Barbara Hershey Talks THE ENTITY

While promoting INSIDIOUS, Barbara Hershey stops to tell Devin a thing or two about the ghost rape classic THE ENTITY.

I have to imagine that James Wan hired Barbara Hershey to appear in his haunted house movie Insidious at least partially because of her work in the infamous ghost rape movie The Entity. Yes, ghost rape. In The Entity Hershey plays a single mom who is suddenly and brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted by an invisible being.

As if the idea of a dead serious movie about ghost rape wasn’t odd enough, The Entity is actually based on a true case. When I talked to Barbara Hershey today at the press junket for Insidious I had to ask her about that film, and what I was really curious about was whether she had met the woman who had made the real world ghost rape claims.

“I didn’t meet her,” Hershey told me.  “I met some of the investigators who worked on it. It was a very interesting case because there were two very different interpretations; one was psychiatric and the other was paranormal. The paranormal people I met a bit. But both ideas were really interesting to me - whether it really happened to her, or whether she was so powerfully insane she was creating this, actually raising marks on herself. That was probably more fascinating to me.”
The movie flirts with the idea that it’s all in her head - it even flirts with the idea that the entity is the psychological byproduct of an incestuous desire for her oldest son (sort of Spanking The Monkey With Ghosts) - but in the end it comes down on the side of paranormal. Pretty hard. Like, it has Ron Silver trying to trap the ghost in liquid nitrogen (it’s among the most batshit movie finales ever).
“I would have liked it more in the middle,” Hershey admits. “I think we don’t know, and that’s more interesting. How to get a satisfying ending out of that question I don’t know.”
While I have to agree with her that a version of The Entity where the truth is vaguer would probably be a better movie, I don’t know that I would love such a film as much as I love the totally bonkers movie as it now exists.

In a display of perfect timing, Trailers From Hell is hosting the trailer for The Entity today. Enjoy!