The Poltergeist series from the 1980s are among the top of my favorite movie list with the second in the series being my favorite of the trio. Every time I see Poltergeist (1982), I am blown away with the story and the dark vibe that touches every aspect of the film. Of course, when they remade it in 2005 I had to see it to see how it compared, and it didn’t come close to tormenting me like the original.
I’m not saying Poltergeist is the perfect movie, it’s not, it has some flaws. The biggest to me is Dana, the oldest sister, who is only in this movie because she died shortly after the movie’s release. That point is also a big question mark in my head, but I’ll get into that in a minute. The most noticeable strangeness with Dana is the scene where Steve and Diane are loading Robbie and the dog, where’s Dana? She’s not in the Taxi, they don’t mention or reference her. Had the Poltergeist Curse already started at this point and she’s been erased from their minds?
I get the heebie-jeebies whenever I see Poltergeist, there’s an ambiance in this movie that just can’t be replicated. Some of my favorite parts are the tree crashing through the bedroom window, and of course the iconic scenes with Carol Anne communicating with the spirits through the TV and toy phone.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), as I said previously, is my favorite of the trilogy. We are introduced to the beast that has been stalking Carol Anne, and he takes the creepiness of the movie to the next level; Rev. Henry Kane has got to be one of the creepiest characters I’ve ever met on the big screen. Julian Beck is an amazing actor, playing the role of Kane while basically on his death bed.
Another reason this is my favorite of the trilogy is because of the danger looming over the family as they try to rebuild their lives. After Carol Anne’s grandmother dies, the spirits attack and that is when the fun starts. I think the thing that creeps me the most about Rev. Kane is the song he sings; God is in His Holy Temple.
Tangina enlists Taylor to help with the cleanup and protect the family. I find it interesting that there’s no mention of Dana, the oldest daughter; yeah, yeah the actress died, but at least mention her or recast the role.
Poltergeist III (1988) is the finale in the series, making me wonder if Heather O’Rourke hadn’t died would they have made more? But that goes along with the alleged Poltergeist Curse. This film is kinda fucked up, child abandonment much? Why would they leave their daughter with relatives? The explanation of sending her to a school for the gifted is sketchy, and I think Pat might have been right, Steve and Diane just want away from Carol Anne. Carol Anne starts seeing Rev. Kane in reflections, of course, no one believes her. Then there’s the therapist, who’s convinced she can perform mass hypnosis; come on dude, this shit is real. Again, there’s no mention of Dana in this movie, I’m not sure why I’m stuck on this, it just seems so weird.
The usage of the mirrors for effects is cool, and they are used along with other reflective surfaces throughout the movie; even water puddles. This is movie moved toward “teenage” horror flick, and they didn’t do a bad job with it. I do wonder if there would’ve been another movie if Heather O’Rourke hadn’t died. All these movies are amazing for me and I give them each 4.5 out of 5 Stars as well as cumulatively.