115 minutes – Drama, Horror
Release date: March 28, 1980
Canadian distributor: Associated Film Distributors
Released in 1980, The Changeling was a bit of a throwback for its time. It appeared dated and tired compared to similarly-themed movies of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Films like Ghost Story, The Amityville Horror, The Shining, and Friday the 13th for example. The Changeling had a dated, antique quality about it partially due to its older cast and partly due to a style of direction that was less than inspired. The story centres on an American composer, John Russell (George C. Scott), who, after the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash in upstate New York, accepts an invitation to lecture in music in faraway Seattle. The local Historical Society rents him a large old house known as The Chessman House. Shortly after moving in, he begins to believe that the house is haunted. He and Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere), a woman from the Historical Society, begin to investigate. After conducting a seance, they discover that a young boy named Joseph is trying to communicate with them. As they dig further into the background of the house, they discover that Joseph was drowned in a bath by his father in 1907 and they also uncover secrets that a powerful aging senator would like to keep buried.
The Changling won eight Genie Awards for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Actor (Scott), Foreign Actress (Van Devere), Cinematography, Art Direction, Overall sound, and Sound Editing. The top-grossing film of the year it also captured the Golden Reel Award.