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Poltergeist III
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Poltergeist III More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Heather O'Rourke is the greatest (her best acting, IMO)

Author: J_Malice from Louisville, Ky
31 July 2005

Going in a different direction from the previous two movies in the series, this one took a few chances. The high-rise, mirrors, a new Kane(sad what happened to Julian Beck), etc. I loved this movie for those reasons. Not saying I didn't enjoy the other two because those were excellent, but it seemed like there wasn't anything in there to make them considered a horror movie except for the presence of ghosts with a little bit of suspense. "Poltergeist III" contained murder, suspense, tricky camera angles and most of all, the best acting I have ever seen from Heather O'Rourke. She was so adorable in her red pajamas and I truly believe she carried the movie with up to par performances by Skeritt, Allen, Rubenstein, Fire, Flynn Boyle and Wentz. Her presence on screen while watching this movie is so magnificent and very believable. When I was little, she was my first crush and I loved her, I only found out on 6-4-2005 that she passed away and it crushed me. I say this is the best of the series and I know I am the minority, but hey, to each his own. I realize the first movie is pretty much legendary for her famous line "They're Here", but I feel the acting here is better. The way they made the concept of the mirrors work is amazing and I thought it was a great attempt a something new. I gave this movie a 9/10 because of how much I enjoyed Heather O'Rourke's performance. Check it out.

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A little flawed, but acceptable

Author: slayrrr666 ( from Los Angeles, Ca
3 October 2006

"Poltergeist III" is easily the weakest of the series.


Staying in Chicago with relatives Bruce, (Tom Skerritt) and Patricia Gardner, (Nancy Allen) and their daughter Donna, (Lara Flynn Boyle) Carol Anne Freeling, (Heather O'Rourke) is trying to start life over with a new family. Almost as soon as they get settled in with each other, strange phenomena begin affecting the family at different locations. They are misinterpreted by her school teachers as something wrong with her, and think she needs to be treated accordingly. Carol Anne was telling the truth, as Reverend Henry Kane, (Nathan Davis) tracks her down and uses his spirits to help him.

The Good News: A sequel to one of the greatest films ever made isn't a big challenge, and this one at least attempts some new ideas. The move into the urban area rather than the suburbs in part 1 or countryside in part 2 is more than welcome and allows for some traps that might be from an unknown source. That is the main source of scares in the film, when an unexpected action occurs from a familiar object. The most obvious is the appearance through the door. It's a striking scene that really leaps out of the screen, as does the gag in the garage. The series of hallway mirror gags are some of the most suspenseful ones in the entire series, and is quite imaginative and clever. The film really picks up once the spirits attack, as all sort of great scenes come up and the pace quickens. The last thirty minutes are undoubtedly the best of the film. This alone makes the film exciting and watchable.

The Bad News: Aside from those, there really wasn't a lot else going on. It just lags a lot in the beginning with needless and uncommonly grating exposition that is hard to get through. It's what really hurts the film, as it just makes the it a chore to sit through. The cheesiness of the film is also a hurting factor. With no real jump scares in it, it has to rely on it's moments to get the job done, but after that, there's really nothing to the film. It's a real shame, as this had a lot of potential, but with one cheesy, over-the-op scene after another just wears you out. The middle section is the most obvious example, as too much time is spent on the initial discovery of the haunted apartment. The teen antics on display are also a great distraction, feeling entirely out of place and in no real help to the film. It could've easily been taken out with no real damage done. There's several other small little scenes here and there that weren't all that great, but those can be dealt with on an individual basis.

The Final Verdict: This is a fun movie if that's what you're looking for, but it's cheesiness with no doubt ruin it for those looking for more of a serious time like the first one. It's worth a rental for fans to determine whether it's okay or not, but it's not without a little groaning moments along the way.

Rated PG-13: Violence, Language and children in jeopardy

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

This series is worn out by now

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
4 May 2009

Although "Poltergeist II" wasn't a box office smash, MGM still decided to make another entry - possibly because then MGM was considered the last stop in Hollywood by producers wanting to make feature films (and still is to a degree), and MGM then *really* needed the money (and still does to a degree). The end results really look like a token effort made to make a quick buck. Despite the luxury high-rise setting, much of the movie looks somewhat impoverished. There are a few good special effects (I saw a TV program that revealed that many of them were actually all done on set, instead of being added to the movie after principle shooting), but there are some shabby effects as well (specifically the "ice" effects seen several times in the movie.) The script contains a number of unanswered questions, more if you haven't seen any of the previous movies. The cast (especially the male actors) all seem to be phoning it in, showing their feeling to the entire enterprise. MGM put this out on DVD with part II, probably because they thought (correctly) that no one would buy part III on its own.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Positive thoughts :-)

Author: Theresa Howard ( from Port Charlotte, FL
24 August 2003

I honestly DO NOT know why this film was criticized for being so bad.....while it's not as good as the 1st "Poltergeist" movie, it's DEFINITELY NOT a bad movie! The film boasts a good cast (Heather O'Rourke, Lara Flynn Boyle, Nancy Allen, Tom Skerritt), GREAT special effects, and has some scary moments to boot. It's certainly better than some of the 80's "slasher" movies, where too many sequels ruined the originals, and I honestly think that it rates up there as being a very underrated horror movie of its time. :-)

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Dr. Seaton, You Rock.

Author: drhackenstine from United States
6 February 2005

Strange little sequel filled with annoying characters and some horrible dialog. Poltergeist 3 is not really all that bad, it just suffers greatly from those two flaws. Story does wisely by switching the setting from the suburbs to the big city. The character Carol Anne now resides with her aunt and uncle and snobby cousin in Chicago, where they live in a high rise. Soon, ghosts start popping up again. This movie has some of the stupidest lines in it, it's often hard not to grin. O'Rourke did a good acting job in the first two films. Here, not so good. I think that may be the fault of whoever wrote the go-nowhere script. A lot of the characters lines in this seem forced or overacted. Especially the character of Dr. Seaton. The special effects are impressive though. The makers used a lot of mirror tricks that really pull the movie through it's stupider moments. However, the chopped off head of Kane scene was atrocious. I guess this movie suffered because of severe budget cuts.A lot of scenes in this movie feel a bit lame(the kid who busts up through the ice and runs into the window, the "break the mirror" scene,the kid who flips off the security camera, etc., etc.). Nancy Allen, who plays the aunt, does not look happy to be involved in this. Weaker entry in the series, but it is watchable. Seems a bit rushed. Features annoying teenagers you would find in a Friday The 13th movie. A guy rips off Lara Flynn Boyle's cheek. And whats with that growling window pane in the end? Ya gotta see it if you saw the first two. Two stars.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Third times the charm

Author: aaronzombie ( from Yucaipa, CA
19 April 2000

The first POLTERGEIST is still the best haunted house film in history(In my opinion.), but this 2nd and final(?)sequel comes in at a close 2nd. Carol Anne stays with some relatives(Tom Skeritt, Nancy Allen, and Lara Flynn Boyle.)in a Chicago highrise to go to a special school for gifted children. Suddenly the evil Reverend Kane and his army of ghosts from the first two films show up to make life Hell for the residents of the highrise. Exciting, suspenseful, great story, acting, and music score. ***** out of *****. R.I.P. Heather O'rourke.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

No classic but it absolutely terrifies me

Author: tlcglitznglam from United States
27 July 2005

I was shocked when I came to this site to see how low the rating is for this movie. I loved horror movies as a kid and still do, but of everything I remember watching when I was younger, Poltergeist III scared me the most. I would go literally weeks before I could look at myself in the mirror again... I'd always have to run by them. I used to watch this movie with my friends and it made them equally afraid of mirrors. I'm not going all out to say that the acting was high quality or that it goes down in my books as a classic horror movie but I think it's highly underrated. It's an incredibly dark, terrifying movie in my opinion. I think it's by far the scariest of the three Poltergeist movies, although the original Poltergeist is my favorite.

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31 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Bad on all counts.

Author: AthenianRun from Michigan
28 May 2003

What made the first Poltergeist so appealing was how likeable the characters were. For the 3rd installment in the Poltergeist series only Heather O'rourke (Carol Anne) and Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina) are hold overs from the original cast. If O'rourke and Rubinstein were smart they would have skipped particiapating in this bomb of a movie also.

Though the special effects were somewhat interesting this movie suffers from a bad script and bad acting highlighted by the actor who plays Dr. Seaton, who may have given the worst acting performance ever. There are far too many characters in this movie who are uninteresting and that you have a hard time caring about.

There is a certain sadness in watching this film knowing that Heather O'rourke died a few months before it's release. A double for Heather is used to shoot the final scenes of the movie which creates an odd and choppy ending.

This movie is a sad final chapter in the Potergeist series. The people behind the 2nd and 3rd installments were never able to recapture the magic from the original Poltergeist. It's even sadder that the cute and innocent little girl passed away at such a young age.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Break the mirror!

Author: tex-42
13 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At times, watching Poltergeist 3 is like watching a bunch of different movies at once. You have John Hughes style teen angst with Lara Flynn Boyle, you have yuppie love problems with Tom Skerrit and Nancy Allen and finally you have the horror film with Heather O'Rourke.

There is definitely an interesting concept hiding in this film. Carol Anne has been sent by her parents to live with her aunt and uncle in a Chicago high rise so she can attend a special school to deal with her emotional problems. At school, Carol Anne has been forced to talk about her experiences during the first two films, and this has brought back the Reverend Kane, the ghostly villain of Poltergeist 2. In a neat touch, Kane tries to get at Carol Anne through mirrors by taking possession of various peoples' reflections, and draining the heat out of the apartment building. Tangina arrives to try to intercede, but another ghostly battle begins to get Carol Anne back.

It is clear that this movie was lower budget than the first two, and as such, the effects, while very creative, are not as good. The script also suffers, dragging for a good portion of the movie, and not really developing the characters. Also, the words "Carol Anne" are said ad nauseum to the point where you almost wish the ghosts would just take Carol Anne and go.

This is the weakest of the three Poltergeist movies. The movie isn't terrible, but it certainly is not good either.

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14 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

One of the Worst Movies I have ever seen

Author: Michael P. Gallen ( from Philadelphia, Pa
2 June 2003

Poltergeist III is truly one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot is illogical in terms of the rest of the series, as the poltergeists have developed different powers and methods than they used in the rest of the series. Furthermore, the main actors, Skerrit and Allen, are given virtually nothing to do except run around and look vaguely spooked. They cannot show the attachment to Carol Anne that was demonstrated by JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson in the first two movies. Lara Flynn Boyle, making her major film debut, is virtually unrecognizable with a fluffy 80s hairstyle. Finally, one supporting character, a doctor, remains skeptical of the poltergeists far too long to be credible.

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