132 user 79 critic

Poltergeist III (1988)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 10 June 1988 (USA)
1:06 | Trailer
Carol Anne is staying with her aunt in a high-rise building, where the supernatural forces haunting her make their return.


Gary Sherman
3,018 ( 839)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Skerritt ... Bruce Gardner
Nancy Allen ... Patricia Gardner
Heather O'Rourke ... Carol Anne
Zelda Rubinstein ... Tangina
Lara Flynn Boyle ... Donna Gardner
Kipley Wentz ... Scott (as Kip Wentz)
Richard Fire Richard Fire ... Dr. Seaton
Nathan Davis ... Kane
Roger May Roger May ... Burt
Paul Graham Paul Graham ... Martin
Meg Weldon Meg Weldon ... Sandy
Stacy Gilchrist Stacy Gilchrist ... Melissa
Joey Garfield ... Jeff
Christian Murphy Christian Murphy ... Dusty (as Chris Murphy)
Roy Hytower Roy Hytower ... Nathan


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The producers were granted permission to use the John Hancock Tower in Chicago for shooting providing that none of the building's residents would be disturbed. The sixty person crew took four weeks just to figure out the logistics, and ultimately the tenants never even noticed that the film was shooting there. See more »


(at around 47 mins) When Carol Anne is pulled into the puddle in the parking garage, the platform she is standing on is visible. See more »


Tangina: Because Kane still thinks he needs her. He was insane when he lived and now that insanity has become The Beast. He wants Carol Anne now before she grows up. Youth is a strong life force. Innocence is pure life force. We lose strength as we lose our innocence. You see, innocence is the only gift we're given in life; all else must be fought for. In that gift is purity. In that purity lies strength.
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 Top 10 Sequels That Aren't as Bad as Everyone Says (2010) See more »


Night Rider
Written by Michael Forte and Bruce Weeden
Vocal by James Carter
See more »

User Reviews

So-So End to the Trilogy
29 March 2008 | by ilovesleepers345See all my reviews

I'm a huge Poltergeist fan and I must say,I was hugely disappointed when I found out that only 2 of the main characters of the series were coming back to do this second sequel.I think this movie had the potential to be better than it was.It had an interesting plot of Carol Anne being sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Chicago,so that she could go to this school for gifted kids with mental problems,though I would suspect that Diane and Steven wanted to get Carol Anne away so they could have some semblance of a normal life,at least for awhile,the writers putting this in mostly so that they could have this in an urban setting,in a skyscraper.The most ridiculous aspect of this movie is how Dr. Seaton and Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen),must be the two dumbest characters,they still cling to the notion that all that's happening is just Carol Anne brainwashing everyone into believing that the entire building is being haunted by ghosts,no matter how many times the ghosts make it plainly clear and obvious that this isn't all in their heads. Nathan Davis is no match in comparison to the original Reverend Kane (played by Jullien Beck).Tom Skerritt plays the compassionate uncle who treats Carol Anne (the late Heather O'Rourke),like his own daughter. Apparently,Aunt Pat is not happy to have Carol Anne around,and it might have to do with some sibling rivalry she and Diane (JoBeth Williams),had growing up,though this is never explored.I think the mirror-thing was pretty innovative as well.Admittedly,having Carol Anne playing with a 'Speak-N-Spell' was rather ridiculous,being that she's supposed to be almost a teenager herself now (and so was having her wear those red, one-piece,footed blanket sleeper pajamas (Don't most of these have zippers? I've never seen button-up footsie pajamas before),though I think the writers added that so as to play to the subplot of the ghosts zapping the building out of it's heat and energy,making it freezing inside the building.Until I saw this movie,I didn't even know they make footsie pajamas that big,for preteen kids),and some of the other subplots could've used some work,or had been explored more in this film, overall this movie wasn't too bad,but admittedly,the first two movies in the series were much better,and the ending to this movie made no sense (I think they were planning a much better ending,but Heather died before they could do this,so they had to do this lame-excuse for an ending.Worst of all,what happened to Scott? Did he go to 'the light' with Tangina,Kane,and the other ghosts? Without Heather O'Rourke (whose life and career were cut tragically short),this movie would've gotten only a couple of stars from me,but because of her 8,or 9-star (out of 10), performance,I give this second sequel 5 out of 10 stars,so watch this if you may,but if you want a top-notch horror movie,look elsewhere!

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Release Date:

10 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poltergeist III: We're Back See more »


Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,344,308, 12 June 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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