Frank De Felitta is like an amateur parapsychologist. Both here and in Audrey Rose it is as though he is trying to soberly and rationally document and argue the case for supernatural claims. Both films could be called rationalist horror films. In fact, they are post-Lewtonian psychological horror films. With Cat People (1942) and a handful of films in the 1940s, producer Val Lewton created the psychological horror film that hung in a spookily indecisive place between whether things could be explained rationally as being all in the mind of the person experiencing them or else were in fact supernatural in nature. Frank De Felittas films are post-Lewtonian in the sense that instead of operating in a kind of Schroedingers Cat point of indeterminacy between either reason or the supernatural, they seek a harmonising ground between the two. Notedly the heroine here only gains control back over her life when she bids goodbye to the reductionist dismissal of the events offered by her psychologist and regards the team of parapsychologists people who offer rational explanations of the events but also regard the supernatural as real as her saviours.
Sidney J. Furies direction tends to be heavy-handed, signposted by much in the way of loud thumping on the soundtrack. Eventually, The Entity becomes an absorbing film, in large part due to Frank De Felittas strong script. The one scene that everybody remembers is the spookily eerie one with Barbara Hershey being pinned to a bed as her breasts are being manipulated by an invisible force. There is a fine performance from Barbara Hershey, who reacts to the situation with a high degree of conviction.
The ghostly rape sequence has become one that has stuck in public consciousness and has been parodied in several other films, notably Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984), Scary Movie 2 (2001) and A Haunted House (2013).
Canadian director Sidney J. Furie has had a career that has lasted from the 1950s and is still going. His other genre films of note are the aforementioned The Snake Woman (1961) and Dr Bloods Coffin (1961), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) and the psycho-thriller Cord (2000). Screenwriter Frank De Felitta has a number of other genre credits. He wrote and produced the overpopulated future film Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) (1971); directed/wrote the tv movie Trapped (1973) about a man hunted through a department store by dogs; directed/wrote the romantic time travel tv movie The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan (1979); directed the American Gothic tv movie The Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981); and directed/wrote the worthwhile psycho-thriller Scissors (1991).