While Diane cleans the two youngest's room she finds Carol Anne's pet parakeet dead. Attempting to flush it she's caught by Carol Anne and forced to give it a proper burial. After mourning Carol Anne asks for a goldfish. After Carol Anne overfeeds her two fish the children are tucked into bed. Robbie seems concerned about the storm coming. In the Freeling's master bedroom Diane and Steven unwind with some marijuana and conversation while Steven reads.
Diane seems concerned about the incident with Carol Anne as when she was a child she was a chronic sleepwalker. As they are building a pool Diane worries if their daughter might accidentally wander outside and into the pool. Steven assures her with his "expertise" from his diving days things will be fine. In the children's room Robbie can't sleep and stares out the window with fear of the tree and the thunderstorm.
His attention turns to his most intense childhood scare. Carol Anne's stuffed clown jester doll. What seems to be a nightly ritual, Robbie closes his eyes as he moves towards it, takes a jacket and covers it up so he can sleep. Steven and Diane are in bed joking and tickling when Robbie interrupts them about the storm. Steven piggy backs him back to bed and shows him a game. That by counting between when the lightning strikes and the thunder hits, every time you can count less it means the storm is going further away.
This comforts Robbie as Steven leaves him and Carol Anne to count and hopefully fall asleep. After catching Dana on the phone after hours he seems satisfied that things will settle down for the night. As the children count the storm becomes frantically louder and the two smaller children are next seen sleeping soundly along their parents. That night as the family minus Dana sleep in the master bedroom, the television once again goes to sign off. Just as before, Carol Anne wakes up immediately and to the Television static to converse with the voices.
This time as she touches the screen out of curiosity, a ghostly skeletal hand connected by small orbs-like shapes touches back. The touch has somehow made it possible for the form to now freely roam the physical realm. It accelerates into the wall above the bed at incredible speed and causes earthquake like movement of the entire house. The being s are now released as Carol Anne says "They're Here She responds that it was the "TV People".
Meanwhile Robbie and Dana debate and joke about their father's knowledge of "being high" as Robbie's glass of milk suddenly breaks from the bottom out on the table and Dana's homework. After she leaves to clean it up in a huff, Robbie looks down to see also that his utensils have been bent. In the master bedroom, E-Buzz seems enthralled with the hole above the master bedroom from the spirits arrival the night before.
And even brings his favorite toy as an offering to play. Diane later is shocked as she sees the kitchen chairs have stacked upon themselves unusually by the supernatural beings. She begins to realize the presence of beings in her home, which fascinates her. As Steven pulls into the driveway she rushes him inside to show him new occurrences in the kitchen. Using masking tape as a makeshift "runway" to mark the path, the chairs move right along from one side of the room to the other. She then let's Carol Anne slide to be caught by Stephen. As she becomes more and more excited, he is disturbed and worried.
After embarrassingly asking the neighbor if he has had any incidents, Steven insists no word of it to anyone and no one is to go inside the kitchen until he figures something out. Shortly after, during a second storm, the gnarled tree comes to life and grabs Robbie through his bedroom window. However, this is merely a distraction used by the ghosts to get Carol Anne's parents to leave her unattended.
While Diane and Steven rescue Robbie and the tree is consumed by a sudden tornado that suspected vanishes as quickly as it appeared. Carol Anne is sucked through a portal in her closet. After a thorough search of the house, the horrified Freelings realize she has been taken after they begin to hear her communicating through a television set. A group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine, Dr.
Martha Lesh, Dr. Ryan Mitchell and Dr. Martin Casey, come to the Freeling house to investigate. Steven gives them the rundown on the situation as they ask to see the entry point of the incident, the children's bedroom.
As Steven prepares to unlock the door, Ryan proudly boasts that he has video of a child's toy matchbox vehicle taking 7 hours to roll across a floor, and how incredible it is on time lapse. Steven nods uninterested as he opens the door to complete chaos. The ghosts aren't amused with their first time on display.
One bed is spinning while Carol Anne's clown doll is laughing manically, A floating lamp plugs itself in, Several toys approach the group to either tease or threaten and A math compass flies towardsDr. Lesh before using it's needle to play a child's record. They determine that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist, rather than a true haunting.
Poltergeists who are known to center themselves around an individual rather than a location and for chaotic activity opposed to simply "roaming the halls". Lesh explains that the spirits have not moved on to "the light" after death, but are stuck between dimensions. They have taken Carol Anne, Lesh says, because as an innocent 5-year-old girl, her "life force" is as bright to them as the light, and they believe she is their salvation. In the living room, as it gets dark Presumably chosen being signals of any kind are strongest at night.
After a few unsuccessful tries she coaxes Carol Anne to say hello to her father. Diane knows that Carol Anne is naive about what's happening and attempts to get any clues from the girl using a motherly soft demeanor. The mood in the room changes when Carol Anne mentions being afraid of a light. As Diane believes it's a portal home Dr. Lesh informs her it's dangerous and the way permanently to the other side. Marty, strangely still unconvinced after all he's seen, investigates the television and thinks there may be a chance it's a CB radio transmission and a hoax while Dr.
Lesh refuses such an idea. After Marty leaves for upstairs a flash of white flame appears from the ceiling directly above the living room, dropping watches and jewelry covered in dust. Steven on top of wanting his child back is becoming more and more disgusted at the behavior of the spirits.
Carol Anne speaks and tells them their is someone close by her and asks if it's her mother. Steven replies no and has a look of concern. Carol Anne screams into a state of panic and at this point is obviously running. The sound of something unearthly is chasing her. After several moments of panic from both sides the sound of her screams and of the entity suddenly go quiet. Diane begins to slowly ascend the stairs when suddenly a breeze passes through her.
Carol Anne being in the world between the living and the dead could only escape to downstairs in invisible spirit form. Even then being drawn back into the other realm. Diane breaks into tears of both joy and sadness as she realizes Carol Ann's soul passed through hers. Not long after, the sound of the unknown force chasing her follows her path, also invisible. It lets out a horrendous roar and wind to warn the group from anymore tampering. As Diane panics that Carol Anne's no longer transmitting, Dr.
Lesh sternly asks her where Carol Anne was when she disappeared. Diane takes a guess as her bedroom closet. Lesh has had enough of standing by and is determined to get into the room despite Steven's warning. Just as she and Ryan head upstairs Marty runs down sweating and holding the right side of his abdomen. Lifting up his shirt revealing a large circular bite mark with teeth punctures and saliva. Steven attempts to convince Diane to take Dana and Robbie and leave.
Diane refuses to go anywhere with Carol Anne as Dana pleads to go to her friend Lisa's for the night. Steven insists he's staying no matter what. Later that night Robbie and Dr. Lesh have an in depth, enlightened discussion about death, and what the spirits want. Robbie's side of the conversation suddenly is caught by Steven as Robbie describes a childlike but feasible plan in which they tie a rope around him to go and grab Carol Anne from upstairs.
Diane tells Robbie to get some sleep. He tells them all goodnight, including Carol Anne as quiet static murmurs on the TV set. After most of the group in the living room are fast asleep, Marty informs Ryan that he's going to forage for something to eat in the kitchen. After finding a steak, he places it on the counter.
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Moments later it starts to move and then burst open from the inside into shreds. A chicken leg Marty was eating falls from his mouth and puts him into shock to see maggots along with it on the floor. He rushes to the bathroom and vomits in the sink and splashes water on his face to compose himself. The bathroom light gives a strange color and hum as Marty looks into the mirror and sees a sudden bloody gouge on his face. For no known reason then his own he decides to claw at it.
He continues and gradually is tearing apart his own face to the bone. His exposed skull gives a hiccuped growl and then suddenly after a flash of light, Marty looks to his reflection and realizes he was hallucinating. Ryan meanwhile monitors the equipment for any sudden changes in the houses environment. He is oblivious to a sudden flux on the meters as his Walkman and sketching pad preoccupy him.
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An EKG like meter starts erratically giving readings. A computer controlled video camera programmed to focus on disturbances begins to scan up the stairway as the children's bedroom door opens. Light and mist start to appear. Marty, still in trembling fear as he returns to the living room, motions to Ryan.
A brilliantly lit and almost angelic female apparition surrounded by bright orbs begins to descend down the stairs very slowly.
Everyone in the room rouses and are frightened except for Ryan, who has a look of wonder and excitement in his expression. It ascends up into the ceiling and vanishes. Ryan, very excited and impatient, rolls it back just far enough to discover that the orbs following the "Glowing Woman" were on closer view spirits of human beings. Although distorted almost like a photo negative, they can make out the orbs have faces and bodies, and even clothing of different time periods. As they walk past the camera, they are seen acting curious and observing the living group and the surroundings. Lesh comments that they are "So lonely, so alone.
After these series of paranormal episodes, Robbie and Dana are sent away for their safety. Lesh informs Diane that she's leaving Ryan with the family for support and that Marty obviously petrified after being the most victimized of the group won't be returning. Kane was always in the first movie or so the creators behind the following films insist. So you see they totally didn't just pull that villain of their ass. When Steve Freeling Craig T.
Nelson is meeting with the paranormal investigators for the first time, he lists off the names and ages of his family. He mentions that his wife, Diane Freeling, was 32 and that their eldest Dana is That would make Diane only 16 when she gave birth. Insert Teen Mom joke here. The evil tree that attacked Robbie Feeling was allegedly inspired by another very real tree that Spielberg was terrified of as a child.
And according to the actor who played Robbie Oilver Robbins the scene where the tree beasts swallows up the little boy was actually shot in reverse. Instead of being swallowed up, he was spit out. The footage looked better this way. Just when everything appears to be settling down for the Freeling Family, the ghosts strike, ripping poor Diane Freeling off of her bed and rolling her up the walls and across the ceiling in her bedroom. It's pretty horrific, not just for the suggestive ghost play pawing at her shirt, but for the horrendous thumping and sliding of helpless, actress JoBeth all over her bedroom.
This scene was achieved by attaching a static camera onto a rotating set. Actress JoBeth Williams had to time her rolls with the movement of the giant set. It was actually a pretty huge undertaking for a fairly short scene in the finished film. Still looked amazing. In order to erect the giant, pulsing, pink wormhole, they had to build the whole set from scratch. It's pretty amazing.
And again, wasn't really in that much of the movie A 6-foot model scale of the Freeling home was constructed for the fantastic end shot of the suburban home being sucked into nothingness. The scale took four months to create. After crafting many ways to implode the family home, the FX crew decided that the best way to destroy this dwelling was by threading thick cables through the model and to simply pull it into a funnel attached to a high powered vacuum. After the model destruction shot was completed, it then took two months of additional FX work to perfect the effect.
At the Holiday Inn where the Freelings take, refuge the sign welcomes "Dr.
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Fantasy is Poltergeist producer Frank Marshall's magician stage name. And sometimes Dr. Fantasy performs special magic shows for the crew at the end of whatever film he's working on. If you believe the credits, Poltergeist was co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper.
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However, the cast and crew has been telling a much different story since the film's production. Stocked with quotes from the cast on who was running what, Spielberg outright states that he wasn't the director and didn't want to be the director because he was too busy working on ET. But that didn't stop him from altering a large percentage of the shots, storyboarding the entire movie, editing, and being a large presence on set almost every day.
On the 25th anniversary Hooper told the A. Club that the whole thing was just a giant misunderstanding brought on by the LA Times. AV Club: History has shifted some of the credit toward Spielberg. Can you set the record straight on that? TH: I've kind of talked that one to death, really. I've been asked that so many times that I feel the record should be straight already.
The genesis of it came from an article in The L. Times: When we were shooting the practical location on the house, the first two weeks of filming were exterior, so I had second-unit shots that had to be picked up in the front of the house. I was in the back of the house shooting Robbie [actor Oliver Robins] and the tree, looking down at the burial of the little tweety bird, so Steven was picking those shots up for me. The L. Times arrived on the set and printed something like, "We don't know who's directing the picture.
Really, that is my knowledge of it, because I was making the movie and then I started hearing all this stuff after it was finished. I really can't set the record much straighter than that, because Steven did write the screenplay and there are other credits on there, but it came down to Steven and myself sitting at his house However, that same year Zelda Rubinstein told Ain't It Cool News in a less than flattering manner that Hooper wasn't the one calling the shots.
So your guess is as good as ours.
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