Poltergeist (film series)

The "Poltergeist" movies are a trilogy of horror films produced in the 1980s. Steven Spielberg co-wrote and co-produced the first "Poltergeist", with Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chain Saw Massacre") as the director. Brian Gibson directed "", while "Poltergeist III" was directed, co-written, co-produced and storyboarded by Gary Sherman.

Michael Grais and Mark Victor co-wrote the first film with Spielberg, wrote the second film on their own and also co-produced it. Brian Taggert and an uncredited Steve Feke co-wrote the third film.

Spielberg's long-time friends (and then-married couple) Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy co-produced the first film. Freddie Fields and Lynn Arost co-produced the second film, and the third film was co-produced by Barry Bernardi.

The scores of the first two films were composed by Jerry Goldsmith. H.R. Giger did conceptual designs for the second film.


; "Poltergeist" (1982) : In the first and most successful film (released on June 4 1982), a group of seemingly benign ghosts begin communicating with five-year-old Carol Anne Freeling in her parents' suburban California home via static on the television. Eventually they use the TV as their path into the house itself. They kidnap Carol Anne, and most of the film involves the family's efforts to rescue her. Eventually they do, but then the spirits, led by a demon known only as The Beast, go on a rampage.; "" (1986) : This sequel exists to explain in much greater detail why Carol Anne was targeted in the first film. As it turns out, the Freelings' house in the first movie was built over a massive underground cavern that was the final resting place of a utopian cult that died there in the early 1800s. This cavern was even below the graveyard that wasn't relocated in the first film. The cult was led by Rev. Henry Kane, who did not have the best intentions. He was power hungry, and anxious to control the souls of his followers in both life and death. This film also elaborates that the females in the family have measures of psychic powers, making them a target for the spirits. ; "Poltergeist III" (1988) : Apparently, between the second and third films, the Freeling family has had quite enough of all supernatural activity, and have decided to cut it off at the source: Carol Anne is now living with her aunt Pat (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 in the John Hancock Center where Bruce also works in downtown Chicago.

; "Poltergeist IV: In The Shadows" (2009/2010) : Announced November 2007 is a fourth movie in the series. No details have yet been given regarding this latest installment. It has been 19 years since the third movie was released. It will be between being a remake and being a continuation.


* Some of the stars in the movie, such as Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, died young. As a result, an urban legend has grown up asserting that the cast was cursed. See the "Poltergeist" curse.
* The line "They're here!" was voted on AFI's "100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" at number 69.
* H.R. Giger the conceptual artist for the "Alien" tetralogy, was responsible for The Beast's creature design.
* Of all the films in the series, the first is the only one not currently owned by MGM — it is currently owned by Warner Bros. via its acquisition of Turner Entertainment, which is in possession of the pre-1986 MGM library.
* A "Family Guy" episode was based around the movie called "Petergeist," in which the television is talking to Stewie. In the DVD commentary, Seth MacFarlane (creator of "Family Guy") comments on how it was one of the first horror movies he ever saw, and how he was shocked that his parents even took him to see it.
*In the "South Park" episode, "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson," Cartman makes a midget say 'uncle' and "Carol Anne, don't go into the light!" during a fight.
* The infamous "clown scene", in which the possessed clown doll drags the boy under the bed, is often spoofed (i.e "Scary Movie 2").

Partial credits

*Heather O'Rourke, Carol Anne Freeling
*Craig T. Nelson, Steven "Steve" Freeling (first and second films only)
*JoBeth Williams, Diane Freeling (née Wilson) (first and second films only)
*Oliver Robins, Robert "Robbie" Freeling (first and second films only)
*Dominique Dunne, Dana Freeling (first film only)
*Lara Flynn Boyle, Donna Gardner (third film only)
*Tom Skerritt, Bruce Gardner (third film only)
*Nancy Allen, Patricia Wilson-Gardner (third film only)
*Zelda Rubinstein, Tangina Barrons, Clairvoyant
*Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jessica "Gramma Jess" Wilson (second film only)
*Beatrice Straight, Dr. Lesh (first film only)
*Richard Lawson, Ryan (first film only)
*Will Sampson, Taylor (second film only)
*Julian Beck, Reverend Henry Kane (in the second film)
*Nathan Davis, Reverend Henry Kane (in the third film)
*Corey Burton, Reverend Henry Kane (in the third film, voice only, uncredited)
*Jaclyn Bernstein, Young Diane (in the second film)
*Kelly Jean Peters Young Jess (second film only)
*Martin Casella, Dr. Marty Casey (first film only)
*Richard Fire, Dr. Seaton (third film only)
*Noble Craig, the Great Beast a.k.a. "Vomit Creature" (second film only)

See also

* "Poltergeist" curse
* ""
* Poltergeist
* Stigmatized property
* "Night Skies" (aborted Spielberg film)
* "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

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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