Sunday, September 28, 2008

DirecTV Revives Poltergeist's Heather O'Rourke

Image from source, Defamer
Inset from source, Wikipedia

"They're He-ee-eere!" That phrase, spoken by little Heather O'Rourke in the movie Poltergeist, is right up there with "Where's the Beef?" for famous 80s phrases. In fact, O'Rourke's line, "They're Ba-aa-ack!" from Poltergeist II: The Other Side, is probably almost as well known.

Poltergeist was an extremely fun and memorable movie. I remember sitting through it twice in the theater. The cast was great, with Craig T. Nelson (before the insufferable Coach), JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, and little person, Zelda Rubenstein. And the effects--for their day--were pretty cool. The movie was so popular, it spawned two (vastly inferior) sequels, and a (unrelated except for the title) television series. It also spawned a legend about a Poltergeist Curse. Several people involved with the film, including Dominique Dunne, and O'Rourke herself, died very soon after their installment of the series came out, or at least in unusual or untimely ways.

O'Rourke's death in particular was very well known, being only 12 years old, and dying of something that should have been easily treatable. It was a sucker-punch to the gut for fans of the movie, and of O'Rourke. She just seemed like a very sweet girl, and had no small amount of talent, considering that she was basically scooped up by Steven Spielberg from a studio commissary and put into the movies.

That's a long way to go to get to the point of this post, but not everybody is the pop-culture buff I am, so the exposition was necessary. This morning, while watching the Sunday morning politics shows, I saw an ad for DirecTV. It's one in a series of ads that takes famous scenes from movies, and turns them into ads using movie magic. The Aliens ad was brilliant, with Ripley fighting the Queen Alien so that she can just go home and watch DirecTV. They also did an amazing job of de-aging Sigourney Weaver to look exactly as she did in 1986.

But today's ad gave me a wiggins. It featured Craig T. Nelson and Heather O'Rourke from the famous "they're here" scene. Nelson was de-aged too, much less realistically, but it was the image of little Heather that creeped me out. It just didn't seem right somehow. The poor girl died while filming Poltergeist III. . . Maybe her parents approved the ad, as it keeps her image alive, or maybe the creepiness factor works because of the dead/alive nature of the whole Poltergeist series? I don't know. I certainly noticed the ad, so maybe it does work.

On a related note, they are supposedly remaking the original film right now. While researching this piece, I found a humorous article--but maybe just as creepy as the ad to some--from O'Rourke to God, asking him to smite the makers of the new film! Why I liked this piece, and not the ad, I have no idea. . .


Dear God,

Hi, God, it's me, Heather O'Rourke — the little girl from Poltergeist. How's tricks? I know how busy you must be dealing with the whole Isaac Hayes thing right now (my vote: let him in!), but when you get a second, I was hoping I might ask you for just one tiny little favor. . .

Read more at: Defamer

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