Saturday, September 17, 2011

40 Days of Night(mares) Day 26: Horror Movie for a Chicken

Not every horror movie is made for all audiences, and all audiences aren't made for horror films. So it's rare when there are films that can cross the two together. It's usually a more mainstream director that knows how to bridge that gap and bring the two together.
They're heeere!!!
Poltergeist was written by Steven Spielberg, yeah, you know, the cute and cuddly alien making guy. It's also widely rumored that although Tobe Hooper's name is down as the director, Spielberg had a heavy hand in guiding the vision. It makes sense. Hooper, best known for Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Salem's Lot, is not known as a family friendly movie maker. And although Poltergeist has some dark moments and even some lingering scares (that damn clown puppet creeped me out for years), it is, at heart, a movie about a family that really loves one another.
There are some genuinely scary, and sometimes revolting, scenes, but, it is a PG movie. Of course, this was before the advent of PG-13 came along. In re-watching it, I don't know that I would let young children watch it, but it's a nice introductory film for the horror novice. It's the kind of film you can use to slowly integrate someone into the horror fold. It holds up pretty well. Some of the pre-CGI effects are a little cheesy, but others still pack a jolt or two. Still one of my favorites and it becomes extra chilly once you start to look into the "Poltergeist curse" that struck much of the cast. Several cast members had unfortunate events. Some deaths, some serious illnesses, Craig T Nelson made Coach, it was brutal. But it adds that extra bit of shudder to watching it again.

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