Horror Movie Facts: Poltergeist & More

The next time you purchase a new home in suburbia, you may want to take a look at the history of the land and its region. You never know when you’ll encounter an interesting legend. As for the Freelings, they learned the hard way as seen in the horror flick, ‘Poltergeist.’ This article will also touch upon trivia concerning Bride of Frankenstein and Frogs.

Poltergeist (1982)

“Poltergeist” is a spooky film about the supernatural that had a few twists outside of production. Tragedy not only struck the main character of the film, Heather O Rourke, who played Carol Anne, but also affected other actors and actresses that appeared in the movie. These coincidences have been dubbed “Poltergeist Curse.”

The movie is set in the suburban housing development of Cuesta Verde, California. It centers on the Freeling family, where the father (played by Craig T. Nelson) is a successful real estate agent and lives in one of the homes with his wife and three children (teenage-aged Dana (Dominique Dunne) and preteen siblings Robbie (Oliver Robbins) and Carol Anne. However, strange events begin to take place in the home, which also start to affect the youngest daughter, Carol Anne. She starts to sleepwalk and is overheard speaking to “herself.”

In the end, it becomes clear that the house is crawling with spirits who are constantly trying to communicate with Carol Anne. The Freelings find themselves fighting to keep their daughter safe, as well as themselves. The movie would go on to have two sequels.

The movie was nominated for three Oscars.

The story and screenplay was written by Steven Spielberg.

It’s a good thing Jo Beth Williams (who played the mother of Carol Anne in the movie) didn’t know what was really floating in the water during the swimming pool scene. Actual skeletons were used during shooting. She was not alerted to the fact until the scene was complete.

When the movie was made, it was actually given an R-rating. At the time,  the PG-13 rating did not exist and filmmakers successfully lobbied to have a PG rating.

Other interesting horror movie facts include:

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Shot in 1935, this movie focuses on Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, which have survived attempts to be killed. Interesting in shifting from the business of conducting experiments, Dr. Frankenstein is forced back into creating life when a mad scientist kidnaps his wife. He must breathe life into a new creature (this time a female) to become the companion of the monster. In the majority of scenes, Colin Clive (who played Dr. Frankenstein) shot most of his scenes in a sitting position because he had broken a leg as a result of a horse riding accident.

Frogs (1972)

This film concentrated on using people’s fear of amphibians to their advantage, as malevolent frogs were seen terrorizing a country residence. The majority of Florida frogs and giant South American toads that were featured in the movie escaped during production. Production had used 500 frogs and 100 toads. Filming took place in a mansion at Florida’s Eden State Park that date back to the 1890s. The park was situated halfway between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City. The hotel that the crew stayed in (the Florida Holiday Inn) would not permit the poisonous snakes, spiders or black scorpions used in the film to enter the establishment.