The first Poltergeist movie is a classic. While the second two were not as highly regarded, they are both filled with iconic scenes. This is not what the movies are best remembered for, unfortunately. The Poltergeist franchise is infamous for many reasons not related to any plot. Cursed Films is a docuseries from Shudder that looks at troubled movies. With its rumors of real life skeletons on the set and the tragic deaths of two of its stars, Poltergeist is the perfect subject matter. This episode is filled with powerful interviews that answer many long-standing questions.
Unlike other episodes of the series, this one looks almost exclusively at the film. There is some talk about beliefs but the bulk is about the movie trilogy. This is a good decision since it differentiates itself from other episodes. There is also much to discuss when it comes to this particular franchise.
The amount of interviews is impressive but more noticeable is how much the subjects are willing to disclose. This leads to very emotional interviews with people who worked on the set of the movies. Interviews with director Gary Sherman of Poltergeist III and a person who did special-effects on the first movie are especially memorable. These moments show what has been a curious talking point for others has genuinely affected many people’s lives.
One of the biggest mysteries of the original Poltergeist was the use of real skeletons. Many forget the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for special effects. There is more focus on the authenticity of the movie’s corpses. This is answered passionately and emphatically in the episode. It may or may not surprise audiences but it will place things in a new perspective.
Cursed Films is a docuseries with an interesting premise. Poltergeist is arguably the perfect case study for supposedly jinxed movies. The episode looks at the many coincidences associated with the filming of the movies. Little of this is new, but that is never an issue. The show proves that even the most familiar tales can be frightening.