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Label:
Name: SHOUT! FACTORY
Number: SFY15944BR

THE SENTINEL (1977) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Burgess Meredith, Chris Sarandon, Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Sylvia Miles, Eva Gardner
Directed By:  Michael Winner

"One of the best horror films of the '70s. An intriguing story and disturbing imagery makes this one stick out in the psyche." – Brian McKay, eFilmCritic.com

When a beautiful model, Alison Parker (Cristina Raines, Nashville, The Duellists), rents an apartment in a gloomy New York brownstone, little does she realize that an unspeakable horror awaits her behind its doors...a mysterious gateway to hell. Alison likes her eccentric new neighbors, so it comes as a shock when she's told that, except for a strange old priest, she's the only tenant.

Based on Jeffrey Konvitz's best-selling novel, this contemporary gothic chiller features amazing special makeup effects by the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist, Little Big Man) and an incredible assemblage of stars including Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, José Ferrer, John Carradine, Burgess Meredith, Beverly D'Angelo, Jerry Orbach, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Berenger and Christopher Walken. Director Michael Winner (Death Wish) comes up with something to terrify everyone in this spine-tingling exercise in supernatural horror.

Bonus Features
NEW 2015 High Definition Transfer Of The Film From The Interpositive
NEW Audio Commentary With Actress Cristina Raines
NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer Jeffrey Konvitz
NEW Interview With Assistant Director Ralph S. Singleton
Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Michael Winner
Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
Still Galleries – Movie Stills, Press Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards

RUN-TIME: 92 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
COLOR: Color
LANGUAGE: English
REGION: A
RATING: R
CLOSED-CAPTIONED: No
SUBTITLES: English

  
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Reviews and Comments: (2)
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Posted by Everett Stallings on February 10, 2016 2:24 PM
While I liked this film, the MONSTERS were REAL. They used people with birth defects,from a Hospital that hides them from us the so called normal ?. I don't know how much was makeup and SPX,but on the big screen at the 1000 seat theatre I was working at they looked real.

Posted by Mark Turner on July 28, 2017 2:11 PM
STILL SCARY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

A copy of this title was provided for review purposes.

It’s not a secret that I love a good horror film. I’ve written praises for so many and lamented the fact that some outstanding horror films have been passed over time and again when it comes to award season. But lately there has been a glut of horror films, a far cry from when I was younger and you had one come out maybe three times a year (with the exception of drive-in fare). The thing about those movies is that most of them took the time to be a solid film as well as a horror flick. Rather than a hastily tossed together “found footage” movie, there were movies with plots that had some depth. That was the case with THE SENTINEL.

The movie takes place in New York in the seventies. Alison Parker (Christina Raines) is a high paid model living the good life. A career on the rise and a high class lawyer, Michael Lerman (Chris Sarandon), for a boyfriend everything is going her way. Michael wants her to move in with him but Alison wants to live on her own for a while first. While apartment hunting with a real estate agent (Ava Gardner) she finds just the right place, an old brownstone with a furnished vacant apartment.

Alison moves in knowing only that the top floor is home to a reclusive aging priest named Father Halliran (John Carradine). Once she’s moved in the rest of the tenants begin to make their presence known. First is a short visit by Charles Chazen (Burgess Meredith), a kindly old man with a parakeet on his shoulder and a cat at his feet. He welcomes her to the building and tells her the names of the other tenants. The next two she meets are Gerde Engstrom (Sylvia Miles) and Sandra (Beverly D’Angelo), a pair of lesbians who surprise her when Sandra masturbates in front of her while Gerde makes coffee.

Early on Alison begins having strange feelings while staying in her apartment. She hears noises upstairs but finds nothing. When she hears things once more later on one of the more terrifying moments in the movie happens involving a person from her past, one that brings back harsh memories of her childhood. To tell you more about that would ruin it so just let me say that this is one of the creepiest moments I’ve ever seen in a horror film. Kudos to make up man Dick Smith for this amazing scene.

With each passing day Alison begins feeling drained and ill, collapsing at a commercial shoot. Concerned about her well-being Michael begins to look into both her past and the brownstone and its occupants. What he uncovers is not for the faint of heart. *SPOILER ALERT* While the trailer and tag lines pretty much reveal this, the brownstone is actually the gates of hell. Realizing he is all that stands between Alison and a life of servitude guarding those gates, Michael sets out to save her.

As I said, most of the items I’ve discussed here can be found in the trailer for the movie or blurbs written about it. It doesn’t matter. It is the constructions of this tale, the fine combination of acting, set design, location scouting and the overall direction of Michael Winner that makes this movie run like a Swiss clock. The jumps aren’t forced and yet you will jump. The eeriness of the brownstone and its tenants will make your skin crawl. And the final revelation at the end will be one not guessed early on.

Released on blu-ray by Shout/Scream Factory, the presentation is perfection with a clear picture on hand to help those goosebumps along. Not only do you get that new high definition transfer of the film the extras include an audio commentary track by Christina Raines, an audio commentary track with writer/producer Jeffrey Konvitz, an interview with assistant director Ralph S. Singleton, audio commentary by director Michael Winner, theatrical trailers and TV spots and a still gallery featuring movie stills, press photos, posters and lobby cards.

Horror fans will want to add this to their collection as quickly as possible. It’s a horror film that holds up quite well after all these years, having been released in 1977. My guess is that after seeing it the odds of you walking around the house in the dark will decrease for a time and you will never look behind a door again in a dark house. Another great movie from Shout/Scream that needs to be on your shelf.

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