If you grew up in the 1980s and are a fan of horror films, there’s a good chance that Poltergeist was your first scary movie, your introduction to a genre that you’d love the rest of your life. Written and produced by Steven Spielberg and helmed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist told the story of the all-American Freeling family, who moved with their three kids to the perfect suburban home, only to find it haunted on an epic level.
The movie was inexplicably rated PG, despite being legitimately terrifying at times, so tons of parents let their kids watch it. It was also in rotation on cable television all the time, so there were summers where it seemed like Poltergeist was on every day. If you were a Gen-X kid, there’s a good chance you hate clowns because of this movie. (See: image below)
The movie was not only a huge hit in its day, but has become something of a modern classic as well. The movie has also been shrouded for years by what people refer to as the “Poltergeist Curse,” because two of the three children in the movie died very young. Actress Dominique Dunne, who played the eldest child, Dana, was murdered by her boyfriend not very long after the film came out. Of equally great tragedy was the loss of the movie’s central character, young Heather O’ Rourke, who played the cherubic Carol Anne Freeling and died from an intestinal obstruction at age 12.
After these tragic and untimely deaths, rumors of the “Poltergeist Curse” began, and kids on school playgrounds began to make awful cracks about the only surviving child of the family in the movie, Robbie, having to hide out in his house 24/7 because he was be next (look, kids are mean). The actor who played Robbie, Oliver Robbins, has pretty much stayed out of the media for the last thirty years because of all of this.
Now Robbins is breaking his silence in a new documentary called The Curse of Poltergeist. The documentary will focus on his life and experiences, as a way to explore the tragedies that have befallen those involved with the films. “It will be a journey into the unknown as I attempt to understand the meaning behind the tragedies surrounding the movie,” said Robins. “It’s something that will hopefully bring closure to a dark chapter in my life.”
The Curse of Poltergeist will start production this November, and will be directed by filmmaker Adam Ripp, who wants to get to the bottom of the supposed curse that has plagued the cast of the Poltergeist film series. No release date has been given for the movie yet, but expect the film by 2017, the original movie’s 35th anniversary.