HOLLYWOOD—With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve celebrated the month here at Canyon News in the past discussing all types of various genres of horror from classics, remakes, reboots, sequels, supernatural, slashers to iconic franchises. However, for 2018, I wanted to really dive deep into a subgenre that I rarely explored: the supernatural or ghost story. When it comes to actual horror, in my personal opinion, the supernatural or a great ghost story is more terrifying than any psycho wearing a mask.
There have been plenty of ghostly tales that have hit the big screen in the past few decades. However, one that has stuck with me for years is the 1982 classic “Poltergeist.” Just the thought of the movie sends chills down the spine. Why? I think because there has been so much talk about how so many of the actors and actresses facing unexpected fates from the film. This tale follows the Freeling family who moves into a new home unaware that its haunted by some spirits that are hell bent on vengeance.
Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams are parents who find themselves put through the absolute ringer once strange occurrences start to occur inside the home. This is what I love about “Poltergeist,” so many of us make the argument that as soon as something strange transpires we’d fly out of that house. However, I don’t think it’s that easy. We say it, but I don’t honestly think we’d do it immediately. We have to totally be freaked out to vacate a place that we call home.
The moment that sends the film into overdrive is when little Caroline (Heather O’Rourke) is sucked through her closet into another world. O’Rourke delivers a haunting performance in this movie that proves you don’t have to utilize blood, guts and gore to deliver scares to the audience. The fear of the unknown or another realm is way scarier than some lunatic with a weapon. That TV screen moment has become iconic for anyone who ever talks about the movie “Poltergeist” and the revelation that the Freeling clan were living on the grounds of a cemetery heightens the level of fear.
That scares me more than anything because none of us know what happened in the home we lived in before we moved into it. Their might be some history and digging into that history might not be wise to say the least. There is also that phenomenal performance from Zelda Rubinstein as spiritual medium Tangina Barrons. Director Tobe Hooper and writer Steven Spielberg crafted a movie that is so iconic it should be studied more in cinema courses. There is plenty of drama behind the scenes as to rather Hooper really directed the flick or if Spielberg helmed the classic.
“Poltergeist” does a phenomenal job of building up the tension. It climbs and climbs and climbs until we reach that climax where utter hell breaks through in the home. I will admit this flick has haunted me for years, which explains why I HATE accordion door closets to this day. That can be a deal breaker for me when it comes to purchasing a home, not to mention that creepy encounter between Robbie and that clown. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about the movie. If you are looking for a scare without the gore, and one that has a solid story, look no further than “Poltergeist” which is indeed a classic.