Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Poltergeist" came into the light and scared the crap out of America 30 years ago



On June 4, 1982, "Poltergeist" would be a direct competition to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and originally thought of as the clear winner with the amount of pedigry attached. But these two would battle for the top of the box office just one week before a little alien who loved Reese's Pieces would come along and wipe everyone off the map.

Steven Spielberg's supernatural thriller would go on to reign as one of the scariest movies of the 80's, while little Heather O'Rourke will always be synonymous with putting her hands up on the bedroom television, proclaiming 'they're here!'

Some interesting stories arose during production. There were a number of weird incidents that occurred on set and after the movie wrapped. Many connected these mishaps with the subject matter of the film. Plus, it was always rumored that Spielberg himself directed the movie instead of the man actually credited with the job...Tobe Hooper. The story goes that Hooper set up the shots, then Spielberg made adjustments. Ultimately the film felt and looked like a Steven Spielberg directed production which no doubt also led to it's fantastic success.

This was the first time a horror movie took place in a suburban home with a normal suburban family. In fact with it's proximity to "E.T." (released on June 11), the film almost seems to take place right over the hill from Elliot's house.

With outstanding performances by JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and a little medium named Tangina played with wonderous mysticality by the late Zelda Rubinstein, not to mention groundbreaking ILM special effects and Jerry Goldsmith's melodic and haunting score, "Poltergeist" would become not only a cinematic icon but a true 80's phenomenon.

3 Comments:

At June 6, 2012 at 3:07 AM, Anonymous allen said...

Freaked me out the first time I saw it. BUT, at the same time I loved it and wanted to see it again!
The scene in the kitchen with the chairs is one of my favorites.

And what did Speilberg have against suburban housing developments anyway?

 
At June 7, 2012 at 7:48 AM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

I know right?! LOL! I was actually too scared to go see it in the theatre and ended up watching it on HBO when it first hit the channel.

The chairs in the kitchen was a great scene. I love the whole sequence where Carol Anne is saved, especially Jerry Goldsmith's music during this scene. One of my favorite lines is when Craig T. Nelson is going off on his realtor boss:

"You moved the headstones but you didn't move the bodies!! WWWHHHHYYYYY???!!!!!!"

Even that brief exchange was scary!

 
At June 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM, Anonymous allen said...

"You moved the headstones but you didn't move the bodies!! WWWHHHHYYYYY???!!!!!!"

LOL! YES!!!

 

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