Poltergeist III

Infobox Film
name = Poltergeist III

caption = Theatrical poster for "Poltergeist III"
director = Gary Sherman
producer = Barry Bernardi
writer = Steve Feke
Gary Sherman
Brian Taggert
starring = Tom Skerritt
Nancy Allen
Heather O'Rourke
Zelda Rubinstein
Lara Flynn Boyle
music = Joe Renzetti
cinematography = Alex Nepomniaschy
editing = Ross Albert
distributor = MGM
released = June 10, 1988
runtime = 98 min.
country = USA
language = German/English
budget = ~ $10,500,000
preceded_by = ""
followed_by =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0095889

"Poltergeist III" is a 1988 horror film. It is the third and final film of the Poltergeist film series, and the second sequel to "Poltergeist". It was directed by Gary Sherman but Michael Grais and Mark Victor didn't appear to write the screenplay, and was released on June 10, 1988.

Heather O'Rourke and Zelda Rubinstein were the only original cast members to return. However, the former died before production had finished.


Between the second and third films, the Freeling family has sent Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) to live with her Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen) (whom Carol Anne insists on calling Trish, a common nickname for Patricia; this is important later in the film as a way of identifying an impostor Carol Anne) and Uncle Bruce Gardner (Tom Skerritt). Along with Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle), Bruce's daughter from a previous marriage, they live in the luxury skyscraper of which Bruce is the manager. Pat is the sister of Diane, Carol Anne's mother. Carol Anne has been told she is in Chicago temporarily to attend a unique school for gifted children with emotional problems (though Pat thinks it's because Steve and Diane just wanted Carol Anne out of their house). Pat seems to have no idea about the events of the first two films, just noting that Steven was involved in a bad land deal.

At school that day, we find that Carol Anne has been made by her teacher/psychiatrist, Dr. Seaton (Richard Fire), to discuss her experiences from the first and second movies for a number of months, and this has had the effect of bringing Kane back from the limbo he was sent to in the second film. Dr. Seaton, having never experienced the supernatural, believes that Carol Anne is simply a manipulative child who has created something of a mass psychosis within her family, falsely making them believe they were attacked by ghosts. Kane (Nathan Davis) makes his presence known by draining the high rise of heat, and taking possession of the character's reflections in mirrors, causing the reflections to act independently of their counterparts in the real world.

When Carol Anne is left alone that night, Kane attempts to use the mirrors in her room to capture her, but she escapes with Tangina's help. Also during this period, Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) also realizes that Kane is back, and travels cross country to protect Carol Anne. Donna and her boyfriend, Scott, see a frightened Carol Anne running through the high rise's parking lot, and move to rescue her. However, before they can, all three are taken to the Other Side by Kane. By this point, Tangina and Dr. Seaton, are both on the scene, along with Trish and Bruce. Dr. Seaton believes that Carol Anne has simply staged the entire thing, while Tangina tries to get her back. Scott is seemingly released from the Other Side through a pool in the high rise, and Donna reappears after Tangina is taken by Kane disguised as Carol Anne. Scott is left at his home with his parents. No one seems to notice at this point that the symbols on Donna's clothing are all reversed from what they were before she was taken. As Dr. Seaton attempts to calm Donna, Bruce sees Carol Anne's reflection in the mirror and chases it while Pat follows. Dr. Seaton is not far behind, and he believes he sees Carol Anne in the elevator. This turns out to be a trap though when Donna appears behind him and pushes him into the empty elevator shaft. It is revealed at this point that Donna did not actually come back, but rather the person who came back was an evil undead reflection of Donna who then vanishes back into the mirror, with an evil reflection of Scott at her side. Pat and Bruce try to find Carol Anne, but Bruce is captured and eventually Pat is forced to prove her love for Carol Anne in a final face off with Kane.

The ending is somewhat unclear, but Tangina manages to convince Kane to go into the Light with her, and Donna, Bruce and Carol Anne are returned to Pat. Scott's fate is never revealed, whereas we can assume he may be still trapped on the Other Side. The final shot of the film does make clear that Kane was not defeated; we see a long shot of the building, and then lightning hits it. We then hear Kane's laugh.


Infobox movie certificates
United_States = PG-13
Iceland = 16
Germany = 16
Australia = M
Canada (Nova Scotia) = A
Canada (Quebec) = 13+
Canada (Ontario) = AA
Canada (Manitoba) = PA
Finland = K-16
France = U
Norway = 15
Singapore = PG
Sweden = 15
United_Kingdom = 15
Director Gary Sherman thought the idea having the setting in the city was just as scary as isolated suburbia. His feeling was that there are people on the other side of the wall, and no one cares that you are in trouble. ["E: True Hollywood Story: Curse of Poltergeist"]

All the special effects were live and were performed on stage. The only post-productional visual effect was the lightning casting over the John Hancock Center in the very final shot of the picture.

Corey Burton also provided some uncredited voice work for Kane.Fact|date=June 2007

This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA.

O'Rourke's death

When production of "Poltergeist III" began in early 1987, Heather had been ill for several months with what was eventually diagnosed as Crohn's disease, and subsequently underwent medical treatment during parts of the filming, which took place in Chicago. Principal photography lasted between April and June of that year, with June 1988 as its scheduled release date, and by all accounts Heather finished her work on the film. After a family vacation, she returned home to California, her illness apparently in remission.

Heather O' Rourke died on February 1 1988 before production had completed. Her death developed the notion of the "Poltergeist" curse, which had been advanced due to the recurring premature deaths of those involved in the series.

The final scene of the film had to be reshot, but Heather O'Rourke passed away prior to the reshoots taking place. Rather than cancel the project with so much of the film already completed, a body double was used in place of O'Rourke. This is why you never see Carol Anne's face when she comes back from the Other Side during the finale of the movie.

Kipley Wentz, Tom Skerritt, Gary Sherman, Henry Winkler, Michael Meyer and David Wardlowe were also pallbearers at her funeral.

Box office

"Poltergeist III" was considered a box office hit, but was the least grossing out of the three films in the "Poltergeist" series. The film amassed only $14,114,488 [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=poltergeist3.htm Poltergeist III (1988) ] ] at the United States box office.

See also

* ""
* Poltergeist
* Stigmatized property
* "Night Skies" (aborted Spielberg film)


External links

* [http://www.monochrom.at/noise-and-talk/ Noise and Talk] - Philosophical essay about Poltergeist and television by Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom.

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