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The Notorious ZSB
Apr 19, 2004

I SAID WE'RE NOT GONNA BE FUCKING SUCK THIS YEAR!!!


Gonna be honest I never really found this film scary. It has the same 80s funk to it that Nightmare on Elm St does where the concept is really cool, and there are a number of nifty sequences (melting face, the void in the closet), but some of the score and the effects take me out of it. I never felt as much tension as I think I was supposed to, but I'm kinda engaged by a remake possibility. I don't know that I ever felt overly threatened by the entities, when the worst they really manage besides some hallucinations are gummy tennis balls.

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Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

lizardman posted:

I think it was a haunted house that sort of turned into a Poltergeist situation. The ghouls' primary disturbance is that the house is built over their graves, they (well, specifically "The Beast" who is like the big cheese of the group) get revenge/whatever else by kidnapping Carol Anne. The family manages to get Carol Anne back, which just pisses them off even more and decide this family are their mortal enemies, etc.

It's been a few years since I've seen it so that might not be 100% right, but I'm almost absolutely sure that it isn't "This one ghost (The Beast) decides to kidnap Carol Anne" and THEN "These OTHER random ghosts are pissed that they steamrolled their graves", they're a lot more unified than that.

I dunno, I recall Zelda Rubinstein's character saying that the Beast lied to and misled the other spirits, it seems like it's a separate party from the humans and the desecrated dead.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.



I forget if they expanded on it in the sequels but in the first I thought the idea was that ghosts in general can be pretty chill but then huge rear end in a top hat ones like the beast can convince them to do whatever.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Neo Rasa posted:

I forget if they expanded on it in the sequels but in the first I thought the idea was that ghosts in general can be pretty chill but then huge rear end in a top hat ones like the beast can convince them to do whatever.

Yeah, Poltergeist II gives the ghosts all a backstory that clarifies it a bit: they were a traveling cult in the 1800s led by Reverend Kane (who becomes 'The Beast' after death), it jibes with the idea that the ghosts in general are innocent at heart but susceptible to the Beast's influence.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Speaking of which, I decided to give the Poltergeist sequels another whirl recently; wanting to save the original for later to experience the remake with fresh eyes but still wanting to quench a bit of the Poltergeist jones I've got.

I actually decided to start with Poltergeist III since I've never actually just sat down and watched the whole thing before, I'd just pieced it together from various watches on the Sci-Fi channel years ago:



My impression pretty much confirmed what I'd always felt about this one: it hardly feels like part of the series at all. There is a change in setting ("they're in the city now!" is the primary gimmick of this one) and the only cast members to return are Carol Anne and Tangina (Rev Kane is back, too, but played by someone else). The ghosts suddenly use mirrors/reflections and ice as their primary MO and there really isn't an explanation as to why. Sometimes the movie honestly feels like they took a random ghost script lying around and slapped the Poltergeist IP onto it Die Hard-style.

Director Gary Sherman insisted on using as many in-camera effects work as possible (maybe because all the compositing in Poltergeist II left something to be desired) and with that in mind there are moments where I genuinely raised an eyebrow and thought "I wonder how they did that?" which isn't something a movie's made me do in a while. That said, the movie does start to feel limited in scope by the effects constraints (hey, where are my hordes of rotting skeletons? you can't have a Poltergeist movie without rotting skeletons!) and all the use of literal smoke and mirrors sometimes make the movie feel like some kind of live production at times.

I can appreciate the movie's attempt at a theme based around family: in this case, Carol Anne is staying with her aunt and uncle, the former of whom is a stepmother to a teenage girl (played by Lara Flynn Boyle in her first movie appearance), so there's this whole thing about "who is your real family" and the like. It's not handled particularly well, and the aunt character especially seems to vacillate between having affection for her niece and wanting to "send the little brat back to her parents" with alarming quickness. But something about the climax-- where a doppelganger of Carol Anne tries to tempt Aunt Patricia to let her be taken by the ghosts in exchange for her "real" family -- I found surprisingly effective, mostly because of Nancy Allen's convincing performance. It's a bit mushy, but it's the one thing in the script aside from the few returning characters that feels true to the spirit of the series.


Hey, Poltergeist III wasn't THAT bad!

The next day I gave Poltergeist II a spin, and though it's a much more competent movie than the third, I think the fact that I was way more familiar with it made it feel a little more boring to me. You get the feeling watching this one that they really had no idea where to take the story after the first one and it comes off like "well here's some more ghost poo poo! have fun!"

There are some new elements: like I mentioned earlier, the ghosts are given a backstory and while it's usually not a good idea to try to "explain the monster", they've at least put together a fairly compelling one, and seeing The Beast in his human form as Reverend Kane is striking and creepy (also, this whole business is fairly ignorable if you prefer to have the ghosts be the faceless menace they were in the first film). The addition of a new ally for the family is a nice touch: medicine man Taylor, who makes for a calming presence.

Thing is, even with the new stuff, there's not much of a sense of progression from the first movie. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference that we know who the ghosts were in their prior life (and the movie also has a frustrating tendency to treat the fairly mundane things we learn as startling revelations: "I know why they're here! Because they don't know where to go!" Um, didn't we already kind of figure that was the case?). And as nice of a guy as Taylor is, he's basically just this movie's Tangina, and since she also appears in the movie, the two characters feel kind of redundant.

Also, the movie's momentum keeps start-stopping and there isn't that sense of building suspense and danger from the original. This is partly because the movie decides to start the ghosts off at 11, in "in-your-face-rotting-corpses-comin-athca" mode, and since the movie can't (and perhaps shouldn't) keep that kind of intensity up the whole film, they're either HERE and wrecking your poo poo or they're... not, with the barest of explanation for why the ghosts keep coming-and-going.

The movie still gets by on the strengths of the likable characters and the actors who play them... and moments like the Vomit Creature are pretty darn memorable, too. But it's like watching a really nice car spin its wheels in place rather than actually driving.

Tooter
Nov 12, 2003



ConfusedUs posted:

My kid, who is 11, has been practically begging me to find him something scarier than Goosebumps to watch. I've put some serious thought into Poltergeist.

I can't think of any reason not to do it. It's not too gory, there's not too much swearing, there's no nudity that I can recall...and it's pretty drat scary.

Any thoughts?

I know this is a few days old but I watched Poltergeist with my Mom when I was 5. Scared the crap out of me, even in high school I hated when TV's would get all snowy. I know I had nightmares but the experience was worth it.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Soiled Meat

I was really young when I saw Poltergeist 2, and totally forgot what the vomit monster looked like, and when I looked it up again I thought, hey that looks like something Giger would have designed.

And sure enough, it was:

https://www.google.com/search?q=pol...iw=880&bih=1172

VincentPrice
Jun 26, 2009


Nobody mentioning the tv show? Or is that because nobody loving watched it?

Desperado Bones
Aug 29, 2009

Cute, adorable, and creepy at the same time!


Tooter posted:

I know this is a few days old but I watched Poltergeist with my Mom when I was 5. Scared the crap out of me, even in high school I hated when TV's would get all snowy. I know I had nightmares but the experience was worth it.

I also watched it when I was a young girl. To this day I don't like clown dolls at all. They are creepy and remind me of that loving scene.

Goon over there might give his kid a new phobia!

Art Alexakis
Mar 27, 2008


what came first, 1982's Poltergiest or 1993 We're Back: A Dinosaur Story

Jack's Flow
Jun 6, 2003

Life, friends, is boring


I watched Poltergeist in the late 80s when I was a 5 year old, and it scared me for life. That's my story.

The Cameo
Jan 20, 2005

I listen to you for hours, I'll listen all day
Just keep hitting me the right way
Sing your song in the shower
Cause you got a way
To say what I can never say


lizardman posted:

My impression pretty much confirmed what I'd always felt about this one: it hardly feels like part of the series at all. There is a change in setting ("they're in the city now!" is the primary gimmick of this one) and the only cast members to return are Carol Anne and Tangina (Rev Kane is back, too, but played by someone else). The ghosts suddenly use mirrors/reflections and ice as their primary MO and there really isn't an explanation as to why. Sometimes the movie honestly feels like they took a random ghost script lying around and slapped the Poltergeist IP onto it Die Hard-style.

I'm pretty positive that's what happened - they took a script that was probably intended to be a sequel or ripoff of The Sentinel, and did a quick rewrite to make it a Poltergeist movie.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


VincentPrice posted:

Nobody mentioning the tv show? Or is that because nobody loving watched it?

I had to go and double-check because whenever it came to that show (I'm assuming you're talking about Poltergeist: The Legacy) I'd always think how I'm 99% sure that it's not related to the movies with that 1% of doubt nagging me in the back of my mind, but not nagging me enough to get me to actually confirm. But yeah, at least according to Wikipedia, the show isn't related to the movies.

It's also funny that the two times that show ever came up in a conversation I had with someone the other person both times said something to the effect of "That doesn't have anything to do with Poltergeist the movie does it?" "I dunno, I don't think so." "Yeah, me neither".

Ave Azaria
Oct 4, 2010

by Lowtax


The remake in a nutshell: The simple spookiness of the white noise TV screen has been updated with the palms-on-frosted-glass effect that's been a really boring horror movie cliche for the past 15 years.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Ave Azaria posted:

The remake in a nutshell: The simple spookiness of the white noise TV screen has been updated with the palms-on-frosted-glass effect that's been a really boring horror movie cliche for the past 15 years.

Have you seen it, or just making commentary on this scene?

frank.club posted:

Pg13 poltergeist remake is going to be bad op

It could be bad, but it won't be because it's PG-13. I wouldn't want a new Poltergeist movie to have any other rating.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


The movie was a hit with the kid. He says it wasn't scary but he was frozen and wide eyed several times.

Most notably when the tree attacked and during the face melting scene.

He wants more. Maybe Gremlins? There's not a lot of pg13 horror worth a drat.

Ave Azaria
Oct 4, 2010

by Lowtax


lizardman posted:

Have you seen it, or just making commentary on this scene?
Haven't seen it, just saw that "tweak" in the advertising and rolled my eyes.

ConfusedUs posted:

He wants more. Maybe Gremlins? There's not a lot of pg13 horror worth a drat.
Not quite as scary as Poltergeist, but The Gate and Tremors are in that vein.

I forget, is Evil Dead 2 too much for a kid who's seen Poltergeist? There's tons of blood, but the slapstick offsets it pretty well IIRC. Certainly Army of Darkness is appropriate, anyway.

edit: Every kid should watch Jaws.

Ave Azaria fucked around with this message at May 4, 2015 around 02:10

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


Gremlins, Tremors, and Jaws for sure.

VincentPrice
Jun 26, 2009


lizardman posted:

I had to go and double-check because whenever it came to that show (I'm assuming you're talking about Poltergeist: The Legacy) I'd always think how I'm 99% sure that it's not related to the movies with that 1% of doubt nagging me in the back of my mind, but not nagging me enough to get me to actually confirm. But yeah, at least according to Wikipedia, the show isn't related to the movies.

It's also funny that the two times that show ever came up in a conversation I had with someone the other person both times said something to the effect of "That doesn't have anything to do with Poltergeist the movie does it?" "I dunno, I don't think so." "Yeah, me neither".

I remember seeing bits from it and I assumed it was about the society that Zelda and that medicine man from part 2 were members of.

VincentPrice
Jun 26, 2009


One thought I had about the remake: flatscreen tvs don't have static anymore, do they? The original is from the days before cable when broadcasting would stop at midnight, after the national anthem the signal would stop and your tv would switch to harsh static. If your tv doesn't get a signal you just get a black screen with a small bar saying "No signal". Of course, there's no such thing as "no broadcasting" anymore, every home has 500 tv channels. How are they going to find out where Carol-Anne likes to hang out now?

Sloth Life
Nov 15, 2014

Built for comfort and speed!

Fallen Rib

The actress playing tangina crops up a few times, a seer helping to protect a cute little moppet from evil. That's about it (p:tl is my comfort telly. Cheesy silly and fun)

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.



ConfusedUs posted:

The movie was a hit with the kid. He says it wasn't scary but he was frozen and wide eyed several times.

Most notably when the tree attacked and during the face melting scene.

Sounds like he's ready:

InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

VincentPrice posted:

Of course, there's no such thing as "no broadcasting" anymore, every home has 500 tv channels.

Everybody knows that the Shamwow guy is the beast who walks amongst mankind, pulling children into his vortex of despair.

CelticPredator
Oct 11, 2013



lizardman posted:


It could be bad, but it won't be because it's PG-13. I wouldn't want a new Poltergeist movie to have any other rating.

PG-13 now is not the same PG-13 then. Sure, you can shoot a thousand people, and punch a billion a people, so long as blood doesn't jet out of people's bodies. In the trailer, it looks like the entire face scene will be done from the reflection of a faucet. Which, I guess is 'scarier', but it's less fun than a dude ripping his face off.

Neo Rasa
Mar 8, 2007
Everyone should play DUKE games.



CelticPredator posted:

PG-13 now is not the same PG-13 then. Sure, you can shoot a thousand people, and punch a billion a people, so long as blood doesn't jet out of people's bodies. In the trailer, it looks like the entire face scene will be done from the reflection of a faucet. Which, I guess is 'scarier', but it's less fun than a dude ripping his face off.

It's true, and interesting as budgets increase how we have a much higher "quantity" of violence on screen even with PG-13 but sometimes with much less impact than what some PG/PG-13 movies would get away with.

Tenzarin
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Taco Defender

A few months ago I figured I've only seen movie 1 and 3 so I re watched the trilogy(this might of been for the October thing on the forums). The first one is a good movie. The second plays too much into the American Indian subplot and it ends by a white guy fighting a dragon with a spear, awful. Make sure you remember that the family lost a children and never talks about it in this movie. The third movie makes no sense because all the other actors cut ties with the movie and they made a child work into death to try to make it.

Zogo
Jul 29, 2003



VincentPrice posted:

One thought I had about the remake: flatscreen tvs don't have static anymore, do they? The original is from the days before cable when broadcasting would stop at midnight, after the national anthem the signal would stop and your tv would switch to harsh static. If your tv doesn't get a signal you just get a black screen with a small bar saying "No signal". Of course, there's no such thing as "no broadcasting" anymore, every home has 500 tv channels. How are they going to find out where Carol-Anne likes to hang out now?

They can with an error message:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfzaw4D2Byg

Tenzarin
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Taco Defender


The static now is a SYFY series or infomercials.

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!


VincentPrice posted:

One thought I had about the remake: flatscreen tvs don't have static anymore, do they? The original is from the days before cable when broadcasting would stop at midnight, after the national anthem the signal would stop and your tv would switch to harsh static. If your tv doesn't get a signal you just get a black screen with a small bar saying "No signal". Of course, there's no such thing as "no broadcasting" anymore, every home has 500 tv channels. How are they going to find out where Carol-Anne likes to hang out now?

This actually came up when my son and I were watching the movie.

"Dad, what's wrong with the TV?"

He didn't know what the static channel was or why it was happening. He also didn't know why it kept playing the national anthem. The idea of a channel going off the air, every day, was completely foreign.

InfiniteZero
Sep 11, 2004

PINK GUITAR FIRE ROBOT



College Slice

CelticPredator posted:

PG-13 now is not the same PG-13 then. Sure, you can shoot a thousand people, and punch a billion a people, so long as blood doesn't jet out of people's bodies. In the trailer, it looks like the entire face scene will be done from the reflection of a faucet. Which, I guess is 'scarier', but it's less fun than a dude ripping his face off.

Related, here's a short history of PG-13:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKpJIWGNvLc

Dr Scoofles
Dec 6, 2004



I've only seen the original once and it really struck me how much I liked the whole family, they were charming and sweet and likeable which just doesn't happen much in modern horror. I remember a scene with the parents messing about on the bed, jumping on the mattress, smoking a joint, having a laugh together like two childish idiots. The general sense of fun, experimentation and awe as mother and daughter mess about with strange forces in the kitchen. Even the old exorcist lady was a cute dumpy thing with an adorable little voice. I can't help but worry that sense of fun and wonder will be gone in the remake, replaced with brooding Irish priests, moody parents and sullen kids.

Also, just to pick up on another cliché at the end the remake's trailer (unfair I know) but people flying around as though dragged by unseen forces has been done.to.death recently and boy could I do with seeing less of it.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!


Fun Shoe

Dr Scoofles posted:

I remember a scene with the parents messing about on the bed, jumping on the mattress, smoking a joint, having a laugh together like two childish idiots.

I agree, the performances of Nelson and Williams really carry the movie, the scene you mentioned in particular. That scene goes a really long way towards making the characters likeable, people you want to be ok in the end. A lot of horror movies try for that exact kind of scene early on in the film and it rarely if ever comes across as genuine and endearing as that one.

Gaz2k21
Sep 1, 2006

MEGALA---WHO??!!??

Saw the trailer today at a screening of unfriended and all it did was remind me of how rad the original is, going to bust out my DVD tomorrow and rewatch it.
The poltergeist movies much like the jaws films were films I remembered from childhood but could never determine which film was which I would just remember stand-out moments like the tree, the face-rip and the puke monster.

I'll check out the remake but I doubt it'll be much good as it looks far to much like a re-tread of the original.

Tenzarin
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


Taco Defender

Gaz2k21 posted:

Saw the trailer today at a screening of unfriended and all it did was remind me of how rad the original is, going to bust out my DVD tomorrow and rewatch it.
The poltergeist movies much like the jaws films were films I remembered from childhood but could never determine which film was which I would just remember stand-out moments like the tree, the face-rip and the puke monster.

I'll check out the remake but I doubt it'll be much good as it looks far to much like a re-tread of the original.

Do you remember a dragon and a white guy with a spear?

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


I went back to find that Zelda Rubinstein interview where she talked about the production of the first movie and she's even more amusingly candid than I remember!

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34266 posted:

Quint: There’s one thing that I’m really curious about. Being an Austinite I’ve run into Tobe Hooper and I’ve talked to him at length about his work on POLTERGEIST and I brought up the big rumor that Spielberg came in to direct it and kind of took over. Tobe was very adamant that he directed the film.

Zelda Rubinstein: I can tell you that Steven directed all six days I was there. I only worked six days on the film and Steven was there. Tobe set up the shots and Steven made the adjustments. You’re not going to hear that from Tobe Hooper, you’ll hear it from Zelda, because that was my honest to God experience. I’m not a fan of Tobe Hooper.

Quint: You’re not?

Zelda Rubinstein: No, I’m not, because I feel he allowed… I don’t know how to say this… he allowed some unacceptable chemical agents into his work. I felt that immediately. I felt that when I first interviewed for the job. Steven was there, Tobe was there, two casting people from MGM were there and I felt at that time Tobe was only partially there.

timeandtide
Nov 29, 2007

This space is reserved for future considerations.

Is anyone else going to comment on the remake's scene of Carol Anne getting dragged off?

Mainly, that the kid appears to be entirely CGI even for the shots where she's sitting on the ground?

It's really noticeable in theaters.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


^ Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if that shot was made specifically for the ads and didn't appear in the movie at all.

EDIT: Oh, the girl isn't Carol Anne (though she's obviously in the Carol Anne 'role'). For reasons unknown the remake is inventing new characters rather than using the Freelings.

lizardman fucked around with this message at May 10, 2015 around 23:24

Shneak
Mar 6, 2015

"Doctor, listen to me and listen to me closely.
You're gonna witness all the days..."


I haven't see any advertising for this thing anywhere. The trailers don't even seem to be that popular so it wasn't on my radar. Honestly I'm still kind of surprised it got remade.

Personally I don't think Poltergeist aged well so it could improve on the visual aspects.

lizardman
Jun 30, 2007

by R. Guyovich


About half of all the bus stops in my area of Poltergeist posters, so... they have the bus-taking audience in Phoenix on lock, at least!

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The Cameo
Jan 20, 2005

I listen to you for hours, I'll listen all day
Just keep hitting me the right way
Sing your song in the shower
Cause you got a way
To say what I can never say


Shneak posted:

I haven't see any advertising for this thing anywhere. The trailers don't even seem to be that popular so it wasn't on my radar. Honestly I'm still kind of surprised it got remade.

Personally I don't think Poltergeist aged well so it could improve on the visual aspects.

This sort of thing I can't quite get my head around. Yeah, there are dodgy shots like when they open the door to the kid's room and there's some real bad compositing on the toys floating and spinning around the room, but just about everything else in the movie, from simple things like the floor sliding to the tree eating to the more intricate puppetry work as poo poo hits the fan and the compositing there, it all still looks tangible and feels real within the movie's design. Even the rope going through the portal back into the house looks perfectly fine. Really, in a decade where effects work ranged from groundbreaking to deplorable, Poltergeist still lands closer to the former for me, and that's having just watched it last week.

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