The Changeling, The Shining and other films that turn 40 in 2020

Photo: The Changeling (1980) / Chessman Park Productions.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: The Changeling (1980) / Chessman Park Productions.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

The Changeling and The Shining are just two of the fabulous films from the golden age of horror that turn the big 4-0 this year. What other productions have reached the four-decade mark?

The Changeling is one of those horror films that flies under the radar. Let’s face it. When you think of 1980 releases usually The Shining and Friday the 13th readily spring to mind.

However, there were some other fun, hidden gems that have reached the four-decade mark as well. So, grab your leg warmers, your headbands, and all the neon that you can find. We are going back in time to celebrate 10 scary flicks that are turning 40 this year!

The Changeling

Who would have thought that esteemed actor, George C. Scott would have agreed to star in a horror film? This 1980 gem is a throwback to spooky, ghost stories. There is no blood and gore in this effort.

However, The Changeling is the type of movie that will haunt you for days after you see it. Capably directed by Peter Medak, this production tells the story of composer John Russell (Scott) who is struggling to cope with his grief after his beloved wife and daughter die in a weird car accident.

Seeking solace and seclusion he rents a spacious mansion where he hopes to work on his latest opus. However, he is not alone. The spirit of a tormented, young boy resides with him. Will John find out what he wants or will he die trying to help him?

You can experience The Changeling on Shudder, You Tube, Amazon Prime, Google Play and VUDU.

The Shining

Everyone knows Stephen King’s thoughts on this Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. However, we happen to love this Jack Nicholson starrer. When Jack Torrance takes a job as the caretaker of The Overlook Hotel for the winter, it seems like a great idea. Room and board, plus the chance to work on that novel he has been trying to write for years.

However, his demons start to catch up to him. Little by little, he finds himself changing. “All work and no play” definitely make Jack a dull boy.

Before too long, he is having conversations with entities from the 1920’s and interludes with strange dead women in Room 237. All of this culminates in a terrifying night of violence for him, his wife and their psychic son, Danny.

After watching this film, you will never look at an outdoor maze in the same way again.

Check out The Shining on You Tube, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play and VUDU.

Motel Hell

What other horror film has a classic Western movie star (Rory Calhoun), a famous D.J. (Wolfman Jack) and Cliff from Cheers (John Ratzenberger)? Motel Hell, of course.

Proprietor of said lodging is Farmer Vincent (Calhoun) who has a “famous” roadside stand where he sells his fritters. If you were unfortunate enough to spend the night in his motel, you might end up being buried alive in his garden.

However, at least you would be well fed because Vincent has plans for you. Let’s just say, “It takes all kinds of critters to make his fritters!”

While this may not be the best effort, it certainly is enjoyable to watch. Plus, it parodies other slasher productions like Last House on the Left.

Motel Hell resides on Tubi, Amazon Prime, iTunes and VUDU.

The Silent Scream

When Scotty Parker moves into a historical seaside mansion owned by Mrs. Engels, everything seems normal. She makes friends with three other college students living there. Plus, Mason, the owner’s son is more than happy to help her settle into her new life.

Things are going according to plan for Scotty until one of her new pals is murdered. Is this the work of a serial killer or is there more than meets the eye with the Engels family?

We do have to point out for all of you classic television fans that Mrs. Engels is played by Yvonne De Carlo a.k.a. Lily Munster from The Munsters!

The Silent Scream is available on Amazon Prime.


Two words. Joe Spinell. Maniac is a horror cult favorite because of his performance. Not to mention the fact that William Lustig (who would later go on to direct Bruce Campbell in Maniac Cop) is at the helm.

Frank Zito (Spinell) is a troubled individual. Childhood abuse has crippled his psyche. He has a very unusual therapy for his demons which involves killing women and taking their scalps as trophies.

When he meets Anna D’Antoni (played by the voluptuous bombshell, Caroline Munro) his world gets turned upside down. Is she the woman that will help end his reign of terror?

You can capture Maniac on VUDU, You Tube, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

Other cool films turning the big 4-0 and where you can find them:

  • The Fog: You Tube, iTunes, Google Play
  • Friday the 13th: Tubi, Crackle, You Tube, Google Play, VUDU and iTunes
  • Altered States: VUDU, You Tube, Amazon Prime and Google Play
  • Dressed to Kill: You Tube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes and VUDU
  • Death Ship: Tubi and iTunes

Next. Ginger Snaps, The Cell and other horror films that turn 20 in 2020. dark

Have you seen The Changeling? What are some of your favorite horror flicks turning 40 this year? Let us know in the comments.