Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Poltergeist III (1988)

That spooky, nasty reverend Kane is back (this time played by Nathan Davis after the death of actor Julian Beck) and he still wants Carol Anne, despite the fact that she now lives in a sleek, ultra-modern highrise building with her uncle and aunt (Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen). Thankfully, this big building has lots of mirrors and reflective surfaces that can become portals for Kane’s particular brand of evil.

You can try to be all deep and meaningful about it and put it this way – Poltergeist was about the insidious nature of television and how too much exposure to it can literally eat up the life of your child, Poltergeist II: The Other Side was about the family unit and how important and difficult it was to stay united against outside pressures and obstacles, Poltergeist III is about the perils of complete modernisation that leads to alienation and far too many opportunities for wrongdoing. Or you could just say that Poltergeist was a great ghost flick, Poltergeist II: The Other Side was a decent ghost flick with a definite baddie to focus on and Poltergeist III was the movie that went back to the well one time too many.

The acting is okay from all involved but everything is undermined by a poor script (that should have simply been titled “Carol Anne” due to the number of times that her name is called out) and mediocre execution. Director Gary Sherman (who also shares the blame for co-writing the thing) seems happy to go along with everything that is wrong with many modern horror movies. You know what I mean: people keep running off alone, nobody seems to notice while lots of other folk disappear, one jump scare is repeated so often that it ends up being ineffective, etc.

It’s a shame that this was the last movie for young Heather O’Rourke (her death after this movie completed a trio of deaths that people referred/refer to as “The Poltergeist Curse”) because it’s just not a very good film. On a lighter note, it’s the first film gig for a young Lara Flynn Boyle so fans may want to check it out for that reason. 

There are still a few decent moments here and there but, overall, this is a poor end. 

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