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Poltergeist III (1988)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 10 June 1988 (USA)
Carol Anne is staying with her aunt in a highrise building, and the supernatural forces that have haunted her previously follow her there.



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2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott (as Kip Wentz)
Richard Fire ...
Nathan Davis ...
Roger May ...
Paul Graham ...
Meg Weldon ...
Stacy Gilchrist ...
Joey Garfield ...
Christian Murphy ...
Dusty (as Chris Murphy)
Roy Hytower ...


Carol Anne has been sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle in an effort to hide her from the clutches of the ghostly Reverend Kane, but he tracks her down and terrorises her in her relatives' appartment in a tall glass building. Will he finally achieve his target and capture Carol Anne again, or will Tangina be able, yet again, to thwart him? Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Trapped in the limbo between life and death, there are only two ways out. See more »


Horror | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poltergeist III: We're Back  »

Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)


$14,114,488 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Craig T. Nelson, who played Steve Freeling in the Poltergeist movies, went on to play the title role in the TV series Coach (1989), which began preproduction in 1988 when this movie was being released, and ran for an impressive 8 seasons, from 1989 to 1997. It's what he's most known for, along with the Poltergeist movies. They are working on a Coach reboot with him reprising his role. See more »


When Carol Anne escapes the stairwell, her hair seems to defy gravity, indicating that the shot was filmed in reverse. See more »


Bruce Gardner: How would you feel if some quack told you that you had supernatural powers?
Pat Gardner: Do you remember that guy that was on all the talk shows, used to bend keys, fix watches, took Polaroids of himself in the dark? Maybe Carol Anne?
Bruce Gardner: Please not you too, give the kid a break, first your crazy brother in law used her as a scapegoat from the quarter of million homes, he built.
Pat Gardner: Steven didn't!
Bruce Gardner: Steven and your sister have put the poor thing threw hell, with those weirdo psychics and witchdoctors.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A text in the credits reads "The character of Reverend Henry Kane was originally portrayed by Julian Beck" See more »


Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »


See more »

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User Reviews

Somebody please lead that guy into the light!
23 May 2014 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

This is the third and final (although, knowing Hollywood, there will probably come a remake of the original sooner rather than later) entry in the "Poltergeist" franchise, which is according to yours truly the most overrated and unjustly successful horror franchises in the history of cinema. I never understood the popularity of the original "classic" because it is an incredibly clichéd, immature and over-sentimental piece of crap that presumably only had success because Steven Spielberg's name was attached to it. The sequel - unimaginatively entitled "The Other Side" - is just as dull, but for some incomprehensible reason even that film is highly appreciated among horror loving audiences. "Poltergeist III", however, is widely considered as a downright failure and a disgrace to the series. Now I don't intend to be contradictory without reason, but personally I actually enjoyed the third part a lot more than the first two parts! This is still an extremely mediocre, forgettable and sometimes very dumb spook-tale, but at least it's not as infantile and whiny than its predecessors.

Thanks to the more specific horror expertise of director Gary Sherman ("Dead & Buried", "Vice Squad") and writer Brian Taggert ("Visiting Hours", "Of Unknown Origin"), "Poltergeist III" relies more on macabre atmosphere and gruesome effects, rather than on expensive lights & lasers shows. The screenplay inventively adds the use of mirrors to generate multiple uncomfortable sequences, and the film contains a lot less false scares and pointless "boo-moments!" The Freeling family finally got fed up with all of little Carol-Anne unwelcome and irritating ghost-stalkers, so they send her away to Auntie Patricia and Uncle Bruce in Chicago. They live high up in the ultra-modern and hi-tech skyscraper of which Bruce is the caretaker, and Carol-Anne attends school in an institution for gifted but emotionally unstable children. It doesn't take long before the Preacher Kane shows his nasty mug in the tower again. He enjoys cracking the mirrors, messing with the elevators and icing the luxurious pools, but he mainly just keeps nagging for Carol-Anne to lead them back into the light. Midget-medium Zelda Rubinstein to the rescue once again, I'm afraid… There's a lot of senseless nonsense and too many tedious dialogs in the script, but at least this is partially compensated through a handful of creepy moments (the possessed cars, eerie mirror reflections or the absence hereof…). The make-up effects are delightfully tacky and typically 80's, including one of the characters bursting through the corpse of another. Heather O'Rourke, the young ambassador of the whole series, sadly crossed over to the other side herself before the movie was fully completed. "Poltergeist III" is dedicated to her memory.

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