There are many films from my childhood that have had a large impact on me. Poltergeist is one of those films.
I picked up the 25th Anniversary edition yesterday on a whim, not having seen it for a long time. Once the film started, I remembered just what a fantastic film it was. The music is utterly creepy and it is terribly well directed. Every shot is motivated, this film has no fat.
Of course what first came to memory was being utterly terrified at some scenes. The meat crawling across the counter. A man tearing off his own face. Corpses bobbing up and down in a primordial ooze-mud swimming pool. A monster tree. And I'm sure everyone remembers this guy:
Clown dolls are SCARY. A few other scenes caught my attention on this revisiting of the classic. The scene where Carolanne is sitting in front of the TV answering the "TV people's" questions......"Yes.....5....I don't know....I don't know." gave me chills. Also, the scene where the chairs are pulled out and then the camera follows JoBeth Williams (the Mom) and then she turns back and they are all balanced on top of the table....oooooooh...that's a good one. My eye scrutinized the scene for some kind of cut in the edit, but I didn't see one. How did they DO THAT?!
But a few other scenes I think had another kind of impact on me that I had not remembered until watching them again. The scene where Jobeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are in the bedroom smoking pot. They are just having some good downtime while the kids are in bed, hanging out, and making each other laugh. I remember idolizing this aspect of their relationship and saying to myself...YES...THAT is what I want when I'm married, I want to be in love and laugh a lot.
And then on the flip side of that, is when JoBeth Williams is being flung around her room in her oversized football t-shirt and you can see her panties. As a youngster, this held a lot of sex appeal for me. She is after all a totally HOT MOM. We did the math and in the film she is supposed to be 32 (which means she had her eldest daughter when she was 17!) I know the film was released in 1982. I assure you I didn't see it until much later as my parents were sticklers for parental supervision....especially concerning films and movies on the paid channels like HBO and Showtime. Even after I was 18 they STILL refused to give me the code to unlock those channels.
But what I was NOT expecting to do when watching it was cry. I'm sure I had never cried when watching this movie before. But now as an adult, I'm definitely a sucker for a touching moment....and Films seem to be the catalyst for most of the times when I get emotional enough to have tears streaming down my face. When JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are standing in front of the light, and she is about to go in, they lovingly embrace each other before she leaves.....this is where I start to get emotional. Then she says "Steven....don't you let go." and he says "Never." And I just lost it there. And then afterwards when they are in the bathtub and he's all like come on baby Breathe, Breathe. And Carolannes eyes flutter sloely open and she says, "Hi Daddy." OH. The waterworks. They all start crying....I am crying.
They relationship between Diane and Steven and their family is so touching. The parents love each other so much, and they love their kids so much. It was such a sweet thing to see. I felt for those characters. I Identified with their emotions.
From the opening super close zoom shot of the pixelated "raising of the flag" shot on the TV to the final amazing craneshot from the balcony of the Holiday Inn...where the camera pulls back down the length of the balcony and then hovers across to the extreme wide of the hotel and parking lot, this movie is perfect storytelling through and through.
I hadn't heard about The Curse that followed this film before, until Sheila mentioned it to me. I don't believe it's a curse, but it is a terrible turn of events and circumstances.