Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Entity

This is one of the more mainstream (translation for mainstream-they had a little bit of money to spend on production and had a rising newcomer, Barbara Hershey) cult films out there. A little more well known due to the DVD release. I have to admit, this movie used to scare the piss out of me. Probably because I knew that it had been partially based on a true event. I've been a believer in ghosts, poltergeists, and other such phenomenon all my life and I knew the basics of this particular case, before seeing the film. Barbara Hershey made us all believe that she really was going through one hell of an incident that proved to us that a living person can be haunted just as easily as old houses can. The first half of the movie is very close to the truth and the second half of the film is completely fiction. We'll of course start with the first half including occasional inserts of what really happened. Carla Moran (real name was not given at the time of the movie release, but we now know that her real name was Doris Bither) has a hectic life. She's a single mother struggling to keep a job, go to night school, deal with three children and a boyfriend who is almost never in town due to his job. One day she is raped. When the rape was over, there was no one there to call the police on. The attacker simply disappeared. people assume that she dreamt it, but Carla knows it really happened. Another attack ensues while Carla is trying to take a bath. Again she is brutally raped, this time the invisible attacker seems to have two smaller, yet very strong helpers. Carla seeks the help of a doctor, clearly displaying bruises and bite marks in places that Carla could not have possibly bitten herself. Like usual, the doctors aren't much help and are determined to convince Carla that the attacks are a result of Carla's checkered past. Frustrated with being told that she's just crazy, she abandons her doctor in favor of parapsychology. When other people start to witness the phenomenon and even capture photographic proof of it, things finally start to look up for Carla. Finally someone believes her and are trained (as best as someone could be, I guess) to help her. OK, end of the first half. All of the above is true, even the photographic proof, most photography experts say are one of the most authentic photos of this type, witnessed and photographed by many people. Unfortunately, the real Carla Moran's story ends here. After the "big showdown" that was photographed by several people, the well ran dry. The photographers helped people believe her, but it didn't stop the attacks. Carla moved her family from state to state, but was never able to escape her ruthless entity. It followed her and the attacks continued. After some ten years, Carla Moran was no longer able to be found. Efforts to locate her continue unsuccessfully. OK, now part two of "the movie part" of the story, which in my opinion is kinda stupid, but what the hell, it's Hollywood ('nuff said). The parapsychology team that investigated and witnessed the entity at Carla's house have decided to try to capture this being, using Carla as bait, since it seems to follow her outside of her home. They build a rough draft of Carla's real home, consisting of a chemical toilet, hot plate, and some furniture to make her feel more at home. They also have added a special little ghost catching device, that shoots liquid nitrogen, which we all know, freezes virtually anything on contact. Their theory is to catch a ghost in a block of ice. Poor Carla not only is bait for the entity, but has only a glass "safe room" to keep the liquid nitrogen from killing her instantly (which by the way doesn't work). The annoying doctor that says he cares so much for Carla interferes endlessly at this point, trying to convince her of the dangers of liquid nitrogen. She simply states that she would rather die that go on living the way she's been living. And with that he's thrown out for good. The entity finally shows up and takes control of the nitrogen machine and destroys just about everything. The huge tanks of liquid nitrogen that are stored above are ruptured and encases the entire place in ice. Carla survives by running for her life, when she can obviously see that all hell is breaking loose. The ice glows green, shakes for a moment and the entity bursts loose. The end. There's a brief epilogue about how the attacks on Carla and her family, though decreased in frequency and violence, continue to this day.

Like I said earlier, the real Carla Moran has been identified as Doris Bither. Author Frank DeFelitta, who originally wrote the book "The Entity" kept in touch with Ms. Bither. The events originated in her house in Culver City, California. To escape the attacks of her entity, she moved to San Bernardino. Again unsuccessful at evading the entity, she moved to Texas. By now convinced that the entity would follow her wherever she goes, she decided to move back to California. The parapsychologists who investigated this case, had lost track of Doris' whereabouts after her move to Texas. But, Frank DeFelitta managed to track her down once she moved back to California. Since the investigation and the release of his book that inspired the movie, they had become friends. It's been reported that Doris Bither died in 2006, due to to liver failure (she drank quite heavily... but wouldn't you too?!).

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