Don’t let the name STEVEN SPIELBERG or the PG rating fool you, this film has caused countless sleepless nights and it’s done so for decades. What’s so scary about POLTERGEIST? Well first of all, it takes place somewhere many kids can easily identify with, suburbia. Any child who has recently gained mastery over their fears of cobweb strewn mansions or gothic castles are instantly sent back to square one. Secondly, unlike many of its R rated contemporaries, POLTERGESIT is not afraid to deal with the very real specter of death. From flushing pet canaries down the toilet, to coffins emptying their contents into the swimming pool, actual mortality is present here. An after life is also suggested, but it’s cold comfort considering the place is not only overcrowded, but apparently covered in a substance not unlike cherry Jell-o. The tagline warning “It knows what scares you!” might as well have been made directly to the juvenile set, because the lion’s share of POLTERGEIST‘s most indelible scares are based on common childhood fears. For example: See that comforting tree outside your bedroom window, the one that’s basically a marker that you’re home and safe? Yeah, well, it’s actually going to try to swallow you whole…and that clown doll that you used to insist sleep in the same bed as you? He’s kinda got arms that can grow to any size that he wants to wrap around your neck. You don’t mind if he pulls you under the bed do you? Actually few are safe from the anxiety factory that is Poltergeist, from Dad’s bad financial investment to Mom’s fear of literally loosing her child to the television set. Nobody here gets off Scott free, but unlike the parental figures in POLTERGEIST, most kids don’t have the luxury of a little toke of ganja to help them get to sleep at night.
- Everybody’s least favorite toy, the clown doll looking to “hug it out”
- “One, one thousand, two, one thousand” …the kite eating tree’s revenge!
- The guy ripping his face off in the mirror…a Proactive commercial gone horribly wrong