The Film: The Sentinel
The Director: Michael Winner
The Cast: Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Burgess Meredith
Release Date: May 12, 1977.
Did you ever see that movie The Sentinel? That's the question asked by Corey Feldman in Joe Dante's 1989 classic The 'burbs, and it's the question that made me seek out this fine piece of '70s religion-horror. I was far too young to see this when I did - I had no understanding of what Beverly D'Angelo was doing to her leotard (HINT- it rhymes with smashetershmation) - but some of the chills that come from it have always stuck with me.
In short, the movie focuses on a young NYC model (Cristina Raines) who takes an apartment in a building with a lot of odd old folks, and strange stuff starts happening. The supporting cast is a who's who of cool names (Burgess Meredith, Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger, Jerry Orbach, Jeff Goldblum, and an uncredited Richard Dreyfuss), and Fright Night and The Princess Bride star Chris Sarandon adds a fun performance. If you're looking for a totally creepy, unsettling religious horror (besides the Unholy Trilogy of Rosemary/Exorcist/Omen), The Sentinel should give you some goosebumps.