Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Poltergeist III (1988, Gary Sherman)

Even though I feel that Poltergeist III is similar in quality to the second one, I did agree with the movie trying to be more creepy and sinister in the same way the original movie operated. It doesn’t completely work, yet there are some good moments I enjoyed and the movie does have a pretty good cast. I’m not surprised that most of the original cast did not come back for the third one, and they explain this away by saying that the Freelings sent young Carol Anne to live with her relatives in Chicago. It’s very sad that Heather O’Rourke passed away shortly before the movie was released, and the movie was dedicated to her memory. This lead to people arguing the series was cursed, which I think is kind of silly. Bad things happen to people whether they make horror movies or not. Anyways Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen play her uncle and aunt, while Lara Flynn Boyle is their daughter in one of her earlier roles.

There is a neat pool scene that I liked, and the finale is pretty intense to me since I really dislike heights. Zelda Rubinstein pops up back again of course, and there is your typical doctor who thinks none of what is happening is real, and of course pays the price for his disbelief. That character could have been dumped and the movie would have operated just fine without him. The skyscraper setting is quite good, however unfortunately Sherman and company are unable to fully exploit that premise to create a better movie. Too bad since Sherman’s earlier movies are much better than this one. However as noted with the second movie, if you are willing to check out the series you could do worse or better with other franchises, and they’ll probably pop up back on Tubi again soon. I can admire a movie for trying I guess.

Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986, Brian Gibson)

Brian Gibson’s Poltergeist sequel is not as good as the first movie, yet in a half campy/humorous, half actually creepy way, it almost works as a good movie. It’s an okay movie at best, yet I still enjoyed certain elements which are really good. The best thing about this movie is the preacher Kane (Julian Beck in a terrifying and inspired creepy performance), who refuses to leave the poor Freelings’ family alone. He is the literal physical and spiritual representation of The Beast, who desires their daughter, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), for reasons that only Zelda Rubinstein’s Tangina¬†and Will Simpson’s Taylor seem to understand or know. JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson play the parents, with Oliver Robins returning as their son. H. R. Giger was responsible for some of the creature designs, although he wasn’t satisfied with how they looked in the end. I thought they were good, but I’m not a legendary artist responsible for how the Xenomorph looked in the Alien movies. Funny enough this movie received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, so go figure.

I’m tore because on one hand Taylor is a major part of the movie and that’s cool, but the flick could not resist the “Magical Indian” stereotype that Hollywood loves to use in movies. Will Sampson does a fine job with what he’s given I suppose. This movie probably didn’t need to exist, yet it does and it made money so of course we got another sequel and then later a remake. I watched the third one too because both of them were on Tubi at the time, which either speaks to me being a completist or in more likely because I’m doing the 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days challenge and they were readily available to me for free. Still neither movie is a complete waste of time, and I’m greatly amused at how the wonderful Zelda Rubinstein became the series’ official mascot.

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