In this controversial film based on a true story, director Furie explores the domestically-abused-woman-as-masochist stereotype by veiling it as a supernatural horror film.
Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is a single mother whose struggle to get by is aggravated by the presence of an extremely violent, foul-smelling and distinctly masculine ghost. The entity threatens her body as much as her sanity; it repeatedly and brutally rapes her, in one instance in front of her children, and another while she is fast asleep. Her boyfriend Jerry (Alex Rocco) is talked about more than seen; he is away on business trips for most of the film.
As the entity's attacks intensify, Carla dons the role of the abused housewife, which is especially fitting since the absence of a patriarch in the home leaves room for the entity itself to function as a sort of drunk, violent husband. Furthermore, the entity attacks her in a friend's home, and in her car, which causes her to retreat into the physical and emotional isolation that is characteristic of many victims of domestic abuse. Close-ups of her increasingly vacant, detached gaze signify her resignation to the violence. When she visits a psychiatrist and later invites a team of parapsychologists in to monitor her home, the two opposing schools of thought clash, with Carla as the defeated victim in the middle. (Kier-la Janisse)See Showtimes