A Movie A Day: Quint is THE SENTINEL () She went to a party with eight dead murderers!
The Sentinel () on IMDb: Movies, TV, Celebs, and more The suspense just keeps building up to the climatic end, the twist you will never see coming. .. In it, a beautiful actress/model who's in a shaky relationship moves into a. All good things must come to an end and, in the Devil's case, it was summer when Universal Pictures released 'The Sentinel'. . in a relationship with someone and still be constantly surprised by what you discover. Sporting the quickest turnaround in movie history, The Sentinel is a supernatural the unmistakable tension that plagues their relationship throughout the film. Determined not to end up like her mother (i.e. living a miserable.
I've also learned that Richard Dreyfuss has a walk-on role during the opening credits montage that I didn't catch. However, none of these roles compare to what I consider to be the biggest waste in the film, which is John Carradine as the sentinel himself, Father Halliran. You may be thinking, "Well, he's the title character. He's probably in the entire movie. Too bad they two of them didn't get very good roles.
Another strike against The Sentinel is that, save for the scene that Bravo featured in their special, the setting is never scary or atmospheric. Both on the outside and the inside, the brownstone looks like just an ordinary, old apartment building, and none of the rooms, even the ones that Alison investigates with Miss Logan and discovers to have long since been abandoned, don't have a creepy vibe to them; rather, they just feel vacant.
Even though I've never seen the movie, I can still see how much Rosemary's Baby was an influence on this film given what I've heard of it. The only scene that's likely to inspire terror is when Alison, searching for the source of the sounds upstairs, finds herself in a dark room and a shadowy figure appears behind the door and walks past her.
That creeped me out when I saw it on that special and I jumped a bit when her flashlight kicks back on and illuminates the ghoul's horrifying face. It's a shame that the entire film isn't as well-constructed as one scene because if it were, might get more positive attention. Another connection that this film has to The Exorcist is that the legendary Dick Smith, working with Bob Laden, created the makeup effects and, while they're certainly not his greatest work, they're one of the few really memorable parts of it.
And what's more, according to IMDB, the makeup for John Carradine, which I don't care for at all, was done by somebody else, which I was happy to learn since I figured that couldn't have been Smith's work.
The Horrors of New York: On The Sentinel (1977)
With that, I'm guessing that he did the makeup on Cristina Raines when she becomes the sentinel at the end, which looks a little more effective to me. However, that does not compare with the makeup design of Alison's father Fred Stuthman when he as a creepy ghoul in the building. When I rewatched the film for the first time since I bought it in order to form a foundation for this review, I had completely forgotten about the deformed people who appear at the end of the movie and my reaction was, "Good God, those are some disgusting makeups!
Not only did I now feel like a complete asshole for thinking what I thought but in addition, I felt, "Wow, way to keep it classy, Winner. And I know what you're thinking: Kind of a big difference, don't you think? Also, my skin can't help but crawl when I see stuff like this in a movie, which is why, while I respect it, I don't watch Freaks that often. It's another instance where it's like, "We watch movies to kind of get away from things like that.
Again, no disrespect intended, but I can't help but feel that way. This is an example of something I said earlier: He's certainly not the first or last person to do that and there are other movies that have done that which I do like but here, it didn't impress me. There's no reason for any of that other than to make you cringe as much as possible.
And later on, you see that cat eating Chazen's bird, which I'm really hoping wasn't real, for no other reason other than to disgust you. Another observation of Stanley's that I agree with is that there are too many parts of the screenplay that are left unexplained, parts that were no doubt expanded upon in the original novel.
I don't consider this an instance of things simply being left up to your imagination, either, but rather that there are plot-points and events that are never explained. The biggest one for me is why this particular apartment building is a gateway to hell. I don't like the idea of the entrance to hell being confined to one place anyway, unless it's done really well, because I feel it demeans it and makes it feel less frightening, but regardless, why this building?
Was it originally constructed to be so or did it just happen? Speaking of the sentinels, if they're meant to be keep the demons from escaping, why do they always become blind when they take up the position?
House of Self-Indulgence: The Sentinel (Michael Winner, )
And why does their sitting in the top room, at the window, make such a difference? Is it their mere presence that keeps the demons at bay? If so, then why not keep the next intended one away from the building until it's time for them to take the position so they can't possibly be corrupted and doom all humanity, as almost happens with Alison? Other things that are never explained include the headaches and fainting spells that Alison begins to have.
Is that part of the process?
Is it her starting to go blind? And there's also the fact that the shady detective whose services Michael Lerman tried to enlist is inexplicably found dead in a gutted car, mutilated in the same manner that Alison claims she did to the apparition of her father, and it's never explained who killed him.
Given that he wasn't exactly a good man, you could conclude that somebody simply wanted him dead, but it adds yet another unresolved complication to the plot, which is to say nothing of Getz's investigation, whose only significant revelation is the affair between Alison and Lerman when he was married and that he may have killed his wife; otherwise, it has no baring on the main plot before Getz and Rizzo vanish before the third act.
The studio had a tough time securing a composer for the film. The Revenge, and Wagons East. This kind of mirrors how they originally wanted Don Siegel to direct the film but he turned it down since he didn't feel comfortable doing this type of movie Omen II the following year!
There is no denying how freaky that is. Unfortunately, the rest of the score is nowhere near as memorable to me. Like everything else this movie tries to do, I've seen, or rather heard, it done better elsewhere. I think those points on the 'S' are meant to be demonic horns but it makes it look more like a dollar sign to me.
After everything I've said, I figure there are a lot of people who are like, "Are you sure this isn't an entry in Movies That Suck? If you like it, power to you some must like it, given the Blu-Ray edition with plenty of extras that was released inbut if you haven't, my advice is to just stick with The Exorcist and The Omen and possibly even Rosemary's Baby. Alison Parker Christina Raines does come in contact with a similar Gothic building filled with oddball characters who wind up being the ghosts of murderers who once lived in the impressive Brownstone.
I imagine the gateway to Hell would attract an evil ensemble of nasties. And to counterbalance Alison as the women-in-peril who must fight off the paranoia and heady mind games are the devil and his minions who toy with Alison in order to drive her mad enough to once again try commit suicide.
The Best, Worst and Most Unusual: Horror films, Crowne publishing I say to that, we leave believability outside our un-conscious abject fear chamber that is our most hidden dread drenched mind when partaking in a little collective anxiety ridden purge, right Dr. Winner has sweetened the mess with some nudity, a little masturbation and a dash of lesbianism. In fact that seems to be of most interest to many reviewers. Well… the element of paranoia exists in the film as Alison Parker goes through a nightmarish journey through a maze of surreal events, while she devolves toward her ultimate fate.
And like The Omen and The Exorcist, the film does open up in Italy with a sense of ancient religious underpinnings hinting at the inner workings of the church. It then brings us to a church in New York City where Monsignor Franchino and a colorful group of acolytes convene in a ceremony, with a quick cut to Alison posing in a post-modern sheer black flowing cape as if moving Martha Graham style, a dark looming allegorical winged bird or augury swathed in black like the angel of death.
The juxtaposition of the old and the modern is a nice touch.
It has been blamed for being too simplistic a story. Perhaps, too many mainstream contemporary narratives have gotten so convoluted and disorienting that a simple plot is not enough. The film explains as much as it can, within the visual narrative. Alison Parker Christina Raines has been chosen by providence and by lot for her past transgressions, her two suicide attempts—now to be groomed by the secret order of the Catholic church to redeem her damned soul, taking the place of the blind priest Father Halliran and become the new Sentinel, Sister Theresa to guard over the gates of Hell in— Brooklyn Heights.
Dante Alighieri wrote his allegorical epic poem between and The moody camerawork by Richard C. Kratina and sense of realism within the disorienting story offered by set design Ed Stewart works to create a surreal atmosphere of anxiety and ambivalence.