Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Sentinel (1977)

The Sentinel concerns the tale of a building that is the gateway to hell, and those that must guard the world from its evil. It was released in 1977, after the success of such satanic-themed films like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby. Like those two films, it deals with the struggle between good and evil.

Successful model Allison Parker moves into a very nice, but very inexpensive apartment building. Her neighbors are a bit odd, loud clanging goes on in the middle of the night, a blind priest resides in the top tower and Allison keeps having fainting spells. She begins to question her own sanity when her landlady claims that she has no other tenants besides the priest. Soon, her and her boyfriend discover that the building houses the struggle between good and evil, and that Allison is supposed to become the next sentinel.

This movie reminded me a bit of Polanski's overlooked film, The Tenant, especially because of the creepy neighbors and the uncertainty of the lead character's sanity. There are shades of Rosemary's Baby in atmosphere and the feelings of paranoia and isolation. From The Exorcist, it borrows the idea of why bad things happen to good (or innocent) people.

The Sentinel was a good film...I can't think of anything wrong with it, though it has been over a week since I viewed it. I really enjoyed one of the scenes at the end where all the evil people in Allison's apartment try to attack her. I read that they actually used real deformed and/or handicapped people for this scene, and because of that the director got into a lot of hot water. Ugh...that scene still gives me the creeps.

Order it on Amazon!

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