Hot off of watching and reviewing Poltergeist II: The Other Side, I immediately jumped into watching Poltergeist III, thanks of course to Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. Now, I used to love Poltergeist III, but see how I said used to. After not watching the movie in years, I can safely tell you that the film has not aged well. It also suffers from writers not understanding the importance of sticking to the ideas set forth in previous films. Nevertheless, at least we can enjoy watching this somewhat disappointing flick on a damn fine Blu-ray from Scream Factory. I try to see the silver lining in everything…
RUN-TIME: 97 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1988
RELEASE DATE: Jan 31, 2017
They are back….again! And they’re looking for Carol Ann in this riveting finale to the POLTERGEIST trilogy. Sent by her parents to live in a Chicago highrise with her aunt (Nancy Allen, Carrie) and uncle (Tom Skeritt, Alien), Carol Ann discovers she must now face demons more frightening than ever before. Led by the Reverend Kane (now played by Nathan Davis), the spirits have moved from invading homes to taking over an entire skyscraper. They are lurking behind every mirror… waiting. Fortunately, Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) returns to battle these malevolent forces.
There are plenty of problems with Poltergeist III. Of course, the biggest comes in the form of having Carol Anne’s parent uncharacteristically dump her off at some relatives in Chicago. Now, I understand that certain actors didn’t want to come back, so they had to think of something, but maybe not completely shitting on a character would have been a wiser thing to do.
The next problem we run into is with the script not understanding the character of Reverend Kane in Poltergeist II. Now, for some reason, they want the audience to sympathise with him and instead of being this crazy demon thingy, he just wants to be led into the light, although he goes about it in all the wrong ways. Makes no sense. Plus, no matter how hard actor Nathan Davis tried, he just wasn’t able to capture the true creepiness of Julian Beck’s performance in Poltergeist II.
Also, if you love the name Carol Anne, you will not after seeing this movie. It is said out loud an unhealthy amount of times. According to IMDb trivia, the name ‘Carol Anne’ is said out loud a total of 127 times. Once you notice it, you will never un-notice it again. Someone on my Facebook page mentioned that if this was a drinking game, you would be dead. Truer words were never spoken.
Now that I’ve listed off so many problems, why would you want to check out this movie? Well, for starters, there is still plenty of creepy moments. Poltergeist III has a fun time messing with people’s heads using mirror tricks and stunt doubles. A lot of the scary moments happen when stuff pops up in mirrors and trust me, it happens a lot in this movie.
I also want to give a shout out to the late Heather O’Rourke, who unfortunately passed away before filming was finished, resulting in a double for the reshot ending. She did a wonderful job in the movie, even though she was ill throughout the film. Her performance improved immensely since Poltergeist II and it pains me to see that she was never given the chance to keep on shining.
Honestly, Poltergeist III still holds a special place in my heart, but after having come straight off of Poltergeist II and seeing how much better that film was, the reality is, it’s just not that great of a movie. At least it tried to do something different (unlike II for the most part), but what it tried was something that completely ruined previously established characters.
As for the Scream Factory Blu-ray, we get a few special features that are neat to check out, especially the new interview with Nancy Allen. I’m sure most will be interested in watching the Alternate Ending, but fair warning, there happens to be no sound and even though a text popup says there are subtitles, I didn’t see any, however, I have heard others have.
As for the video and audio, the film looks and sounds great. I felt the transfer didn’t look as clear as Poltergeist II, but it was still miles better than other releases in the past. Honestly, the new features that are included, along with the solid transfer, make this worthy of the Collector’s Edition branding.
- NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
- NEW Audio Commentary With Director Gary Sherman
- NEW Audio Commentary With Poltergeist III Webmaster David Furtney
- NEW High Spirits – An Interview With Screenwriter Brian Taggert
- NEW Reflections – An Interview With Actress Nancy Allen
- NEW Mirror Images – An Interview With Special Effects Creator John Caglione, Jr.
- Alternate Ending
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
- Still Galleries (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills, Posters And Script Pages)
Scream Factory‘s Blu-ray release of Poltergeist III is a damn fine purchase, even if the movie fails to capture the spirit of the previous flicks. If you have the money and want to own the series on Blu-ray, Scream Factory’s disc is the perfect purchase for fans.