Movie Review: The Sentinel (1977)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1977 horror movie starring Chris Sarandon and Cristina Raines.

Synopsis: A fashion model decides she wants to live on her own and moves into an old apartment building filled with eccentric neighbors. Shortly after moving in, however, she discovers her neighbors aren't what they seem and sinister supernatural forces might be at work. As she begins to show signs of illness from the stress, it is up to her boyfriend to find a way to save her.

Who's in it?

Very Creepy Film

My wife and I decided to watch this movie after hearing it mentioned in another film we were watching last week. As it turns out, we've actually seen the movie before. But, since we didn't remember much about it, ended up watching it again. And, we were not disappointed.

We watch quite a few horror movies but, mostly because we are getting desensitized, very rarely find a film that we would consider creepy. This film fits that description.

I think the thing that really impressed me about this movie was the mystery. The second the young woman (Raines) checked out the apartment and the realtor (Gardner) quickly changed the price of the rent in an effort to get her to take it, it was obvious she was being set up for something. But, the movie does a good job of keeping the motives a secret until the very end, even as we learn the building is owned by the church and her eccentric neighbors are deceased murderers.

In addition, the movie also made sure to create a bit of mystery about the woman's lawyer boyfriend (Sarandon), especially in regards to his deceased wife. At first, I wasn't sure whether or not he could be trusted and, even as he began to investigate on his girlfriend's behalf, I couldn't help but wonder whether or not he was hiding something.

The ending of this movie has to be the part that is the most memorable, with a variety of creepy people that looked like they were straight out of a really bad circus freak show. As I said, there aren't many movies that make me squirm. The ending of this film managed to make me do that. In fact, I was a bit surprised my wife didn't have nightmares from it.

The Sentinel

When a beautiful model, Alison Parker (Cristina Raines), rents an apartment in a gloomy New York brownstone, little does she realize the unspeakable horrors that await her behin...

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Final Opinion

This is a very creepy and entertaining movie that is worth watching at least once if you haven't seen it before. However, if you get nightmares from horror movies like this, it might be best to skip the ending.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/25/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/08/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
Do you know of anything else that Chris Sarandon has acted in?

Chris Sarandon is an actor whom I know through vintage DVDs of The Princess Bride. Its interesting to think of him in something totally unexpected, from having seen The Princess Bride, such as a horror film.

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