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George At 

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Poltergeist III

The scariest thing about POLTERGEIST III is how horrible it is. How does a series fall so far, so fast? There are zero scares but 100 laughs, all of them unintentional.

Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke, with the little girl cuteness and luster now gone, poor thing) has relocated to Chicago to live with her aunt and uncle. It's never detailed why, but you know why 15 minutes in.

Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams read the script and said "oh hell no, I'm not having anything to do with this turd", so the clever screenwriter (LOL) said, okay, she's going to live with her relatives..."

So Carol Anne's uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt from "Alien" giving the only good performance in the movie) and Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen) live in a Chicago high rise that's just finishing being built.

But soon, its plagued by cracks in its mirrors , freezing swimming pools and puddles in the parking garage loaded with zombies. Time to call the homeowners association.

Carol Anne is going to a special school run by a psychiatrist and worst actor in a major film I've seen in a long time, Richard Fire as Dr. Seaton. Dick Fire never had another film role after this. The reason why is on full display.

He is stunningly horrible in every scene. His scenes with Heather make her look like Tatum O'Neal in "Paper Moon" by comparison. Imagine the worst community theatre actor you've ever seen, multiply it by 10 and its Mr. Fire. Woof.

Even Zelda Rubenstein's appearance as Tagina (Don't Go into the light Carol Anne!") Barrons can't lift the film.

So....the demons and Reverend Kane come back for Carol Anne through every mirror in the huge building, crossing over to pursue her.

This is the kind of movie where adults look in the mirror, see a corpse's hand burst through a desk, throw a coffee cup across the room and break a mirror and then just move on to the next scene without any human reaction.

I laughed....a lot.

There are a couple clever mirror scenes that were filmed with an exact replica of the room in an adjacent set and body doubles moving at the same time as our actors to create the illusion of things in the mirror that aren't in the room. They are visually clever, but require long hallways of a "luxury apartment building" in downtown Chicago to be plain doors on one side and 60' of mirrors on the other. It looks like a Motel 6.

Writer/Director Gary Sherman is a total hack and never made another film after this one crashed and burned at the box office. I don't know whether he or MGM is more to blame for this "Jaws: The Revenge" level turkey, but they should both hang their heads.

For Poltergeist fans, Jerry Goldsmith's classic music score is a huge part of the film's legacy. You can't imagine some of its scariest scenes without Goldsmith's incredible, full orchestral score scaring the hell out of you. For this sequel, Sherman hired his TV music writer Joe Renzetti, who writes the most simplistic chords and plays them on a casio keyboard. Like the rest of the movie, the music is total crap.

Go back and watch the Original again. It's a true classic that pushed every boundary at the time.

And then there is this waste of film. POLTERGEIST III is one of the worst sequels of all time and gets an F.

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