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hoop-tober 2.0: film 28
now this is how you make a horror movie. i have loved this movie ever since i was a kid and certain images have floated through my brain even today as i have never forgot them. the moving slab of steak anyone? but until yesterday i have never seen this movie uncut, uninterrupted and in all its widescreen glory.
so after many years of excitement, waiting to watch this film again, i did and i loved it just as much as i did back in the 90's if not even more. so to review this film i am going to break it down into three parts. the film, the remake, the duo behind it.
part 1: the film
near perfect in execution poltergeist is perhaps the best haunted house movie ever made and it's a pg rated one to boot. it features effects and a ghost monster that have not dated a day which is 33 years later. it's scary, it's funny, it's relentless in it's pacing, it delivers everything you would want in a horror film of this kind.
the acting is fantastic too. craig t. nelson is charming and realistic and a super cool dad. how can you not like craig t. nelson, always a treat to watch him. then there is heather o'rourke who is just the cutest little girl ever (i don't remember her being so young in this) and delivers a very well rounded and realistic performance. but for me jobeth williams owned this movie. not only was she beautiful and not only did she seem like the coolest mom ever but she gave a performance that was amazing. you believed everything she felt and you could feel her mind racing to fix things, understand things, save things.
the story is amazing too. very original for it's time and it starts right away with scares and never lets up until the end. it starts and slowly builds and about half way through the shit hits the fan and the fan never stops spinning until the film is over. i can't believe how much fun i had watching this again for maybe the 15th time. it's literally an almost perfect haunted house movie. and i'll say it again, it might just be the greatest haunted house movie ever made.
and how the hell is this rated pg? it's actually scary and then there is that face ripping off scene. pg? man the 80's were great...
part 2: the remake
this film was remade this year. i kind of liked the film but it wasn't anything special. it was kind of generic and it didn't play nearly as well as this one. and it felt like a pg version of this film. the only thing that was in it that as good as this film was sam rockwell. love that guy too; he's one of my fav's.
also, what happens if you take the plot of poltergeist remove the whole last bit after carol ann is rescued and change the name? you get insidious. insidious is a 3/4 rip off poltergeist. i thought so when i saw it and having just watched this one again i am more convinced than ever. how did the filmmakers not get sued. it is literally the first 3/4 of this movie to the t. not very original at all, even less than i had thought previously.
part 3: the duo behind it
this film is written and produced by steven spielberg and directed by tobe hooper. some say spielberg actually directed it but having just watched it here is my take.
spielberg wrote the script and thought i want to make this movie but i want it to be scary, scarier than anything i can do. how can i do that? i know, i'll hire someone to make it scary. who should i hire? i know, the man behind texas chainsaw. yeah. tobe hooper. that'll make it scary.
so that's what he did and basically he told hooper: this is a spielberg move. i want you to make it a spielberg movie. it must look and feel like one of my movies. it's imperative that it does but what i want from you is to make it scary as hell. tobe hooper said in response: okay.
so this is what they came up with. the movie opens up and it literally could be e.t. or close encounters or jaws. it is quintessential spielberg and if you didn't know you would think he directed it. but it's also filled with scary as hell moments which are the work of hooper. he pulls in the scares more so than spielberg ever could (yes, this is scarier than jaws) and together they have made one of the great haunted house/spielberg/80's horror films of all time. so good that i'm giving it five stars.
production design: 10 out of 10
cinematography: 10 out of 10
re-playability: 10 out of 10
originality: 10 out of 10
costumes: 9 out of 10
directing: 9 out of 10
editing: 9 out of 10
acting: 9 out of 10
music: 10 out of 10
script: 9 out of 10
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