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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In one word: creepy.
This is an extremely creepy film, so much it'll make your skin crawl. -Especially the sight of a ghostly John Carradine, and the almost repulsive "freak" ending will stick like glue in your mind for days. Lovely Christina Raines go through hell in her new apartment, while everyone around her just act like unhelpful loonies. The movie has many famous people in...
Published on 25 Nov 2000

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Winner goes to Hell!
With lines like "This is where the lesbians live," "She went to a party with eight dead murderers" and exchanges like "What do you do for a living?" "We fondle each other," no-one's ever going to mistake Michael Winner's The Sentinel for high art, but it's a good enough yarn with a neat enough twist (that the film's poster and trailer gave away before you even got in the...
Published on 20 Sep 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In one word: creepy., 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sentinel [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is an extremely creepy film, so much it'll make your skin crawl. -Especially the sight of a ghostly John Carradine, and the almost repulsive "freak" ending will stick like glue in your mind for days. Lovely Christina Raines go through hell in her new apartment, while everyone around her just act like unhelpful loonies. The movie has many famous people in small parts (a Winner trademark), but knowing some of them are now big stars, like Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum and Tom Berenger, can be a bit distracting. It's not hard to see though, why this is such a cult classic.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary's Baby meets The Exorcist, 25 Aug 2008
By 
Chudpiper (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sentinel [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
A solid Hollywood shocker that mixes all the element of the time - creepy apartment blocks, strange residents, paranoia, ghouls, nudity and gruesome kills - to great effect, and boasts an incredible cast for a horror flick - including a young Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum. The story features a beautiful woman in jeopardy plagued by demons, and contains a couple of super-scarey scenes that pred-date the Grudge/Ring era Japanese shockers by a good few decades. Great DVD, chilling stuff!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Graphic and tense. A must see!!, 27 Oct 2010
By 
Gordon C. Tait (OSNABRUCK, OSNABRUCK Germany) - See all my reviews
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I've been meaning to give this the once over for years and finally got hold of a copy. I can tell you this film won't disappoint. In spite of it's age, it packs a punch even for the most discerning horror fans of which I am. At thirty-five years old, horror films are nothing more than a giggle but The Sentinel is a relentless journey into genuine terror and twists.
The stellar cast, and there are a stack of famous actors here (Chris Sarandon, Martin Balsam, Chritopher Walken, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Eli Wallach, Beverly D'Angelo to name a few), help deliver a film with a quality script and creepy atmosphere. It begs the question, why did Michael winner not do more horror films? Clearly he knows how to manipulate his audience with scares, graphic nudity and horrific violence.
Would be nice to see this in Blu-Ray sometime. Look out for Chris Sarandon as the corruptable lawyer, pre-Fright night. Always solid!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Winner goes to Hell!, 20 Sep 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Sentinel [DVD] [1977] (DVD)
With lines like "This is where the lesbians live," "She went to a party with eight dead murderers" and exchanges like "What do you do for a living?" "We fondle each other," no-one's ever going to mistake Michael Winner's The Sentinel for high art, but it's a good enough yarn with a neat enough twist (that the film's poster and trailer gave away before you even got in the cinema) to pass muster if you're in the mood for a bit of schlock horror. Cristina Raines is the New York model who still hasn't quite got over her adolescent suicide attempt when she discovered her father naked in bed with a couple of hookers (neither would you if you saw Fred Stuthman naked) who moves into a perfect New York apartment only to quickly find the neighbors from Hell are driving her to do the job properly this time. And could that really be her dead dad in the apartment above her? And why did she get an apartment with such a great view so cheap?

A demented smorgasbord of every Satanic hit of the preceding decade (take two parts Rosemary's Baby and mix with one part The Omen and two teaspoons of The Exorcist), as usual for Winner's 70s pictures it boasts a (mostly faded) star-studded cast, this time with more Oscar nominees and winners than you could throw a net over (at least eleven if you include Richard Dreyfuss' curious appearance as an extra in an early street scene). Many of them don't have a lot to do - John Carradine's blind priest barely even moves, a dubbed Jeff Goldblum doesn't do much more than take a few pictures while Jose Ferrer has so little to do it was hardly worth his time turning up - but where else could you see Ava Gardner, Arthur Kennedy, Martin Balsam, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Sylvia Miles, Beverly D'Angelo, William Hickey, Jerry Orbach and Tom Berenger all slumming it in an American version of the kind of demented horror film you'd usually expect to come from Italy, or Burgess Meredith throwing the birthday party from Hell for his cat for that matter? Winner even tops that with the use of deformed extras as the denizens of Hell in the finale, which may well be exploitative, but probably no more so than Erle C. Kenton using them to play humanimals in Island of Lost Souls.

Winner's audio commentary for the UK DVD is a thing of joy and worth the price of the budget disc on its own, whether he's regaling you with the tale of how Universal head honcho Ned Tanen rejected Martin Sheen and insisted on Chris Sarandon for the lead only to wonder who "that awful Greek waiter" was playing the lead when he saw the rushes or admitting that he added a scene in Tuscany for a free holiday at the end of the shoot and included lots of party scenes with pretty girls to improve his chances of getting laid. It doesn't exactly follow what's happening on screen, but it's more than outrageously frank and blustering enough for you not to care.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This film will haunt you., 28 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sentinel [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I am just about to buy the video of this film, as I haven't seen it for years, yet it still haunts me. It was a fave creepy book of mine in my teenage years, and although the film didn't quite live up to the book (what film does?)it is still a film with real menace, a stunning plot, and a truly shocking denouement. A forgotten classic that deserves to be on a par with films such as "The Omen" and "Rosemary's Baby".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and a tiny bit obscene, 5 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Sentinel [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched this film it seems like an inspiration to quite a few of the latest Japanese Horror films, containing elements which might remind the viewer strongly of films like "The Grudge " or "Dark Water" blended in with "The Others" and the first version of "The Haunting".

People who are just after effects or splatter lovers won't appreciate this film which provides the viewer with a few nice twists and shockers in the storyline, also the acting is really good, especially the "residents" of this haunted house (Beverly D'Angelo in an altogether very 'different' role) appear very authentic and downright scary.
This film also contains a female masturbation scene, second just to the one in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

All in all a film worth watching.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine drama with supernatural elements, 14 Dec 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sentinel [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
The Sentinel [1977]

Super model Alison Parker (Cristina Raines) has lived with Michael Lerman (Cris Sarandon) for several years and wants some separate time to confront demons from a traumatic past.

A letting agent (cameo role for Ava Gardner) shows her a flat in an old apartment block, and, you guess it, as soon as she moves in spooky things start happening.

For most of the time this is a very well crafted film indeed, well acted and with fine photography. The plot elements appear obvious but exactly where it was leading eluded me, and I found the whole thing more enjoyable on a second viewing knowing where I was going.

Horror films do not resonate with me, I merely finding myself wondering how they did it, but in fairness I must report that this was highly rated as a horror movie at the time and still is by other reviewers.

Personally I would describe Sentinel as dealing with the supernatural on the border line between horror and drama, and whichever genre you like you will not be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Calm Down Dear, It's Only The Gates Of Hell, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sentinel [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
!!!WARNING. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!

In the introduction to this film, the director Michael Winner, in between talking about himself, briefly mentions what a great cast he had at his disposal for 'The Sentinel'. That much is true, it's a terrific cast, but a great cast does not always make a great film.
The story is a rather confusing one regarding a suicidal woman called Alison Parker(Cristina Raines) who finds herself a new apartment, as she is unsure of commiting to her relationship with lawyer boyfriend Michael(Chris Sarandon). In fact the apartment has been chosen for her, as the forces of good and evil are battling for supremacy. The apartment houses the Gates of Hell, and the neighbouring tenants Alison meets have in fact been dead for rather a long time, their tormented souls condemned to eternal damnation. Or something like that...
I'm going to mention the cast again. What a cast! Eli Wallach, Jose Ferrer, John Carradine, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Arthur Kennedy. I could go on. In fact, most of these great actors are wasted in bit parts, with only Burgess Meredith and Arthur Kennedy, quite the horror actor in the 1970's, getting meaty roles. The two leads are disappointing too. Raines lacks charisma whilst Chris Sarandon is terrible.
Apart from the fact that the film is hard to follow at times, I also have a big problem with the use of people with real deformities in the climatic scenes of the film. I don't have a problem with them being in the cast, my problem is only regarding Michael Winner's motivations. Is he trying to say that if your ugly,or if you look different, you're going to go to hell, or was he just trying to save money on the make-up department. Either way, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of this viewer at least.
There are some compensations. There is a great, if overblown music score, excellent cinematography, and a couple of scenes are genuinely unsettling. Especially when Alison encounters the rather dessicated, walking corpse of her father in the dark apartment. Another great scene is the Birthday Party for the cat. Black and white cat, black and white cake!. Add to this a great performance from Burgess Meredith and you have a not wholly wasted viewing experience.
One big reason to buy this release is the audio commentary by Michael Winner. Love him or hate him, Winner is impossible to ignore, and he's on fine form here, his usual overblown, boastful self, full of opinions and self importance. Perhaps wisely, he chooses to ignore the majority of what is happening on screen, instead concentrating on his great cast, and some humourous anecdotes about behind the scenes trials and tribulations.
So, I would recommend that you buy this dvd for the Winner commentary, for the performances of Burgess Meredith and Ava Gardner, and for a wildly uneven horror film that certainly entertains at times if it does not completely satisfy. I'm just not sure I'll watch it again. 3 out of 5.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What A Duff Film, 19 May 2014
By 
D. Laidlaw "nrg jockey" (edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sentinel [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
I don't know why this film is so bad. I saw it after Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist and I understand director Michael Winner didn't like The Sentinel being compared to these movies.Well it's quite a weak effort and doesn't stand up to either of them.Yes there are a few actors (that are well known now) and Cristina Raines is the gorgeous victim in this movie . A house that has some unnerving weirdos living there.
Burgess Meredith is a bit scary ,there's a couple of lesbian devils,a white guy that gets knifed in a dramatic way and spooky performances from Ava Gardiner and John Carradine but it's not that great. Some of the special effects are below par and it doesn't scare in any way. I didn't like it very much at the cinema or when I got it as a present from a friend. If you MUST see it borrow or rent if you can but don't expect too much!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sentinel, 28 April 2014
By 
K. Bromley "The bears" (Nuneaton, warwickshire, England.) - See all my reviews
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Very satisfied with this region 1 disc which I bought to replace a Video Cassette of the same film, Thank you.
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The Sentinel [1977] [DVD]
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