On advice from Amie, we watched The Changeling last night. Amie recommended it as a very scary movie. It took a while to warm up, but I wholeheartedly agree that it was a scary movie. It was so scary that Carina was too afraid to go to sleep afterwards, and made me stay up with her to watch something funny while she wound down.
I'm glad we watched it. It was scary without being a horror movie. The suspense built naturally, and George C. Scott's performance did a lot to really build the tension. He wasn't scared of what was happening in his house, which continued at a slow pace and really pulled the viewer into the story. There was really only one jump-out-at-you scene, which happened at a time I least expected it. Carina didn't expect it either, because she literally leapt out of her seat, and then tried to hide under a blanket for most of the rest of the movie. The story was interesting and ultimately satisfying, even if the ending was a little disappointing.
There was one long, quiet scene in near total darkness. I was reminded of David Lynch's Lost Highway, which has a scene several minutes in length of complete black with no sound. I've been so accustomed by most mainstream movies to having things jump out of the dark that the absence of such a thing when it is expected really puts me on edge. The long, silent darkness filled me with tension much better than any other device the filmmakers could have tried.
Amie recommended The Changeling to us in response to our recommendation of The Descent. Hopefully Amie will watch it -- I'm sure she'll enjoy it!