Wait, you didn't watch horror movies all night Friday like the SO and I did? What did you do? Restaurant? Romantic Comedy? Who are you people? Don't you realize the significance of Friday the 13th and how you have to watch horror movies? Well, I'll forgive you, since you do have 2 more opportunites this year (March and November) for Friday the 13th. Hopefully Hollywood won't try to fill the screens with mind-numbing garbage (I'm talking to you, Freddy...).
We can get into details about how VDay went for me and the SO, but let's get to something a lot more important: movie reviews! So many movies, so few lines to write them in. Of course, with TCM's 31 Days, we had choices galore! But because of time constraints (well, more like the SO and I couldn't keep our eyes open for much longer), we were able to watch two movies Friday night. I know, it was movie madness, and there were three more days to Prez Day weekend. So I had to pace myself.
So in this post, I will review Poltergeist, a classic movie about how building on a cemetery without removing the graves can all kinds of bad things - you know, furniture moving on its own, trees trying to swallow children, a vortex hole to a purgatory-like world in the closet - those kind of bad things. Before we're privileged to that key info about the cemetery, we're introduced to Steve and Diane Freeling, an unassuming couple who live in a new housing development. Steve (Craig T. Nelson) is responsible for most of the home sales. He probably gets his suave rapport from the pot he smokes nightly with Diane(JoBeth Williams). Really? I can't see my parents doing that kind of stuff. Even better when the kids know about it.
At the beginning of the movie, Carol Anne, the youngest daughter, is found talking to the TV (with the snow screen - I think she got into Mommy and Daddy's "snacks"). But it appears some spirit (most likely the Devil but it's not quite clear to me) is talking to her like a child, so she's more open to the spirit. Somehow, this family is privileged to having all hell break loose on their house and no one else. In order to save the family (including Carol Anne who gets sucked into a vortex in her closet), the Freelings rely on a group of parapsychologists and a spiritual medium in the form of Tangina Barrons, a short lady who appears to actually enjoy all of this, to get Carol Anne back.
Too bad they still live on a cemetery, thanks to Steve's boss, who decided to save a little money (I think the home sales people of today didn't watch this movie too closely!) by moving the grave markers and not the actual graves. Probably also doesn't help that Diane put the kids back in their room that tried sucking them into the vortex. That logic made this movie go from a scary movie to an absurd movie. Again... really?!? Well, that leads to the kids almost getting sucked in again, Diane having to swim with skeletons (which were real human skeletons - good thing they told Williams AFTER she swam with those bones). Of course, everyone gets away, and the spirit sucks the entire house into the vortex, and the movie ends with the family going to a motel.
End of story, right? Nope, two more sequels! Of course, you have to milk the series for all it's worth. As far as this film? Pretty good. I did enjoy the creatures and the use of special effects, unlike the CGI crap forced down our necks today. As far as scary, not to me. The SO gets frustrated because I don't scare easily from horror movies. Which is bad because the SO easily gets startled. Why is this bad? For some reason, the SO thinks we have to make actual tactile stimulation in the form of sitting next to each other during a movie. So when she jumps, she screams right next to me, so then I jump because I hate (HATE) when she does that, especially when the scene wasn't scary.
So, as far as a horror movie, pretty good but not scary. As far as a film on its own merits, I would say that it follows a formulaic pattern from the 1980s. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it does date the movie. Don't worry, I won't be purchasing it any time soon. So the collection won't be growing because of this film. Although it would be nice to have more Craig T. Nelson...
I've got plenty more posts where that came from. Another horror movie, and then it's on to classic comedies, where you can never go wrong. Until then, later!