Monday, January 18, 2010

Poltergeist III (1988)

Poltergeist III

Written by Gary Sherman & Brian Taggert
Directed by Gary Sherman

Tom Skerritt .... Bruce Gardner
Nancy Allen .... Patricia Wilson-Gardner
Heather O'Rourke .... Carol Anne Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein .... Tangina Barrons
Lara Flynn Boyle .... Donna Gardner
Kipley Wentz .... Scott
Richard Fire .... Dr. Seaton
Nathan Davis .... Kane

Since the last time we've seen the Freeling family, Carol Anne has taken up residence with her aunt, uncle and cousin in a Chicago high rise. The building is state of the art and brand new, but has lately begun experiencing a few "technical difficulties." The heat has gone out, the elevator is malfunctioning, the security cameras are constantly on the fritz and,oh yeah...those damned pesky poltergeists have returned as well.

Carol Anne has been attending a special school for gifted and disturbed youngsters, and the resident doctor there has been stirring up the past by putting Carol Anne under regressive hypnosis. This gave the evil Kane Carol Anne's whereabouts and he promptly appeared to complete his mission.

Lucky for the poltergeists, the entire building seems to be constructed out of mirrors. This time around Kane and his minions are (for some reason) only able to haunt the reflection of this world, although sometimes those reflections can be just as deadly as the real thing. Tangina reappears after Carol Anne, her cousin Donna and Donna's boy toy Scott are all pulled through the reflection and into the Other Side. In the psychic's words, "They're between dimensions, behind reflections, behind mirrors, stealing images." Whatever the hell that means.

This third installment is a travesty of cinema for a great multitude of reasons. The believable family dynamic that we had with the Freelings is long gone, replaced with a couple of actors who seem to only vaguely know each other. The whole mirror mythology remains vastly unexplained and out of place with the rest of the series. Tangina's requisite appearance was nice but seemed utterly pointless by the end of the film. Nathan Davis as Kane, doing his best Julian Beck impression, just couldn't carry the character nearly as well as his predecessor. It would have been equally blasphemous to have another actor return to portray Taylor, but thankfully the producers didn't take that last horrendous leap.

The highlight of this film is and always shall be the sight of Lara Flynn Boyle emerging from Tangina's rotting corpse. Beautiful!

View the trailer below!

Rated PG-13
98 minutes
United States

"You look great! Now remember, LESS IS MORE!"

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