31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 10: Poltergeist I & II


Poltergeist (1982)

Why I love it:

  • It’s a story about demonic possession involving a suburban family after they move into a housing development that has been built on an Indian burial ground — a common theme in Hollywood ghost stories.
  • The writer tries to make the parents seem hip by showing them smoking a joint in the early part of the film. It’s the wife, played by JoBeth Williams who is the real stoner of the two.
  • University-level paranormal research is featured in the film as a team of parapsychologists are hired to investigate the supernatural activity that the family is experiencing.
  • The “Poltergeist Curse” legend: several unfortunate events occurred surrounding this film–namely the death of both of the female actors (Dominique Dunne and Heather O’Rourke) who played the daughters in the family.
  • Real corpses were said to be used in the filming of the scene where JoBeth Williams character is stuck in a muddy pool of water. Some believe that this may have been a contributing factor in the “Poltergeist Curse”.
  • The braces scene.
  • The parapsychologist in the bathroom ripping apart his face scene.
  • Tangina, the psychic medium played by Zelda Rubinstein seems like the real deal. I swear she must have psychic gifts in real life. She’s a tough little old lady who helps the family get Carole Anne back from the poltergeist. 
  • Carol Anne’s famous line: “They’re here”. 
  • Poltergeist II, the sequel was very good and almost as entertaining as the original. The backstory is explained in Poltergeist II and the theme of reincarnation is highlighted. 





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