In the realm of horror cinema, few films have left as indelible a mark as the 1982 classic, “Poltergeist.” This supernatural horror flick directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg captured the imaginations of millions, but it also gained notoriety for its unsettling use of real human skeletons. In this article, we’ll delve into the dark and controversial story behind the making of “Poltergeist” and explore the eerie legacy it has left behind.
2. The Making of Poltergeist
“Poltergeist” is a timeless tale of a suburban family whose home is invaded by malevolent spirits. The film’s chilling effects and groundbreaking visuals set new standards in the horror genre. However, it wasn’t just the special effects that stirred the controversy; it was the use of real skeletons in one particular scene.
3. The Controversial Use of Real Skeletons
One of the most infamous scenes in “Poltergeist” is the rain of skeletons. To achieve this gruesome effect, the filmmakers used real human skeletons instead of artificial props. These authentic remains were sourced from medical schools and came with an unsettling history. The decision to use real skeletons was intended to create an authentic and eerie atmosphere on set.
4. The Curse of Poltergeist
The use of real skeletons raised ethical questions and superstitions among the cast and crew. Many believe that the film is cursed, with several unfortunate incidents and even deaths associated with it. Some attribute these tragedies to the use of real human remains in the film, while others dismiss it as mere coincidence.
5. The Impact on the Cast and Crew
“Poltergeist” had a profound effect on its actors and filmmakers. Several cast members reported unusual occurrences during and after filming, contributing to the belief in the film’s curse. The passing of young actress Heather O’Rourke, who played the iconic Carol Anne, only fueled the superstitions surrounding the movie.
6. The Aftermath of Poltergeist
The controversy and rumors surrounding “Poltergeist” continue to haunt the film’s legacy. It serves as a cautionary tale of the lengths filmmakers may go to achieve authenticity and the potential consequences of such choices.
7. Lessons Learned
The use of real skeletons in “Poltergeist” is a stark example of how authenticity in filmmaking can lead to unintended consequences. It raises questions about ethical choices in the industry and the responsibility of filmmakers in handling sensitive materials.
8. Ethical Concerns in Filmmaking
The use of real skeletons in “Poltergeist” has sparked conversations about the ethics of using human remains as props. While the film industry has since adopted more stringent regulations and guidelines, the legacy of “Poltergeist” continues to serve as a reminder of past lapses in ethical judgment.
In conclusion, “Poltergeist” will forever be remembered not only for its spine-tingling scares but also for the controversial decision to use real skeletons in its production. The film’s legacy is a cautionary tale for filmmakers, reminding them of the ethical responsibilities they bear and the potential consequences of their choices.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Is it true that real skeletons were used in the making of Poltergeist?
- Yes, it is true. Real skeletons were used in one of the movie’s scenes.
- Did any supernatural events occur during the filming of Poltergeist?
- Several cast and crew members reported unusual occurrences, leading to rumors of a curse.
- What was the impact of using real skeletons on the film’s legacy?
- The use of real skeletons continues to overshadow the film’s reputation, emphasizing the importance of ethical filmmaking.
- Were there any consequences for the filmmakers involved in Poltergeist?
- While there were no legal consequences, the film’s controversial legacy has haunted its cast and crew.
- How has the film industry changed its approach to ethical concerns in filmmaking?
- The controversy surrounding “Poltergeist” has led to more stringent regulations and guidelines regarding the use of human remains in movies.