Monday, 18 January 2010

The Poltergeist Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg '1982'

The Poletrgeist…..
















Always renowned as a classic from the 80’s, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve never actually seen it up till now, but, good things come to those who wait, and this film didn’t fail to deliver, with it’s somewhat chilling beginning sequence, the blurring of an American flag, it’s pixelated montages giving the context, quickly panning out as it stops dead, flipping to a screen of white noise, to which we are invited to explore the surroundings of a suburban household, consisting of a normal sized family, sleeping, as thought we are watching through he eyes of a being observing almost, to which suddenly stopping on a young girl, her fair hair as though a beacon of goodness…manipulating child innocence, a theme that has been used time and time again since, which when done effectively, given the proper circumstances, can turn the sweetest kid into a medium of horror….

From this scene on, the last moments of the prior involving the youngest child walking towards the t.v, having a lone conversation (as though a monologue) with the set, questioning it as strobe lighting begins to flicker across the room, her shadow dancing along the walls as she raises her voice, challenging the set almost with her family observing after hearing this…..to the suburbia we all know only to well, establishing the surroundings and inhabitants, the men watching their football, drinking their beer, as the women clean the households, and the children play out front, in the sun, causing mischief, in the horizon, a storm rolling in hastily, as thought a metaphor, the darker side of suburbia is arriving…..

Things rapidly begin to deteriorate after this, the prelude acting upon the storms entrance, whilst the children attempt to sleep, playing on their imagination, for instance, when the clowns face changes with each flash, as well as the classic shadows from the tree’s….after which, we witness the real threat, when the t.v in the adults bedroom, acts as a portal, it’s inaudible chanting whispering slowly growing louder, differentiating from the fuzz of the white noise, again the child converses with the t.v, turning to her parents, announcing ‘There Here’ here chilling smile cut away as we move into the next scene….where we are given signs of some sort of ‘force’s arrival, for instance, the dog, who begins to look the wall, staring constantly, barking, and then jumping on it’s hind legs, as though playing…..without going into much more detail, the scenes that follow execute spiritual horror to such an extent, that it has definitely caused a ripple effect into other films….










Special effects wise, the film does appear to be slightly dated, but even so, this being the first time watching the piece, it definitely didn’t effect the horror of the events, the lighting in particular casting atmosphere and suspense, for instance, when the spirit descends the staircase, was truly both breathtaking, and frightening, the score itself capturing the eerie essence to a tee….which throughout the film delivered an amazing atmosphere….

The ending of the film was probably the peak of the piece, although it’s true to say, it’s wouldn’t be as effective it the story didn’t take the time to establish the characters into the piece, drawing you into a somewhat false sense of safety, to find that all was not well, when realization kicks in, and everything begins to slot into place, it surely turns into a rollercoaster of suspense, with elements of special effects (such as the children’s room, that becomes a hellish abyss, the dead bodies rising from their graves below the houses, to which we witness it implode shortly afterwards) it surely takes the ‘home’ element, a place of safety and escape, and….completely rapes it with horror….and truly announces this upon the audience, ending on a light-hearted cut of a t.v set being wheeled out of a room…for safety….perhaps a slight dig at conformity (like the moment when we see the town from afar, each house stripped of individuality) who knows, but this is defiantly an instant classic…..














The ending of the film was probably the peak of the piece, although it’s true to say, it’s wouldn’t be as effective it the story didn’t take the time to establish the characters into the piece, drawing you into a somewhat false sense of safety, to find that all was not well, when realization kicks in, and everything begins to slot into place, it surely turns into a rollercoaster of suspense, with elements of special effects (such as the children’s room, that becomes a hellish abyss, the dead bodies rising from their graves below the houses, to which we witness it implode shortly afterwards) it surely takes the ‘home’ element, a place of safety and escape, and….completely rapes it with horror….and truly announces this upon the audience, ending on a light-hearted cut of a t.v set being wheeled out of a room…for safety….perhaps a slight dig at conformity (like the moment when we see the town from afar, each house stripped of individuality) who knows, but this is defiantly an instant classic…..

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