Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is a woman with many problems and under considerable pressure. She has three children who are not always as amenable as she would like, and Carla struggles to keep their home going on the meagre income of a part-time receptionist. She also puts in long hours at a secretarial school in an effort to improve her skills and consequently her income.
Returning home from class one night she is suddenly struck in the face, hurled into her bedroom and thrown on the bed. While her head is buried in a pillow she is sexually assaulted and, although she can’t see her assailant, she is conscious of the sound of heavy breathing.
Freeing herself at last, she is able to scream for help and her son Billy (David Labiosa) rushes into her room only to find his mother quite alone.
The following night, Carla is in bed and just drifting off to sleep when the room begins to shake violently. Stopping only to grab the children, Carla dashes into the street and finally takes refuge in her friend Cindy’s house. Cindy (Margaret Blye) urges Carla to see a psychiatrist right away.
Driving to work the next day, Carla feels that control of her car has been taken away from her and she watches in terror as the car careers wildly through the traffic. She manages to regain control of the car but can’t avoid crashing into an obstacle.
Depressed, bruised and frightened, Carla decides to become an outpatient at a psychiatric clinic where she tells her incredible story to Dr Phil Sneiderman (Ron Silver) who believes that she is a victim of hallucinations and puts her through a series of psychological tests.
That night, Carla is subjected to another violent assault when she is brutally raped in the bathroom.
Returning to the clinic, Dr Sneiderman is amazed when he examines Carla’s wounds which are real enough. He still maintains, though, that the whole thing is rooted in her subconscious and decides to devote himself to her case in an effort to find a plausible answer.
Matters are further complicated when Carla is assaulted by the invisible force in front of her children. Billy goes to her aid but is battered himself in consequence. This seems to confound the theory that it is all in Carla’s subconscious – and for the first time, Carla catches a partial glimpse of a visible manifestation of the assailant who is relentlessly attacking her.
There are more rapes, more inexplicable phenomena, more psychiatrists brought in, and still without a solution or explanation. Carla’s case so obsesses the doctors that they decide to try to trap the entity with liquid helium – the coldest substance known to science at an incredible temperature of 485 degrees below zero.
Their plan is to log the entity’s precise position and then attempt to trap it in an icy prison. The climax of this amazing story is literally shattering.
The Entity was based on the real story of a Californian woman named Doris Bither. According to Bither – who had a history of physical and substance abuse along with a traumatic childhood – she was constantly raped by the spirits of three men. Her bizarre experiences induced top psychiatrists and parapsychologists to probe the phenomena in depth. Bither died in 1999 of pulmonary arrest.
Dr Phil Sneiderman
Dr L. Hose
Sidney J. Furie