ie Carla is attacked, Carla seeks help from Silver’s Phil Sneiderman, Carla is attacked, etc, etc – cements its place as an aggressively overlong and redundant piece of work, and it does seem likely that the picture would’ve benefited from a far more sensationalistic approach (ie the whole thing is just too sedate and slow for its own good).
* out of ****