Prod DB © Universal / DR LA SENTINELLE DES MAUDITS (THE SENTINEL) de Michael Winner 1977 USA avec John Carradine inquiétant, sinistre, fantastique, pretre, curé, crucifix, aveugle, vieillard d'après le roman de Jeffrey Konvitz

Retro Review – THE SENTINEL (1977)

A friend once told me that they consider The Sentinel to be the scariest movie they’ve ever seen. Of course I have to check it out to see how wimpy my friends are and to, hopefully, make myself feel better about my answer to “What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?” My answer: it’s not Showgirls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMIssiMkt04

Based on the novel by Jeffrey Konvitz, The Sentinel follows Alison Parker (Cristina Raines) who has it all: a successful modeling career, a boyfriend (Chris Sarandon) who loves her and a new apartment. She’s got some eccentric neighbors, but she gets along with them just fine. Well, except for that reclusive priest who lives on the top floor. So imagine her surprise when she discovers that she and the priest are the only tenants…

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Can’t say much more without giving too much away suffice to say that The Sentinel is definitely one of the creepiest films I’ve seen in a while. The tension and dread wrap you up tighter and tighter with each passing minute until you’re practically screaming for release. The mystery surrounding the tenants and the apartment building will certainly have you guessing (I was) until the very end.

Though primarily an exercise in atmosphere and dread, The Sentinel does contain a few special effects shots, all of which are top notch and worthy of admiration. Very little we do today even comes close to matching their technical prowess. They’re all the more impressive considering the time.

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But what good is a solid story and excellent effects work without an amazing cast to support them? The Sentinel delivers on this front as well, overflowing with a Who’s-Who? of impressive talent. John Carradine, Eli Wallach, Jeff Goldblum, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, Arthur Kennedy, Jose Ferrer, William Hickey and Christopher Walken are many of the big names you’ll find here. Each and every one of them endows their character with personality, even those who are only in one scene. Hell, the cast alone is reason enough to watch The Sentinel.

The Sentinel is a solid film rooted firmly in the Gothic tradition. Fans of Rosemary’s Baby and similar films will find much to love in a night spent with The Sentinel. Hunt it down today and hope that you aren’t chosen to be the next sentinel.

About Evan Romero

Evan Romero has been a horror fan since watching “Leprechaun” at the age of five. Aside from watching and writing about horror flicks, he delights in torturing friends with Z-grade movies. He’s also an unabashed Andy Milligan fan, God help him.

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