Movie Review: POLTERGEIST III (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

POLTERGEIST III was directed by Gary Sherman and stars Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling; Nancy Allen as Patricia Wilson-Gardner; Tom Skerritt as Bruce Gardner; Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Gardner; Richard Fire as Dr. Seaton; Nathan Davis as Reverend Henry Kane; and Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons.

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.

The only original cast members who returned for Poltergeist III were Heather O’Rourke and Zelda Rubinstein. This third and final chapter went in a completely new direction where everything took place in a high-rise skyscraper in Chicago. Nancy Allen and Tom Skerritt were brought in for top billing and they were big enough names to help carry the load. Sadly, the movie wasn’t a big box office hit but it has found a loyal audience over the years. Once again, Heather O’Rourke gave the movie its innocence while Nathan Davis took over the reigns as the sinister Kane. The movie has carried some controversy with it over the years because of the untimely death of young Heather O’Rourke. It’s easy to see that her face was swollen during the filming of the movie and there was even a rumor that she didn’t even get to finish filming her scenes, but she did complete them all. The young actress passed away several months before the theatrical release in 1988.

The story for Poltergeist III was an entertaining watch even though it wasn’t as good as the first two. They took everything in a completely new direction to wrap things up and did a good job with what they had to work with. I think the casting of Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen helped to make the movie a better watch than what it could have been if they had cast two unknown actors for these roles. As far as Kane goes, the original actor passed away shortly after the second movie was filmed so Nathan Davis took over the role in the third one and gave the character a different look. There was a makeup heavy familiarity to Kane’s look but you can tell it was a different actor playing him this time. Don’t worry because there’s still a creepiness to Kane! The entire cast was great but in my opinion, it was the impressive special effects that was the driving force of this final chapter. There were a lot of mirror tricks used in the movie so I’m guessing that was the latest SFX trend/craze at the time. There were also some cool looking visual effects as well as some old school practical effects used and it all looked great.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the creepy cool all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits, so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the cover. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. The movie is featured in Scream Factory’s all-new 2K scan (1.85:1) and I really didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. Another fantastic job by the always impressive Scream Factory gang.

Bottom line is, I enjoyed revisiting Poltergeist III which is the third and final chapter to the Poltergeist trilogy. Just like the sequel, this third outing is an unappreciated horror gem that just gets better as it ages. Director Gary Sherman did a really good job telling the story and wrapping things up with Carol Anne and those pesky spirits that followed her everywhere she went. The movie was completely different from the first two, mostly because of the setting and location, and of course the absense of most of the original cast. But hey, we got two more big names to step in and they both did a fantastic job. I love me some Nancy Allen! Anyway, it’s a really good watch and it’s a movie that features some impressive special effects. There’s a lot of mirror tricks in this one and it’s all really well done. There’s also some cool looking practical and visual effects to help with the gags and trickery. So, does a movie like this deserve a nice high-def release like this? Absolutely! Scream Factory will release Poltergeist III on this amazing Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on January 31st and it is definitely worth adding to your collection. Highly recommended!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The Blu-ray is loaded with new extras that include several commentary tracks and interviews with some of the cast and crew. There’s also vintage extras that have imported over from previous home video releases.

  • 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 (16:02)
  • NEW Reflections – An Interview With Actress Nancy Allen (12:15)
  • NEW Mirror Images – An Interview With Special Effects Creator John Caglione, Jr. (12:47)
  • Alternate Ending (02:50)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:04)
  • TV Spots (02:06)
  • Still Galleries (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills, Posters) (06:28)
  • Script Pages (10:47)

 

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