Poltergeist III

CAROL ANNE! In horror franchises, the third entry is typically where things get gloriously crazy, and thankfully Gary Sherman’s Poltergeist III is no exception. Transporting the saga of the ghost-beleaguered Freeling family (minus all but one original Freeling) from the suburbs to a Trump Tower-inspired Chicago high rise, Sherman’s 1988 sequel chronicles Carol Anne’s (Heather O’Rourke in her final role) continuing battle with the specter Reverend Kane and his jolly band of evil spirits. Poor Carol Anne only has her distracted millionaire uncle (Tom Skerritt), his kid-unfriendly wife (Nancy Allen) and their boy-crazy teen daughter (Laura Flynn Boyle) to help her fend off the titular poltergeists, who spend a lot of their time voguing in the reflections of mirrors, windows, puddles…you name it. It’s a beautiful clusterfuck of dizzying nonsense that may not live up to the heights of the Spielberg-shepherded original, but is still a hell of a lot of campy ’80s fun and a great kickoff to the Halloween season. Plus, you get to hear the name CAROL ANNE yelled at least 60 times in one sitting, so it’s a win-win.

Dir. Gary Sherman, 1988, 35mm, 98 min.