Poltergeist III

Lara Flynn Boyle?

It looks like only Carol Anne is returning from the previous movies?

It had half the budget of the previous movie, and it looks like it didn’t make the budget back (which explains why this is the last Poltergeist movie).

II was more wide-screen — this is in 1.85:1. And I appreciate that the people who made the blu-ray didn’t chop it down to 16:9 — so many films that are close to that aspect ratio are mutilated these days.

In some ways, this is a bit more scary than Poltergeist II — it’s got a kinda creepy atmosphere that works, while II pretty much failed at that. This is obviously a final desperate cash grab at a disintegrating franchise, retaining very little of the “mythology” of the first two movies, which in some ways is liberating?

Huh… Carol Anne has changed a lot in the two years since the previous movie… Oh!

She was prescribed cortisone injections to treat the disease during the time she was filming Poltergeist III. The steroidal injections resulted in facial swelling of the cheeks, which O’Rourke’s mother said she was very self-conscious about.

And then she died just after finishing this movie, so it was released after her death.


Well, that’s another reason to end a movie franchise… when two of the original starring actors are dead over a short period of time, perhaps it’s time to give up.

Looks like a reliable group of people.

Oh, Tangina’s back, too, so it’s not just Carol Anne.

The cinematography in this movie is kinda interesting. It’s… kinda cold and distant? Lots of far-away shots through windows and mirrors.

So many mirrors — walls and walls of mirrors.

I like this one! It’s kinda scary without having a lot of jump scares. The horrors are kinda original without being gross. OK, it’s a dopey 80s horror sequel, but it’s way better than it has any reason to be.

Poltergeist III. Gary Sherman. 1988.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

I watched the first Poltergeist movie again a few months ago, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. So, of course, I got all the sequels on blu ray… and I’m assuming they’re all gonna suck, but let’s see.

I don’t recall whether I saw the sequels back in the 80s or not, but… probably?

Such matte painting!

Oh, I assumed that this was a direct-to-video kind of thing, but it had a sorta big budget.

Hey! Did the entire cast return for this movie? I didn’t expect that… Hm… Oh, the older sister is gone, and for the normal reason:

The only family member absent from the film is Dana, who according to the script is off at university, but a scene explaining away her absence was never filmed. Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney (who later changed his name to John Maura and disappeared) shortly after “Poltergeist (1982)” premiered.


On October 30, 1982, Dunne was strangled by her ex-boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney, during an argument on the driveway of her West Hollywood home. She fell into a coma and died five days later on November 4, 1982. In a court case which gained significant media coverage, Sweeney was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Dunne’s death, and served three and a half years in prison.

Three and a half years in prison for strangling her? *double sigh*

This movie isn’t, you know, awful or anything, but it’s not scary… and the first movie was kinda interesting? The characters took a logical approach to exploring the various phenomena, but now we know what’s going on, sort of, so it doesn’t have that, either.

The director here is mostly known for doing music videos, apparently — his movie career isn’t exactly extensive. But I do feel like I’ve seen Breaking Glass? Hm…

Heh; I remember we used to shout at each other “MIRROR ALERT” when watching horror movies back then… because if you have a mirror — especially one on a door or something — there’ll invariably be a jump scare coming up.


This isn’t a good movie, but it’s not annoying, either. It sort of trundles along, making very little sense; mostly it’s just… there. It looks good, so I’m gonna up my dice here:

Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Brian Gibson. 1986.

Three Ages

Heh. This is a century old… but that’s some good CGI. I mean stop motion animation.

These are good sets.

Oh, they’re doing the three stories in parallel instead of sequentially?

Heh heh.


This must have been a really expensive movie to make. Huge sets and the gags keep on coming.

She’s applying makeup at the table, so why shouldn’t he be shaving?

This is very amusing. If it had bombed at the box office, the plan was to cut it into three separate shorts, but it didn’t, so they didn’t. There’s a few laugh out loud moments, but it’s mostly just very… droll.

Like jokes about weather forecasting. Same a hundred years ago as today.

There’s not that many gags here that couldn’t work in a modern comedy, really.


OK, perhaps that gag wouldn’t have been done in a modern movie.

Nice mammoth.


And that gag would have taken five minutes, not ten seconds, in a modern movie. This is really good stuff, not just thoroughly amusing, but also pretty smart.

Three Ages. Buster Keaton and Edward F. Cline. 1923.