Book and movie.
Back in 1982, Steven Spielberg & Tobe Hooper brought Poltergeist to the big screens. The. movie was stunning, yet horrific. Beautiful yet scary.
No-one knew what to expect when they sat down in the movie theatre. The opening visuals of the movie seemed ominous but strange. A close up of the TV screen before the nightly sign off. Why a close up? It is not long before we realise that we are invited to look beyond the screen. The youngest family member, Carol-Anne Freeling shows us why.
She sees what is happening beyond the screen. Weird events change the families life on a daily basis. An old tree. The swimming pool. The kitchen.
Life takes on a scary narrative for the Freeling family after their daughter disappears to be with what is in the TV. Their son and daughter traumatised by what is happening. The whole family wondering why they can hear Carol-Anne but not get to her.
The movie takes you on a wild and scary ride as psychics and psychologists come into the Freeling house to try and help them. Disbelieving at first, they are soon converted to what is happening in front of them.
They invite Tangina Barrons in. A clairvoyant who has had exceptional clearance rates in these situations. She works with the family, having to share horrors that she knows are happening while trying to reassure them that their daughter will be returned to them.
I have seen the movie many times in my life but I had never read the book. Would it be better? Would it be the same? There was only one way to find out. Thank you EBay!
This book is different to the movie. Not by much, but by enough that it fleshes out the film giving you some back history.
James Kahn gives you the Freelings. James Kahn gives you Dr Lesh, Teague and all the other characters. He also gives you a back history for Tangina Barrons. In the book we meet her well before we see her in the film. This is a plus in my opinion as it serves up a taste of who she is rather than a random psychic/clairvoyant that turns up at the Freeling’s home. The back history let’s you into her mind, see her dreams and it is here that the book allows you to link her dreams with those of Carol-Anne.
If you have seen the film, you will not be able to read this without hearing JoBeth Williams, Craig T Nelson, the late Heather Rourke and co, speaking those lines to you. It’s natural. Heathers voice telling me “They’re here” just brought the book to life. I found myself thinking about the movie scenes too.
This book, and the movie are horror. That of the purest form. The infiltration of the family. The stealing of a child. The torture of knowing she is somewhere in your house but you can’t reach her. The mothering instincts that kick in when you learn ‘the beast’ is in there with your daughter. The fact that you hear your child scream and can’t get to her to comfort her as a parent should.
I highly recommend both. Movie and book. Although the move is 1982 and obviously has the potential to be a little dated 40 years on, I have to say, from my point of view , I don’t feel it is. It has stood the test of time. The reason for that is simple. It is horror in its purest form and we are gifted it through the eyes of a family, particularly a mother and daughter. That brings it home , makes it real.
I was too young to see this film on the big screen but please do bring it back for its 40th anniversary next year.
Thank you Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper for this movie.