Do yall mind hanging back? Youre jamming my frequencies. Thus speaks the psychic medium Tangina as she tries to vanquish the spirits whove been terrorizing a suburban family in 1982s perennial scare fest, Poltergeist. Eight-year-old Carol Anne, whose early warning Theyre here went unheeded by her parents, has been snatched into a fourth dimension. Poltergeist, which will screen Wednesday as part of the Cinema Series @ ExoStage in SoundScape Park, is a movie to which two distinct legends are attached.
One states that the tragic deaths of the actresses playing Carol Anne and her sister are the result of a Poltergeist curse. Another is that director Tobe Hooper was a powerless stand-in for the films co-writer and producer, Steven Spielberg. While theres no question that Hooper follows the visual template of early Spielberg slow, low-ground camera glides toward a source of wonder or danger; a belief that wit and poetry can be found in everyday objects such as toy trucks and TV sets he surely deserves credit for the wonderfully vibrant performances of his cast, particularly the actors playing the parents.
Before the trouble begins, Carol Annes folks can be found smoking a joint in their bedroom they dont scramble to hide it when one of their kids comes in and later, as the mother is about to literally leap into the void to save her daughter, the couple shares a kiss thats startling in its passion. They are the coolest, sexiest horror-movie parents ever, with a sensibility seemingly born in the late 60s and early 70s, an era that taught a fortunate few to respond to the unexplainable with awe, not fear.
Wed., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., 2011