Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 9 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
83
An underrated entry in the horror subgenre, generating consistent unease through long, ominous pans—up and down staircases, through hallways—that assume the perspective of its searching-for-peace specter.
80
A superior haunted house thriller.
80
Newsweek
The word for The Changeling is chilling. Medak doesn't pummel the audience with gore and Exorcist-type shock tactics. More than once, he raises real goose bumps using nothing more extraordinary than a bouncing rubber ball. [31 Mar 1980, p.82]
75
The Associated Press
Scott lends credibility to the far-fetched happenings, and director Peter Medak manipulates the standard scare tactics with skill. [07 Mar 1980]
75
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
The Changeling is a breathless, enjoyably scary amusement-park ride through an aged genre that comes back more often than Frank Sinatra; and that appears to be as pleased with itself, and as well-preserved. [28 Mar 1980]
75
One of the most genuinely haunting ghost stories in recent years, The Changeling is much eerier and more effective than the overrated and bombastic Poltergeist.
70
Washington Post
Happily, director Peter Medak is aware of the fundamental absurdity of his ghost story. In fact, he's taken considerable care to compensate with virtuoso displays of scenic and atmospheric suggestiveness. The Changeling has a stylistic gusto and polish that were conspicuously missing from The Fog and The Amityville Horror. [28 Mar 1980, p.F1]
63
It doesn't have that sneaky sense of awful things about to happen. Scott makes the hero so rational, normal and self-possessed that we never feel he's in real danger; we go through this movie with too much confidence.
40
Time Out
The leaps made by Scott's agile mind in identifying both victim and usurper leave logic and credence on the starting block.

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