New to Horror
An exploration into the horror genre by a non-fan
Intro: I’ve never been much of a Horror fan. When I was young, I was so scared of the Alien box art that I wouldn’t even look in its direction. But as I got older, I’ve dabbled and seen some, yet I’ve never committed to watching more than a few. So I decided to start this feature because I’ve always been intrigued by what horror can accomplish and how imaginative it can be. How it can play on your senses, fears and the ever popular question of ‘what would you do in that situation?’ Every week I’ll be reviewing a new horror movie. I’ll switch between a classic/older horror film and a newer/recent film. I hope you find this entertaining and I’ll try to admit to what scared me and how high my screams were.
Warning: Full Poltergeist Spoilers
This family is going to have a hard time finding a new house. Not to mention the therapy and nightmares it’ll cause. They’ll never sleep again! I had high hopes for Poltergeist. Mainly because I have heard it was terrifying, but I forgot one key piece of information: they were all young when they saw this. I am not.
The main reason I was disappointed with the film is that its soundtrack was terrible. It took me out of the film whenever a ‘scary’ moment was happening. The soundtrack in a horror movie builds the tension and affects the movie, I would dare say, more than anything else. This wasn’t scary or startling, just plain funny. The movie at times worked against itself with the comedy it had. Most of it got a chuckle out of me but some just fell flat. Now, I realize this was the early 80s but 1982 also had The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Blade Runner, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High to name a few, so there was good writing going on. The editing was also horrendous, not all the time but there were select scenes that were jarring almost as much as the music.
Alright, I think it’s time for some positives, yeah? The mother, Diane Freeling (played by JoBeth Williams), started out a bit odd and seemed like she would be a character that made you eyes roll, but thankfully she was the best character, along with the youngest daughter Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) of course. There was also a face peeling scene where you could tell it was a fake head, but the design was just skin-crawlingly good.
But my favorite part of the film was the monsters. They did a great job for ’82 and each creature creator deserves a pat on the back and a nice cold one. And the clown! Whoever found that clown needs a promotion. That thing is the single most terrible looking thing I’ve ever seen, in a good way!
All in all, Poltergeist was a good movie. Not my favorite “classic” but I can see how at the time this would have been most parents’ nightmare and how the little kids who saw this were more frightened than I am in my mid-twenties. You do have to make it through about an hour and forty minutes before you get to the best part, the last five minutes of the film.
3 out of 5
Come back next week for another New to Horror article!