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The Sentinel


What a weird, gory and disturbing little flick 1977's THE SENTINEL is! Imagine a haunted house story with a dash of "The Omen" and a generous dose of "Freaks" and you are on the right track. If only it was 1/10th the film either of those are!

Cristina Raines is new, young NYC model Alison Parker who finds herself in a beautiful brownstone with a Hudson view. It all seems to good to be true.

She starts figuring out why her rent is so low when she meets her neighbors Burgess Meredith, a weird dude with a bird on his shoulder and an ear for gossip, Sylvia Miles and Beverly D'Angelo as aggressive lesbians that climb all over her when she drops by for cookies (insert your own joke there) and John Carradine as a mute, blind priest who never seems to leave his window with a view.

By the time Alison's dead father starts wondering around her bedroom at night with a couple of large, naked women eating cake, things have gone astray.

In more ways than one.

Chris Sarandon is one-note as her boyfriend, Ava Gardner is the real estate agent from Hell and Eli Wallach is underused as a detective.

The closing scenes are really hard to describe and even tougher to watch, with a huge collection of folks with real abnormalities and even more actors with lousy 70's horror make-up chasing Alison around her apartment.

If you want to see a great movie with people trying to escape spirits and seeing scary stuff behind every door they open, watch "The Shining".

This is NO shining. It's just all very repulsive.

It may be her turn to guard the gates from hell, but it doesn't mean you have to go there with her.

Never rises above a D.

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