Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sentinel(1977)

Not to be confused with the more recent movie of the same name, The Sentinel(1977) is a supernatural horror movie.It is based on the novel by Jeffrey Konvitz. It has a good cast with a lot of familiar faces such as Chris Sarandon, Burgess Meredith, Ava Gardner, John Carradine, Jeff Goldblum, Jerry Orbach and Beverly D'Angelo. It is directed by Michael Winner who is famous for the Death Wish movies. Alison Parker(Cristina Raines) is a young model living in New York with her boyfriend, Michael(Chris Sarandon). She is on the cover of loads of magazines and her boyfriend is a lawyer. They seem like the perfect couple. He wants to marry her, but she wants to get her own place and get some time away from him. We also see that some priests in Italy are talking about evil coming. Alison's dad dies and she remembers back to when she was young and she found him cavorting around with two naked ladies. He slapped her and she tried to kill herself. She discovers her old cross on a chain and she takes it. She decides to get her own place so she goes to the real estate agent, Miss Logan(Ava Gardner) who shows her a nice apartment in a big house. She tells her that the rent is cheap and that there is an old blind priest living in the top of the house. Alison decides to take it and she moves in. She is at work a few days later when she faints. She meets the first neighbour that evening. Charles Chazen(Burgess Meredith) is an old guy who comes in and gives her a framed picture of himself. He chats away to her and she cant seem to get rid of him. The next day, she wanders into an apartment and she is met by two strange women. One of them is Sandra(Beverly D'Angelo) and she starts touching herself in front of Alison. They are lesbians and they make Alison uncomfortable as they begin to mess around in front of her. The next day, she is at a photo shoot and the photographer(A young Jeff Goldblum) and the others are getting very annoyed with her as she can't seem to get it right. She ends up falling against a glass panel and she is okay but unnerved. She is visited by Charles that night and invited to a party in his apartment. All of the tenants are there and she joins in. Over the next few weeks, weird things happen in the house. She hears noises and there are footsteps coming from upstairs in the middle of the night. She calls the real estate lady and she tells her about it. Miss Logan informs her that apart from the blind priest, she is the only tenant there. Alison thinks that she is going crazy. She goes up to the other apartments and realises that there has been no one living there for years. Her boyfriend tries to help her by investigating everything. She sees her dead dad and stabs him. The cops think that it has something to do with her boyfriend and they stick their noses in. What they don't know is that the house is a portal to Hell and that the people she are seeing are evil killers and that they are trying to drive her to suicide so that she can't become to next Sentinel. The Sentinels are nuns or priests who guard the world from this evil and Alison has been chosen to be the next one. The blind old priest upstairs is one also. She is to take over from him. The demons know this and they gang up on her and try to get her to kill herself. She is saved by the old priest and they manage to banish the demons from the house. Michael gets killed by them in the process and becomes a demon himself. The house is knocked down and made into newer apartments. The film ends with Miss Logan showing a young couple around. They see the nun at the window upstairs. It is Alison and she has gone blind. She is the new Sentinel and she sits at the window, watching.. This wasn't a bad movie. I didn't love it. It had some good scenes in though. I am going to give it a 6/10.


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