(the review at the above link is hilarious, btw)
OK, I get it. "Poltergeist III" is not exactly "Return of the King" in terms of being the "final chapter" of a trilogy. Even though P3 has a small and loyal following (mainly among fans of Heather O'Rourke) I will admit most people think this movie is an absolute piece of shit. So, in the spirit of being fair to all sides, and in the hopes of giving you a few good laughs, here are some of the more entertaining bad reviews regular people have given "Poltergeist III" over at the Internet Movie Database. You can add your own (or defend the movie) by going to
*All I really remember about this one is I didn't see it in a theatre, I rented it on video. It IS pretty bad and the mirror effects are used too much. During the "exciting climax" of the movie where they take the window washer thingy up the side of the building, I actually lost patience and hit the fast-forward button for the first time in my life during a film to get to the end. I used to be a purist and would never dare do this to any movie I watched but I couldn't take it no more. Now if a movie starts to suck, I start FFing to get through it if I don't give up all together. The last time I had to do it was on Wes Craven's "Cursed".
*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.
*It's mass hypnosis!",
Just one of many classic, horrible lines from this one. Horrible, horrible film. But it had potential. The setting, an urban cityscape and a very '80s apartment supercomplex, is a great idea, and the mirrors stuff is all great and actually unnerving at times. Even the odd bit with Lara Flynn Boyle (looking healthy for once) and MIA Scott being replaced by demon counterparts is kind of interesting. Technology and ghosts works; films like "Ringu" and "Kairo" over in Japan prove that. It's just a matter of execution. But this movie jettisons all the rest of the previous cast, and while Tom Skerritt is great and really sells it, he's not Craig T. Nelson. I mean, "Poltergeist II" was not exactly "Citizen Kane" either, but at least it had the same cast. A bigger problem is the Reverend Kane crap. Yes, I respect the decision of the filmmakers of P2 to add this character to put a "face" on the evil in the film. It's convenient in terms of narrative, okay. And of course Julian Beck was scary as hell and nobody can ever forget him after they've seen him; a classic image. But Spielberg's "Poltergeist" was much purer, and less about one clichéd monster -- it was a mass of spirits, a legion, who were just plain p***ed off. No elaborate Puritan backstory. No Jason/Freddy surrogate in Reverend Kane. Just p***ed off ghosts. And if they'd stuck with that they'd have been better off. You have to keep some mystery. As it is, though, Nathan Davis is a horrible replacement. I would've paid good money for him to stop yowling "Carol Anne!" (I really am going to have to play the drinking game to that soon.) I'm not even sure that was his voice in this one. And then there's the "'80s slasher film" ethic. It invades even these films in P3. Donna, Scott, and the teens, all needless characters, all trying to have illicit sex and nab some illicit beer. Sex, drugs, alcohol - you die. But the Poltergeist movies, even their crappy sequels, are supposed to be better than that. It's really a jarring transition from the previous films, as are the actual deaths (Tangina, Seaton, etc) -- it just seems like the ghosts are roaming the halls with a machete. I'm not saying you can't kill anybody off, but it takes something away from it to execute it in the way this film did. It was about gore and youth-skewing. Nancy Allen, terrible ham. Trish and Bruce switch personalities halfway through the film, and while I'm sure that was meant to be ironic or something, it really seemed to come out of nowhere. Zelda Rubenstein, sorry to say, was awful. "I have the knowledge - and the POWAH!" Ugh. Richard Fire, words cannot describe. Tom Skerritt and, of course, Heather O'Rourke were really the saving graces. She was absolutely committed to this piece of crap, you can tell. What a kid.
*Kryste on a Krutch, but this is a dismal sequel!, This stinks.
First of all, the family that we've come to love, is no more. Carol Anne is living with an aunt and uncle (Tom Skerritt?! and Nancy Allen!? - Carrie, 1976-Chris Hargensen). Carol Anne's cousin, Donna played by Lara Flynn Boyle (a terribly sorry replacement for Dana's character), was about as stiff and plastic as a piece of disposable silverware and Nancy Allen! should have stopped her acting career after her pitifully horrid performance in Carrie! Her acting talents -??- are highly questionable, as is her ability to deliver a single well-spoken line. Her smile is as fake as her $20 nail job. Ginger of Gilligan's Island was a better actress! While Tom Skerritt is a popular television actor, his talents are best left there. His on-screen "presence" falls far short...more, flat on its face. He isn't a bad actor. I actually LIKED him in Picket Fences. And his character is likable, as the only adult in the movie who listens to and believes Carol Anne, you really want to enjoy the performance, but alas! he just isn't fitted for the big screen. Child psychologists tend to BE smarmy and full of themselves. So while he was a detestable character, I believe the guy played him as he was intended; an arrogant, syrupy sweet, egocentric putz...however, we could have done much better without his character, period. The dialog is trite and stiffly delivered by most; as if the screenplay was written by a freshman in high school who was holding a gun on the performers. And speaking of high school, again the teenagers are portrayed by twenty-something year olds, headed to 30. WHY do they do that? And Kane. What HAPPENED??!! This guy is NOT scary. He's not Kane. He's some creepy guy, yes. But he's NOT Kane. He's a character actor of dubious talents named Nathan Davis, who has a short list of minor parts to his credit as a performer. The voice they used in an attempt to duplicate Julian Beck's voice wasn't even close. It was rather sad, how miserably they failed in the presentation of Kane. Of course, they couldn't use Beck, since he died in 1985 of cancer, but in my opinion, they could have found a much more suitable substitute than Nathan Davis. And poor Heather O'Roarke! Had she lived for the entire filming of this work, she may could have "saved" this movie, but you can tell in this concluding chapter of the Poltergeist trilogy that she is sick and her sweet little face is puffy.
In my opinion, she should have been in some sort of treatment program rather than working in her condition at her age. Just my opinion though. We would have been happier, as individuals I think, if they had been more concerned with her health and never made this movie, in the first place. The relationship between Skerritt and Allen's characters is flimsy, as though they were cut out of cardboard and then animated. Their characters are as well developed as the ingredients of an omelet (just think about it for a moment and you'll get it...aborted chicken fetuses and cheeeeeese!). While the special effects of the movie were acceptable, they were not what we got in the first or the second film. The mirror effects were nice, but they weren't all that, as the direction of this movie was simply atrocious. But you expected more from director, Gary Sherman? Why would you? The list of directing jobs credited to his name is short and not too sweet. He's done a small smattering of movies, none of which were memorable or even enjoyable, and the TV series "Poltergeist: The Legacy." Go figure. Aaaand the movie just goes downhill from there. In comparison to the first two movies, this one is lame, lame, lame. The idea of the ghosts taking over the bodies of the family with which Carol Anne now lives is a fine idea, but the effects of the whole thing, the direction and the portrayal of it was classic "B" movie material. It reeked next to the first two and took on a campy, sad, used and abused quality that you NEVER had in the first two. Kipley Wentz, who has had 3 bit parts other than his role in this movie absolutely stinks in his portrayal as Scott, Donna's love interest. His acting is not anything I would consider "talent." It's more ... unbelievable. You have to experience it for yourself to appreciate how bad it really is. We were about half-way through watching this movie when my cousin turns and asks, "They PAID these people?!" That should give you SoMe indication of the acting quality of this movie. The scene where Donna meets Scott at the elevator, after the metamorphosis...where he tears her flesh from her face? is absolutely ludicrous. They would want and need the deception to be completely intact, so why would they do that? They wouldn't. That scene was about as good an example of wretched writing as I've ever seen. Positively puerile. I have read creative writing projects produced by eighth-graders which were better thought out and more well expressed than this screenplay. The one and ONLY redeeming quality of this movie, in this Fiend's opinion, is the cameo appearance done by Zelda Rubenstein as Tangina Barrons. Love her! Without her presence this flick wouldn't even rate the sorry rating it gets. And not for her performance in this installment, either. It was brief and xyloid. Unfortunately, they failed miserably in recapturing the quality and feeling of the first movie; the second being not quite as good; and this, the third, being horrid in comparison. The only reason I own this movie is because it came FREE with the purchase of Poltergeist 2 on DVD.
*This movie's tagline really says it all.
You can only stretch a concept so far. Even in 1988 the clothes was outdated. The story doesn't exist. And what's more, the gory effects are only present, when they shouldn't be. I mean talk about bad timing. You have to laugh at such unbelievable acting and filmmaking. The goofs are obvious to everyone. The motivation of the characters is in inversely proportional to their stupidity - but the bad way around. When you think to your self: I see something bad happening near mirrors, than I don't go near them. It's what keeps our children alive in everyday traffic. Commonsense is totally missing from this peace.All in all this sequel sucks. I give it 1/10.
*The greatest achievement in this ‘film' is not just that it may well be one of the worst ever spawned by a major film company, but basically that it is so successful in making the viewer fall asleep. The only thing more praiseworthy than writing such a dull and thin plot is actually sitting through it. No scares, no thrills, no fun. Lousy setting, lousy actors playing teenagers, lousy actors playing adults and worst of all: talentless Nancy Allen, complete with run-through make-up, sobbing her way through instead of acting, only finding her equal in that lame excuse for a husband -or actor- Tom Skerritt. I am sorry for Heather O'Rourke and Zelda Rubenstein and yes, actors have to pay their bills too, but what were they doing in this stupid sequel?
*The whole movie is one big mass of confusion. One minute they'll be in the building, the next they'll be at school. Plus there are many characters that are never explained. Stupid movie, don't see it. I'm guessing the two before this were better.
*The original Poltergeist is my personal favorite movie ever made. And as though part 2 wasn't bad enough, they had to go and make this! First off, they should have gotten JoBeth williams and Craig T. Nelson back. Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen just can't hold a candle to those two. Second: what is up with the extreme bad acting. I have never seen acting this bad in a movie that was not made-for-TV or video. Obviously, a new director was needed. No coincidence that Gary Sherman has never made a popular movie since. The only good thing about this sequel is the visual effects. The use of mirrors for most of them is certainly different from the first two movies. But even the effects are off in timing. If you look closely enough (and are not asleep after the first ten minutes) the reactions of the actors in the mirrors are either a few seconds fast or slow!
*Although the movie is not THAT bad, it still is a disappointing end to the series. Huge problem is the horrible script. I think it's not fair to blame the actors for doing a poor job, I think it's all due to the poorly written dialog and dumb situations. They also should have left the Kane character alone, after Julian Beck's death they should have come up with a new and different 'villain'. It is especially the beginning of the movie that is extremely bad and almost B-movie like with horrible dialog and 'comedy'. Nice thing is that this is Lary Flynn Boyle's first role in a movie. At the time of this film she was still looking normal and was eating her food it seemed. Richard Fire as Dr. Seaton was one of the highlights of the movie, he seemed like the only one that knew in what for a mess of a movie he got into. It made his character enjoyable and humor full.The special effect certainly aren't a disappointment in this movie and the mirror effects are great, although heavily overused throughout the entire movie. But what ever happened to the music? Jerry Goldsmith's score for the previous two Poltergeist movies was perfect. In this movie the famous Carol Anne's theme isn't even used once in any variation. Shame on you Joe Renzetti. If you still thought that "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" was watchable enough for you, than "Poltergeist III" might also be very well worth your time.
*Easily one of the worst movies ever made, and certainly the biggest botch of a movie-trilogy in the last 20 years. Young child, continually dogged by evil spirits, brings her reign of bad luck to a Chicago high-rise when she goes to live with her aunt and uncle(apparently her real parents had had enough). There was nothing in the original "Poltergeist" that suggested Heather O'Rourke's character Carol Anne was the reason the spirits were taking over that house. She was just a pawn in their plans. This movie makes it seem like Carol Anne was the sparkplug to the whole thing, when actually she's just the pawn in a new game: that of the producers hoping to squeeze more money out of the public with this obviously-inferior product. Effects, script and acting are all atrocious. NO STARS from ****
*As if Poltergeist 2 wasn't bad enough, poor Heather O'Rourke last film is the terribley weird Poltergeist lll. We are doomed to hear not only the characters scream CAROL ANNE through the movie but we are also annoyed by listening to the ever annoying two some: Tangina and Marcie! Why couldn't the two of them shut the hell up? The