I’m happy to say that these assertions are completely correct.
The gist: Poltergeist starts out with probably the most functional families ever created in cinema. Teenage daughter, middle son, adorable young daughter, attentive dad and amazingly fulfilled single mom. A lot of time is spent establishing just how well-adjusted this family is. Mom and Dad are into each other, and love their kids to bits.
Then a bunch of ghosts come and start eating their sh*t. And then the adorable young daughter is sucked up into the ghost-void.
Being the awesome couple that they are, Mom and Dad hire paranormal investigators to check in and see where the f*ck the daughter went. They’re all either cool hippies or kind grandma types, so it’s safe for us as the audience to like them. Meanwhile, the ghosts wreck havoc through the power of animation and horrifyingly creepy puppetry.
What I “learned”: Despite the recent trend of being open about not wanting marriage or children, this movie shows me that it is indeed possible to get married and have kids and not become a complete square. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people are freer to make choices than ever before. I love that it’s becoming a more acceptable choice to not have kids. But for someone like me who does want kids, it’s nice to see portrayals of parents and families that don’t suck. The beginning scene where the mom and dad are just hanging out and smoking pot after the kids are asleep really sticks in my mind. Here are adults that love the family but aren’t slaves to it. They can still hang out and snuggle together despite having children. It didn’t ruin them. There is hope.
See this movie if you like: Scary stories that aren’t all based around one person. The poster may show the young daughter hooked up to the TV (and she’s definitely the MaGuffin everyone’s going after), but this is really a film about the family itself. Their interactions are so strong, and their reactions so real. After watching a lot of horror films lately that only focus around one person. This has a lot of the same charm as Silent Hill in that the plot isn’t centered around just one person. There’s lots of interesting characters and dynamics to observe.
Avoid this movie if: Seeing children in danger genuinely bothers you. My name may be Princess Dread, but I 100% do not judge people that can’t watch movies showing children in danger. I do not judge that at all, because that’s a perfectly legitimate thing to fear. While this movie may be a classic, skip it if you can’t stomach seeing children in peril. It happens frequently and vividly. Protect yourself.
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