The Sentinel (1977/Blu-ray/Scream Factory) Review

The Sentinel is 1977 supernatural horror film that follows a young female model who gets cold feet after her boyfriend purposes to her. She decides to get her own place for awhile. After looking she come upon a spacious apartment that seems to be a perfect fit for her. Soon after moving in she meets her other neighbors who range from eccentric to just plain odd. After taking to the realator she is told that there are no other tenants than her and a blind priest on the 5th floor. Things go from odd to bizarre after she finds out the news about the other tenants. Will she become like the rest of those who once lived in the house or will she stop the impending doom that awaits?!

The Sentinel came out in a decade that was filled with a good amount of supernatural horror films that were trying to ride off the coat tails of The Exorcist. For it's time this film was accused of being in part ways a rip off of The Exorcist and The Omen. Personally I think those who said that were full of shit and didn't pay much attention to the film. The only thing in common is that they were made in the 70's and they were supernatural based films. With that aside I really enjoyed what I saw. There was some truly creepy moments mixed up some surreal moments that drew me into the film and kept me wondering if what she was going through was real or was she just going crazy.

One of the strongest elements of this film was the acting talent of lead actress Christina Raines who I thought brought a damn good performance to the table. She was not over the top, nor was she stale at her performance.  She simply brought believability to the role. Another great performance in this film was by legendary actor Burgess Meredith. He stole every scene he shows up in and puts on quite a good and eccentric performance.  Also I want to mention the small role, but film debut role for Beverly D'Angelo. In her first appearance on screen she silently starts to masturbate right in front of our lead character Alison. Not much more that I can say about that other than "wow!".

Earlier when I talked about the truly creepy moments in this film, well one scene comes to my mind the most and if you've seen this film already then you know which one I mean. In this scene we get Alison wandering around the building in the dark with nothing more than a flashlight and next thing you know it a slender person quickly scurries by Alison. Alison walks up to the mysterious figure to reveal a pale older man with milk white eyes. It is truly a powerful scene that made me jump upon my first viewing. Not too many films really do scenes like that well nowadays. In recent history you get bland jump scares you can see coming from a mile away. This film has that great scene and many others to offer that just work so well. All that leads up to a very satisfying ending that I think most fans of older horror will be pleased with.

Overall I think this one of those often looked over gems from 70's horror that I think more horror fans should give a chance to. With this release you get a fantastic picture quality and audio that is a good upgrade from the older DVD release. Now when it come to the special features there is not too much to be had here. Nonetheless I still think this is worth the upgrade and is a must have for any horror film collector. What are you waiting for?! Go pick this release up!

-Daniel Lee
Director: Michael Winner
Lead Actor/Actress: Christina Raines
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2015
Theatrical Release Year: 1977
Time Length: 92 mins.
Rating: R
Region Code: Region A
Release Company: Scream Factory
Website: www.shoutfactory.com