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Overall Rating
2.6

Awesome: 16.13%
Worth A Look: 16.13%
Average: 17.74%
Pretty Bad: 11.29%
Total Crap38.71%

1 review, 56 user ratings


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Poltergeist 3
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by Scott Weinberg

"The movie is pathetic. The fact that it was ever made is simply disgusting."
1 stars

While the Friday the 13th series is probably the all-time 'fictional body count' leader, you'd be hard pressed to find a series that's been connected to more REAL deaths than the Poltergeist movies. Just like clockwork, as soon as a new Poltergeist film was released, BOOM - another actor, dead. While this phenomena is surely tragic, I'd be willing to bet that being DEAD would be preferable to starring in this film, surely one of the worst sequels ever committed to film.

If you ever needed a dead-solid LOCK of an argument as to how pathetic and gruesome Hollywood is, you need look no further than the Poltergeist series. Studio executives were STILL eager to back this atrocious sequel, even after TWO of the actors from the previous movies had DIED!

Young actress Dominique Dunne was killed by her estranged boyfriend shortly after she appeared as the oldest Freeling daughter in the original Poltergeist. MGM producers, being the kind and sensitive types that they are, simply opted to wipe her character off the face of the earth for the pretty damn pathetic Poltergeist 2. Just as if she were Richie Cunningham's unneeded older brother, she was gone. Personally, I can really feel for those beleaguered studio execs, dealing with what must surely have been a truly inconvenient murder, and the repercussions it might have on a new cash cow movie series.

So then comes the sequel. It sucked. But wait...shortly after the movie is released, actor Julian Beck drops dead! Wow, that's pretty damn creepy! It's at about this point that I'd bring the series to a halt, but MGM still needed a few extra nickels, so here comes Poltergeist frickin' 3. Now, maybe I'm not a big hotshot movie star, I'm amazed that ANY actor would sign on for this one!

Tom Skerrit's agent: "Hey, Tom. Just read the script for Poltergeist 3! It's a winner baby!

Tom Skerrit: "Hey, isn't someone due to die once this movie wraps? Cuz I don't really need to tempt DEATH just to appear in some retarded 'haunted mirror' flick."

Agent: "Booby! Chill! That only applies to BIT players. You're not some expendable teenage daughter or creepy old man! You're the UNCLE in this one!"

Skerrit: "OK, cuz I have a no-death clause in my contract, you know."

So there it went. As most of you know, the victim this time was Heather O'Rourke, a cute little girl who was the star of all three films. Obviously the Poltergeist spirits were simply done fuckin' around.

Now I'm certainly not the kind of guy to poke fun at the death of a little girl, but I'd contend that the young Ms. O'Rourke could have moved in with the Ramsay family and had a better chance of survival than she did of making it out of this sickening swill. (All kidding aside, Heather died under mysterious causes, mainly connected to 'intestinal blockage' back in 1988, and that's truly awful. Back in the day, there were some informal rumblings that perhaps Heather's death was indirectly caused by some of the stunts she performed in this movie. But since I don't currently have a lawyer, I'll just drop it now, and let you draw your own conclusions.)

BUT what about the actual MOVIE? Is Poltergeist 3 worth the toll it took in human fatalities? Short Answer: No. Long answer: This is easily one of the worst movies ever made. Need some helpful adjectives: Try boring and insipid, and I'll throw in amateurish. It's just insultingly awful, and it stands as one of the most shamelessly unnecessary and moronic piece of studio product ever made. Here's an example: Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams played the Freelings in the first two installments. Since both actors were nauseated about the prospect of appearing in another one, the concept was quickly changed so that the pretty young protagonist would now be living in an apartment building with her newly-announced aunt and uncle! SURELY this is what the screenwriters intended when they set out to create a solid piece of entertainment, right? Right?

It just sickens me.

So young Carol Anne is shipped off to live with Aunt Patty and Uncle Bruce! (Heck, if Carol Anne were my little sister, I'd have shipped her off to Nome after all the trouble she caused in the FIRST movie! If you ask me, her parents were more than patient.) Aunt Patty and Uncle Bruce live in a shiny high-rise. Ooooooh! SO much scarier than a haunted house, right? And this high-rise features a LOT of...mirrors. Mirrors everywhere...the elevators, the bathrooms...I think the toilet was mirrored also.

Then the squishy fat lady shows up and does her typical Poltergeist-mojo thing and the ghosts show up, ad nauseum. I think the name 'Carol Anne' is spoken literally 1,294 times in this movie. Another record for this movie is the amount of fake-scares. Like those cheap-ass little tactics. BANG CRASH"Whew, only a cat!" Like that shit.

And the mirrors! My only guess is that some Sears had a huge mirror sale, and MGM saw their next sequel. Ironic that mirrors should feature so prominently in Poltergeist 3, as it's simply one of the most belabored reflections of earlier, better movies ever made. Ooh, clever connection there! I just made it up!

Anyway, I'll put it to you in simple terms: Fuck Poltergeist 3. If there were any justice in the world, every copy of this unwanted and vile film would disappear and then suddenly re-appear in the small intestines of Freddie Prinze Jr. I'm all about killing two birds with one stone.

Yes, most horror sequels are nothing more than get-rich-quick schemes, and MANY of those sequels are awful films. But there's a big difference between 'cookie-cutter sequels' and this ghoulish affair. Not only is this an atrociously awful movie, but throughout the entire running time, all you'll be thinking about is how, in Hollywood, death is considerably less important than those big box-office receipts that only a sequel can offer.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2655&reviewer=128
originally posted: 03/01/01 14:48:59
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User Comments

11/18/14 Anthony Barker I find it scarier than most recent flicks. 3 stars
8/16/14 Heather O`Rourke I love Jervaise Brooke Hamster 5 stars
12/11/12 Linda Harrison A very underratrd sequel. I rather enjoyed it enough for repeated viewings! 5 stars
6/21/11 art IT's SAD because of Heather's DEmise! 2 stars
11/02/10 PAUL SHORTT LACKLUSTRE, UNDISTINGUISHED SEQUEL 1 stars
10/25/09 Maxx35 That Job should suffer and Socrates and Jesus die while the wicked prosper, then seems unju 2 stars
10/24/09 No_limits79 In effect, a dual-processor hyper-threaded machine provides four processors and ser 5 stars
10/23/09 BadGirl26 How does the living organism avoid decay? , 3 stars
9/27/09 alan crew well i liked it its better than most films i liked all of them 4 stars
5/13/09 Nick Bad writing but the crew did what they could with a horrible script and didnt do too bad 3 stars
10/25/08 Adam The movie's fine, but this review makes me puke. You suck, man. 4 stars
10/22/08 Geof This is the most insipid review of a film I have ever read. 3 stars
8/30/08 reema nice movie not so scary as i thought 5 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White great sequel, I love Heather O'Rourke 4 stars
9/04/07 poltergeist man well, i think all were pretty damn good. with intelligent morals. but the speceal effects 5 stars
6/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Unsuspenseful, but still astounds me how they did something like this on a low budget. 3/5. 3 stars
1/22/07 Renzet Corteza Had she not passed away, Heather could have been a good and talented actress. 5 stars
11/01/06 baby i think that this movie was so scary. i had watched it in school and i had screamed 3 times 1 stars
10/29/06 sha sha poltergeist 1 was prety good and sort of scarry at times 4 stars
6/08/06 Sugarfoot It's sad O'Rourke went out on a movie this awful. This sequel just lacks the creativity.. 1 stars
11/27/05 cr not good as the first two, but a alright little supernatural horror flim 3 stars
11/25/05 Evelyn Leasor i like it i've alway's like the poltergeist films. 5 stars
10/12/05 duane its okay but it was a shame heather o'rourke died it could of been beter heather o'rourke w 3 stars
5/29/05 JV White so so! 3 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK Nothing like a good ass-rape to finish off what began as a great series of horror movies. 1 stars
2/27/05 Dr. Lecter Its existence proves there's no god 1 stars
2/07/05 oh my GOD That movie was... the worst thing... I have EVER seen. 1 stars
12/09/04 Snifterlicious Scott's death theory is definitely more rational than the movie itself (read: sarcasm) 4 stars
12/09/04 W Bull Hey Scott, to verify your death theory, please direct PGeist IV 4 stars
12/09/04 Jules K Scott Weinberg, no reason to blame a poltergeist sequel for your own life's inadequacies 4 stars
11/05/04 randy manak it was terrible 1 stars
10/20/04 torrie lynn marie parks This is a really good film.I thought Heather O'Rourke did really good 5 stars
9/15/04 Doctor_Mabuse Drastically flawed but visually stylish, eerie ghost story set in haunted high-rise. 3 stars
8/23/04 sara crap apbsolutley boaring 1 stars
7/11/04 Michelle Tthis movie is the best one in the trilogy. Heather O'Rourke gives a great performance. 5 stars
7/01/04 American Slasher Goddess Pretty bad, terrible script and lousy acting 1 stars
6/05/04 David Scott Weinberg is a TOTAL ASSWIPE!!!(he sucks as a film critic to) 3 stars
5/25/04 bikerbabe I think that they should of used the same actors craig t nelson and jobeth williams 2 stars
1/16/04 Mick A piece of shit !! 1 stars
11/08/03 Matt Berliner Julian Beck dropped dead? he was old. duh my grandma dropped at 98.maybe it was a homiside? 2 stars
10/08/03 Erik Van Sant A fucking travesty of epic proportions. Try and drink every time someone says Carol Anne. 1 stars
6/28/03 Charles Tatum The series is done 2 stars
11/02/02 michael I agree with you. did you know there are two "butt sniffing scenes" in the film? 2 stars
4/15/02 Kelly Did you notice that Carol Ann had a T.V. in her room!? How stupid is that!? 4 stars
4/06/02 mo not bad 4 stars
1/22/02 April To ALEXANDER: Get a FUCKING LIFE! IT'S ONLY A FUCKING FILM REVIEW! I hated it. Sickening 1 stars
12/12/01 Clob It Is Pretty Cool, Actually, And I'm Surprised! 5 stars
11/12/01 Kenneth E. Carper Heather O'Rourke rules and thats the only reason this shitty movie is getting 2 Stars!!! 2 stars
8/07/01 E-Funk I have seen the face of shite...and it is Poltergeist 3. 1 stars
6/20/01 Tim I want those two hours of my life I wasted watching this shitbox back! 1 stars
6/08/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Bullshit, bullshit, fucking bullshit. A blatant insult to an amazing movie. 1 stars
5/07/01 Matthew Belanger Uh, well... cameos by the parents may have made it somewhat better... 3 stars
4/29/01 Eric Film misunderstood in 1988. Cult classic is US. She really died 2wk's before film wrapped. 4 stars
3/17/01 woodie WOOOOOOOOOOOORD! main review was restrained... 1 stars
3/02/01 bullit17 I had forgotten this pitiful excuse for a movie existed. I liked it better that way. 1 stars
3/02/01 Klute Word. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  02-Jun-1988 (PG-13)

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