I just covered this film last year on my Summer project for 2021 80’s Nostalgia Central, you can read a full post here. Last night was an opportunity to see it in a theater and that was a treat. This movie continues to work like gangbusters. I’ve seen it a dozen times and it still gets a rise out of me, there are great sequences that raise goosebumps, and jump scares that work in spite of the fact that you know they are coming.
Ben Mankiewicz said in the out going comments that Spielberg definitely directed the sequence with JoBeth Williams in the freshly dug pool with the caskets popping up. The story is that she was worried about her safety with the water and all the effects and electrical equipment in the scene, and that Spielberg jumped in the water with her and said, “well if anything does go wrong, they’ll lose both of us”.
Although I usually an aghast at too much screaming on screen, it was perfectly natural here. The kids are really solid and Williams is the real star of the picture. The spontaneous chair stacking is a simple concept that gave me a shiver when it happened so quickly. The biggest chill however continues to be the clown doll, If you suffer from Coulrophobia, you do not want to see this movie. As I said, I knew it was coming, I know both bumps in the sequence and they still gave me goosebumps.