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Explaining that "weird" cut in poltergeist. read the missing scene.


Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist?

poltergeist cut scene

I DEFINITELY remember this scene being longer, and I have ALWAYS remembered, and wondered what happened. I saw it in Massachusetts the weekend it came out as a kid. I also seem to remember Diane describing the sensation in some sort of vaguely sexual way. Something like... Remember the night when you first did (fill in the blanks) to me? It felt like that. That was the reason I always remembered it, because as a kid, I thought it was very naughty. Who knows, maybe I', nuts regarding the conversation, but I totally remember the scene differently.

Sorry, this is the collective unconsious talking. This movie has NEVER been released with the scene you speak of. I saw the original theatrical print (more than once) and it's exactly the same as it was on video and as it is now. It is the same in 70mm and 35mm. It has never, I repeat never been released in its entirety. Not only that, this Pizza hut bullshit being the reason for the cut is nonsence. They would have cut the one line. And this is nonsense anyway as Pizza Hut would have no grounds to sue MGM for saying they hated Pizza Hut. It's called freedom of speech!!

Actually you are WRONG anonymous. I watched it with the Pizza hut line on tape years ago!! You are anonymous because youre embarrased..thats a shame for you.

Lynsey is RIGHT

I also remember this scene in its entirety. Although I was only 4 when it premiered, I know I've seen it because I remember thinking (after Steven says he hates Pizza Hut), "I love Pizza Hut! (I still do actually). This weird "I've seen the scene, but it doesn't exist in any buyable format. But I know I've seen it!" It's "haunted" me for years. It's like the Mandela effect at play. I believe it will always linger in the cemetery of my mind of lost thoughts with no origin point. They just wander about asking, "do you know the answer?" I'm actually watching Poltergeist while I type this, which doesn't help.

No you don't!! Sorry but you don't know what you're talking about. It's highly unlikely that you would remember such a trivial scene that you saw nearly 40 years later and remember it how it was. You are experiences what hypnotists call 'the collective unconsious', which is where you hear something so many times, you actually think you saw remember watching it that way. Think that's bullshit? Trust me it isn't. I have seen 2 different 35mm prints and a 70mm print, which were the first copies they made at the time of release and guess what? Both are exactly the same as the versions I saw on Betamax, VHS and DVD. Not to mention the BD and TV screenings.

I have a copy of a print WITH the scene in it, Anonymous. But I love your both high and mighty-ness flowing forth. And look at your definition of collective unconscious (and spelling) is not only wrong it's a poor definition. If we go by your definition: Lynsey heard it so many times...(heard WHAT so many times) that she thinks she saw remember watching....huh? lol. Here's another thing ANONYMOUS.... Just because you saw two supposedly original prints....means just that... you saw two original prints. THat's all it means. I've seen Psycho about 8 times. Six of those times was a standard viewing. Once it had a slightly different ending. And the only time I saw it in 35 it had a completely different staircase shot. Guess what... can't find it in ANY description anywhere. Talked to two different people who saw the same print, the same night, separately... They saw the same thing. COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS: (in Jungian psychology) is a term introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung to represent a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware) common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. This has very ver little to do with what you are talking about, Anonymous. All things are possible...especially considering how finite our minds are.

This is 2022. If the scene existed someone would have posted it in some form to YouTube (and under "fair use" it couldn't have been taken down.)

After the kitchen scene the omitted scenes are from in their bedroom - smoking pot again - and they were discussing it and were wondering if the same thing happened to the neighbors. So after they get a little high they go next door and ask the neighbor. Which explains why Steven was laughing a bit.

That would make a lit of sense!

I remember that scene and the scene after that explains the weird cut. After the kitchen scene they are in their bedroom discussing what happened in the kitchen. They are getting high again and wondered if the neighbors are having the same issues. After they get high they go next door, Steven laughs a bit which makes more sense now since they just smoked. I can only assume there may have been a bit of an uproar from viewers maybe about the amount of illegal drugs being used and they are parents. Just a guess.

He didn't want the R rating. The movie has a PG rating. PG 13 wasn't around yet.

I to remember that scene. I was 12 when I saw this film at least 4 times. I was interested because I lived in a haunted house, laugh if you must but it's true. Nothing like the movie, but still. I remember that whole scene and then going to the neighbor's. To bad Steven Spielberg doesn't clean up and add to like he did with ET.

Something also missing is the scene where Robbie looks under the bed and the clown and also when his braces unravel and wrap around his face and all over the bathroom.

The "braces" scene was from the second sequel.

I don't understand why such a chunk was taken out when only a couple of lines mentioned Pizza Hut. They could easily have edited those lines out and kept the full scene in.

Exactly, that is precisely my point as to why this whole Pizza Hut bullshit explanation (which has been hanging around the internet for over 20 years now) does not explain why you would cut two scenes (kitcen and porch) together, right slam bang in the middle of two different conversations. Anyone who thinks this is the reason is a complete moron. Like you say, you would simply cut the one line, it's really not that hard. Do people really think that Speilberg and Hooper would allow such a hack cut in the middle of their film if it wasn't inentional. When I meet Speilberg this is the first thing I will ask him. Mind you it wouldn't surprise me if he started this ridiculous urban myth to begin with.

Sorry if this sounds all pervy but I recently got the Blu-Ray of Poltergeist and noticed that the ending scene where Dana shows up right before the house gets sucked into the void seems to have been censored or digitally edited? The hormonal teenager me from 1982 seems to remember a freshly hick'ed, braless Dana's shirt being more noticeably "see-thru" when she screams "whats happening !?!" . The Blu-Ray version looks digitally "fixed" or censored. Anyone with a VHS copy care to verify ...along with the missing pot scene mentioned above?

"They could have easily" is working under the assumption the film is still in the editing process. The entire point of this article is to explain that editing had already finished and Poltergeist was right on the verge of being shipped to movie theaters. This is exactly the kind of quality you get when you literally do not have the time to do the work properly and anybody familiar with editing large budget movies will tell you the same.

I grew up watching the complete movie in it’s entirety. I saw it at my house. The reason my story is different is that I watched it on a early pay satellite service called On TV. The clown scene terrified me. I couldn’t look under my bed for years. I don’t know why they were able to air the unedited version but that’s the version I grew up with.

In fact, I actually remember the "rough cut" (I know, it's too early in the morning for a mediocre pun!) between the two scenes as being incredibly "jumpy" when as a 10-year-old sitting at the Orange Mall cheap Saturday matinee double feature (with, if I remember correctly, one of the Superman sequels). Apparently, the original hired cutter who made that last-minute excision did a horrible job and the product of his work, an edit which on the big screen in Summer '82 looked as though the actual celluloid itself was getting mangled in the projector for a split-second, ended up on every extant theatre copy (at least in Orange, CA). It also SOUNDED like a bad cut: I don't know how to describe it except as the cinematic equivalent of a "clank". At any rate, it made the fact that this was an edited scene, and a poorly edited one at that, pretty darn OBVIOUS.

I grew up in the late 90s and absolutely loved Poltergeist growing up. I always thought it was fun to be scared, I guess you can say it was my first real horror movie. I did notice that weird cut when I was around 9 years old and thought our TVs and DVD players were broken for doing this weird cut. Thank you for sharing this I have always been so curious as to why this happened. However I do wish they could do a re- release of the movie with this scene in its entirety or at least put it as a deleted scene on DVDs.

Yup, I remember the pizza hut comments, I just watched the movie again now with my daughter and noticed this change, along with no "God is in his holy temple " scene

That's in poltergeist 2

So why hasn't the filmmakers ever been adressed about this cut? Can't seem to find anything online. This is 40 years ago this year. There must be something.

I don't want to contradict anyone, but when I saw the film again years later on television, I was shocked to see that several scenes had been cut for the purposes of the schedule (like reducing the film to 105 minutes instead of 114; a common practice in Canadian television broadcasting). In my memory (I saw the film on VHS in a French dub, in the early days of video tape, probably 1983; video clubs didn't exist yet), they had trimmed a fairly effective scene in which we see the worried skepticism of the father after seeing his daughter slip on the kitchen floor. Steve Freeling was looking with obvious concern and denial for the source of this phenomenon, a magnet, the neighbor's remote control? So after seeing the film again on TV (this is the late 1990s) I was so shocked that I even wrote a review on a French-speaking site referring to the Pizza Hut scene. I would like to point out that I had never heard that this scene had been cut and that, all media included. Was I the victim of some kind of twisted Mandela effect, or is there a French VHS dubbing of the mentioned scene somewhere?

I had never seen this extended scene on my VHS, DVD or when I saw this in theatres back in 1982. But I was always suspicious that there was more there because of the abruptness of the cut. The pizza hut reason is very interesting. Something I had never known about. But maybe another reason for the cut was because of showing a child (Carol-Anne) slamming into a wall to the point of damaging it might have been deemed too shocking for audiences. That certainly would have scared me seeing that for the first time.

This movie played constantly on HBO in the 80's. My grandfather had the movie on RCA VideoDisc. One of those two formats had the extra footage. I can quote half the movie from 40 years ago, and I absolutely remember it. I just watched it again on Netflix for the first time in ages and the bad cut was obvious. I was looking for explanations when I found this page.

Also the insect bites came from nowhere im sure years ago it was in the film where the bugs started, now just one pic of bugs on wall left.

I 100% remember seeing the 'missing scene' when I first watched this movie!! I'm 46yr old and watched this with my family when I was a kid. I reside in the UK where I was born (just for reference). I'm rewatching this movie and I'm completely shocked that there's a big chunk of the movie 'missing'!

I have the 1st UK homevideo release of POLTERGEIST from April 1983 on MGM (even has the 'Cast Card'). I need to re-watch that tape and look for that scene shortly after the half-hour mark of the film. I've watched the 1983 UK tape before . . . but it's been several years and I can't remember offhand if the 'I Hate Pizza Hut' line is in there or not. I hope to find out soon! I have recently hooked up my multi-standard VCR (I live in the U.S. so I need one to play PALs).

I don't remember the scene as such, but i do remember it being longer, and certainly don;t remember the stupid cut. Reading back through the quotes, I do remeber something about the smoking a J, then visiting the neighbour, so it is out there somewhere. Someone Anonymous posted here they have the cut scene. I ask them to post it to you tube so we can see it again!

Lynsey is absolutely 10000% right. Great memory Lynsey. That reply from anonymous is anonymous because he or she is too embarrassed and very wrong and knows it.

Actually it IS edited, and not ripped out weirdly. I also watched the original with the pizza hut line. So the anonymous one replying to Lynsey is the one who is wrong. The edited one is currently on YouTube! Lol.

Who didn't like Pizza Hut in the 80s??

The cut still doesn't make sense. Why cut 60 seconds of a scene and ruin part of the film when all they had to do was cut out 3 words? They could have literally just cut the "I hate Pizza Hut" and start at the "Where's dinner" line? If that wasn't possible (for whatever reason), then just cut to Diane's next line. It seems like some studio executive cut the film with a pair of scissors, taped the two halves together and sent it out to theaters. Even an amateur editor starting their first day on the job could have done a much better job.

FIX IT! Use AI and redo the entire scene. Just leave out Pizza Hut or just the “Hut” part. Get other actors but use AI to give them the appearance of the original actors.

It is possible that an uncut version got out there and was quickly replaced after being discovered. This movie was released back in the day where they physically printed copies of the movie and shipped the massive roles of film to theaters around the country. Just because someone saw one cut of the original movie proves nothing about what someone else saw. The fact that this was such a rough cut at the last minute increases the chances that some people out there saw the uncut scene.

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This Scene Almost Earned ‘Poltergeist’ an R Rating

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It is common knowledge now that Tobe Hooper’s  Poltergeist , which celebrates its 35th anniversary today,   almost single-handedly brought about the advent of the PG-13 rating. With the “help” of later-released violent PG-rated films like  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom  and  Gremlins , the Motion Picture Association of America decided that there needed to be another rating in between a PG and an R. There had to be films that weren’t restricted to teenagers but still too intense for younger children. After all, watching a man peel off his own face isn’t exactly family-friendly material.

It’s safe to assume that nearly everyone reading this has seen  Poltergeist , but if you haven’t be warned that spoilers will follow.

Poltergeist  has several terrifying scenes peppered throughout its 114-minute runtime, but the most memorable of which is the sequence in which Marty (Martin Casella) hallucinates peeling his face off in the mirror (fun fact: the hands peeling off his face belong to none other than Steven Spielberg himself).

I remember seeing  Poltergeist  for the first time back when I was about 11 or 12. My dad rented it for me from Blockbuster and I distinctly remember seeing the words “with face peeling scene” in the description on the back of the box. Of course, I didn’t really understand what that meant, but I (and my father) figured it was fine. Little did I know that this is what I would be in for.

As you can imagine, this scene was fairly traumatizing for me, a child who had never seen a truly gory horror film at that point ( I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies until I was 15 or so). But I’m okay now so it’s all good. In all honesty though, how did this manage to get by with a PG rating? Hooper and Spielberg appealed the R rating, that’s how. It’s unclear just what went on in that meeting, but the face peeling scene had to be the main point of contention between the MPAA and the filmmakers. My guess? Spielberg and Hooper used the argument that because the face peeling wasn’t actually real it shouldn’t be taken so seriously. The sequence is, after all, merely a hallucination. It was just a trick played on Marty by the titular villain, and that somehow makes it less intense in the context of the film. Of course I have no idea if that was the argument that Spielberg and Hooper posed (and it’s not even that convincing), but it would make sense. It’s no different than  Sin City  getting an R rating because the majority of blood in the film isn’t red (the more red blood featured in a film, the more likely it is to get a harsher rating). Nevertheless, Spielberg and Hooper won the appeal and  Poltergeist  was granted a PG rating.

It should come as no surprise that TV screenings left out a few of the more graphic images presented in the film, the most notable of which was the face-peeling scene (they also cut out the maggots crawling out of the steak for some reason). I can only assume that this was the same cut that was in the “safe” VHS version of  Poltergeist  that Blockbuster was renting out, but suffice it to say that I’m very happy my dad grabbed the unedited one. You can see the difference in the clip below.

It doesn’t exactly have the same effect as the uncut version but, for the most part, it still gets the job done. Hooper and Spielberg must have known that they may run into trouble with the uncut scene though. After all, why film an alternate scene at all? They filmed this alternate take to use in case they had to remove the scene entirely. At least it still managed to get used so filming it wasn’t a total waste.

Which version of  Poltergeist  did you see first (if you’ve seen both of them)? Do you remember the first time you saw the famous face peeling scene? Share your memories in the comments below and help celebrate  Poltergeist ‘s 35th anniversary! Also, enjoy Family Guy ‘s rather funny homage to  Poltergeist , which puts a nice little spin on the face peeling scene.

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A journalist for Bloody Disgusting since 2015, Trace writes film reviews and editorials, as well as co-hosts Bloody Disgusting's Horror Queers podcast, which looks at horror films through a queer lens. He has since become dedicated to amplifying queer voices in the horror community, while also injecting his own personal flair into film discourse. Trace lives in Austin, TX with his husband and their two dogs. Find him on Twitter @TracedThurman

poltergeist cut scene

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Not Every Asymmetrical Horror Game Is a ‘Dead By Daylight’ Ripoff

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Let me preface this with an important disclaimer: I’m a huge Dead By Daylight fan. In fact, the very first article I’d written for Bloody Disgusting is a piece highlighting its enduring success. I’ve been playing it since 2016, back before it even landed its first classic iconic horror character with Michael Myers, and I believe Behaviour Interactive is largely responsible for putting asymmetrical horror on the mainstream map. When most people hear “asymmetrical horror,” Dead By Daylight likely is the first thing they think of if they’re familiar with the genre. Despite this, I’ve become frustrated with what appears to be a cyclical trap that large swaths of horror fans fall into every single time a new asymmetrical horror game is released:

“It’s another Dead By Daylight ripoff!”

I remember noticing it as early as Gun Media’s Friday the 13th: The Game . Despite an extremely different gameplay format–seven survivors vs. one killer, multiple escape routes, the ability of the survivors to defeat the killer, a completely different tone–I saw discussions online about how it was “trying to be” Dead By Daylight , that it was a “less fun” Dead By Daylight , and “copying” Dead By Daylight ’s formula.

And I have always been confused by it. Was it because Friday centered around one of the most iconic figures in horror with Jason Voorhees during the same time that Dead By Daylight was adding characters like Leatherface and Freddy Krueger to its roster? It couldn’t be that Dead By Daylight invented asymmetrical horror–after all, it wasn’t even the first well-known horror game to implement the genre. For many people (myself included), their first foray into asymmetrical horror was Left 4 Dead ’s versus mode, where one team played humans trying to escape and one team played the undead trying to kill them. So why is it that Dead By Daylight seems to have a monopoly over the genre?

poltergeist cut scene

When a new multiplayer first-person shooter comes out, people don’t instantly brand it a Call of Duty or Modern Warfare rip off. There are myriad 2D fighting games being released that aren’t instantly referred to as Mortal Kombat rip offs. Even looking at horror in particular–games where you have a gun in a zombie apocalypse aren’t instantly referred to as worse takes on Resident Evil . So why is it that almost every single time an asymmetrical horror game is released, the masses descend upon it and immediately use Dead By Daylight as the benchmark of whether or not it’s “good” or just an unsuccessful attempt at copying it? It doesn’t seem like a beneficial discussion or comparison anymore–it just feels like people have decided for themselves that asymmetrical horror equals Dead By Daylight , and anyone who tries experimenting with the genre shouldn’t even bother.

I was especially confused when I saw the comparison being made between Dead By Daylight and Saber Interactive’s Evil Dead: The Game . Say what you will about Evil Dead , but it took asymmetrical horror and made some genuinely fun and innovative spins on it that I hadn’t seen in any other games at the time. In Evil Dead , you’re not even trying to escape if you’re on the survivor team–you’re going head to head with the player on the killer side, trying to be the first to destroy one another. It couldn’t be further from the gameplay format of Dead By Daylight , and yet the prevailing conversation, you guessed it, “Will it be enough to dethrone Dead By Daylight ? Does it stack up to Dead By Daylight ?”

The reason I get so frustrated by all of this is because I’ve been watching the asymmetrical horror space closely for years, and I’ve been keen to see how it’s been evolving and building upon itself. And it’s exciting! There’s an entire generation being introduced to characters like Pinhead, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and so many more that are being resurfaced in these games that may have otherwise fallen under the radar. You could argue that Friday the 13th: The Game even helped reignite–and shined a spotlight on–the infamous ongoing legal battle related to IP of the Friday franchise.

poltergeist cut scene

Yet when new asymmetrical horror games that center these characters are announced–take Gun Media’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for example–the excitement surrounding it is diminished by the crowds of people who implore “Well, it could be good, but it’s not Dead By Daylight …” Here you have a game with a beloved IP, with a character as prominent as Leatherface, crafted so delicately to not only be faithful to its roots , but also just be fun to play…and people can’t seem to get past the arbitrary parameters of how it stacks up against Dead By Daylight . I’ve invested hours that amount to entire days of my life into Texas , and I agree, it’s not Dead By Daylight , but I see where it has drawn its inspiration, and I can celebrate that it’s an innovative take on the genre. I still play Dead By Daylight , but I opt to play and enjoy Texas for different reasons–isn’t that how every other game in every other genre works?

The reality is that every game in the asymmetrical multiplayer space is looking at its peers and drawing inspiration from them to push the genre forward. Even with Dead By Daylight , I’ve noticed some great improvements and additions to the gameplay that I’d noticed in other asymmetrical horror games first–the fact that the survivor hud now shows the activities of other survivors (whether they’re healing, repairing, etc.)? I first noticed that in Hellbent Games’ Video Horror Society before it was eventually a Dead By Daylight feature. Even the new Prop Hunt mode in Dead By Daylight Mobile is exactly like FNTASTIC’s Propnite . Do I think it’s wrong that Dead By Daylight is drawing inspiration from its peers? Absolutely not! It’s exciting to see the genre build and expand upon itself. Yet when both Video Horror Society and Propnite were released, the usual crowds were quick to chalk them up to less successful takes on Dead By Daylight ’s format. We should be able to extend some grace to other games in this space–especially when they’re implementing features that are moving the genre forward.

Asymmetrical horror will always be synonymous with Dead By Daylight –there’s no doubt about that, and I don’t dispute that it has been a trailblazer for the genre for good reason. I don’t think Dead By Daylight is going anywhere anytime soon, and I think because of that, we’re doing a disservice to a lot of really innovative and aspirational projects by not removing our bias and giving them a shot. I just can’t help but think of all of the meaningful critiques and discussions we lose out on by only using Dead By Daylight as our frame of reference. The genre will only continue to grow as much as we allow it to, and to that end, I encourage you to go into asymmetrical horror that isn’t Dead By Daylight with an open mind. Enjoy those games for what they are!

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Badass Trailer for George Miller's FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA Has Been Unleashed!

Badass Trailer for George Miller's FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA Has Been Unleashed!

How pizza hut caused a really weird jump cut in the 1982 horror film poltergeist.

poltergeist cut scene

I don’t know if you remember or not, but there’s a very strange and out of place jump cut in Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg ’s classic 1982 horror film Poltergeist . This is something I don’t remember noticing as a kid, but watching it again as an adult you can’t help but think, “what in the hell was that!?”

The weird jump cut come during the scene where Diane is explaining to Steven about the feeling you get when the spirit pulls you across the floor. The scene jumps from right in the middle of a sentence to another scene where they are both on their neighbor's doorstep, again this cut happens in mid sentence.

I initially thought this might have some weird artistic decision, but nope. It was all because of Pizza Hut. The reason for the cut was because in the original scene, Steven talks about how much he hates Pizza Hut. The scene was edited after Pizza Hut took offense.

This is odd because Pizza Hut wouldn’t have been able to sue Spielberg or the studio for saying their pizzas suck, that's a first amendment issue! I’m not sure why the creative team cared so much about not offending Pizza Hut! It not like they were a sponsor of the film or anything. They crudely cut the scene at the expense of not offending them and it the one big glaring imperfection of the film.

You can watch the how the scene plays out below and then you can read an excerpt from the script showing how the scene was originally supposed to play out.

Here’s how the cut scene played out:

Mommy didn’t cook any dinner.

We’ll go to Pizza Hut, all right?

What's the gag? There a magnet back there? He looks behind the door in the dining room. Nothing. Steve just stands for a long moment in hapless silence, then...

I hate Pizza Hut! Where's supper? I don' t understand, Diane. What the hell's going on around here?

Steve sidesteps the chalk marks, removing himself from the active area.

I figured I'd never explain it to you. So I showed you instead, but don't ask me how or what. Just help me figure out what to do.

You mean there's no gimmick?

Not from inside the house. Maybe Tuthill got himself a super remote from the Radio Shack.

Carol Anne adjusts her helmet and sits inside her launch circle. Diane and Steve are having the discussion across the room and aren't aware of her.

Maybe the shakeup and this thing...relate.

Daddy, look at me!!

They turn but it's too late. Carol Anne shoots across the room faster than before, and with no one to catch her.


At a sickening speed her helmet smashes into the wall. Diane SCREAMS Steve runs over. An eight-inch hole in the wall and the cracked plastic on the helmet testify to the force of impact. Carol Anne is dazed but unhurt.

You promised pizza.


The front door opens and Tuthill steps into the bug light. An obvious strain in this conversation.

The motives various, the feelings mutual. About a thousand mosquitoes chow down on the Freelings while they talk.

Mr. Tuthill.

TV's off in here. If your set's acting up again...

What do you think about all this?

We talk about all kinds of this stuff on our podcast Secret Level . You should check it out!


Director Gil Kenan Talks POLTERGEIST, Deleted Scenes, and Blu-ray Extended Cut

Plus what did Woody Allen teach him about editing, what he learned from the test screenings, and how he shot an alternate ending that didn’t work.

Now playing in theaters is director  Gil Kenan ’s ( Monster House ) contemporary remake of the classic horror film  Poltergeist .  Produced by  Sam Raimi , the redo stars  Sam Rockwell  and Rosemarie DeWitt  as parents trying to fend off a spiritual invasion and save their eight-year-old daughter ( Kennedi Clements ) from the evil forces trying to take her. The film also stars  Jared Harris , Saxon Sharbino ,  Kyle Catlett ,  Susan Heyward  and  Nicholas Braun . While some might be nervous about the remake, I was actually surprised by how well it’s put together. However, it’s definitely aimed at a younger audience, and it’s important to know that going in.

A few days ago I sat down with Gil Kenan for a video interview. He talked about his first cut of the film, deleted scenes, what he learned from the test screening process, how he’s releasing an extended cut on Blu-ray, what Woody Allen taught him about editing, why clowns are so scary, and how the Blu-ray will include an alternate ending as an additional extra.

Here’s what Kenan had to say followed by a time index of the interview. If you missed my interview with Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, click here to watch .

  • How he was my last interview at Comic-Con before my injury a number of years ago.
  • 2:00 – What did he learn from the test screening process? How the audience wanted more clowns.
  • 3:10 – How long was his first cut?
  • 3:50 – Deleted scenes talk. Reveals he’ll be doing an extended cut for the Blu-ray. Says the beginning of the film is a bit different.
  • 4:55 – How long will the extended cut be compared to theatrical cut? Says an additional 7 or 8 minutes.
  • 5:22 – How he shot an alternate ending as a bit of a joke and that will be on Blu-ray but not on extended cut…just as an extra. Says the alternate ending never worked.
  • 6:20 – How the film doesn’t waste much time getting to things going wrong in the house. Was that his idea or the studios?
  • 7:20 – How Woody Allen spoke to his class in college and calls the lecture one of the most important he ever had. Says he demystified the editing process.
  • 9:20 – Talks about a scene he had to cut because it didn’t move story.
  • 9:35 – Why are clowns so scary?
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Katt Williams had sexual assault scene cut from Friday After Next : 'Rape is never funny'

The comedian reveals he advocated against a rape scene involving his character Money Mike.

Jessica is a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly, where she covers TV, movies, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in Bustle, NYLON, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and more. She lives in California with her dog.

Katt Williams said he pushed back against a scene in 2002's Friday After Next that involved the sexual assault of his character, Money Mike.

In a conversation with Shannon Sharpe on his Club Shay Shay podcast that dropped Wednesday, the comedian, 52, said the original script from writer and star Ice Cube featured a scene in which his larger-than-life pimp is assaulted in a bathroom — but he persuaded the crew to cut the scene.

"We're trying to make a classic comedy, and this comedy involves a rape, and rape is never funny, no matter who it happens to or what the circumstances are," Williams said, sharing that he relayed the following message to the team: "If you would allow me to allow us to do this movie without a Black man getting raped in it, I promise you that it will be twice as funny."

Everett Collection

The comedian marveled at his ability to "take the risk in front of the studios and the cast and the powers that be in his very first movie and say, 'Respectfully, if we're talking about anything else, I have no credibility and I have no pull. But we're talking about comedy where I have all the credibility and all the pull.'"

Reps for Ice Cube and New Line Cinema didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

The third installment in the Friday stoner comedy franchise, the Christmas-time set Friday After Next follows pals Craig (Ice Cube) and Day-Day ( Mike Epps ) as they take jobs as security guards at a local mall after a Santa Claus breaks into their apartment and robs them. Ice Cube has long been trying to bring a fourth and final installment to the screen, but shared in 2022 that the script has been stuck "in development hell."

Watch Williams' conversation with Sharpe in full above.

Want more movie news? Sign up for  Entertainment Weekly 's free newsletter  to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.

Related content:

  • Katt Williams criticizes Cedric the Entertainer for allegedly stealing joke
  • Ice Cube refutes claims they underpaid actors on Friday
  • The cast of Friday : Where are they now?

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Written in Blood: That Bloody Mirror Scene from Poltergeist (1982)

Exploring the Script Behind the Best Practical Effects Sequences in the History of Genre Cinema and How They were Realized on Screen

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Not watching a movie was easy— I spent most of my childhood doing that . But what I couldn’t control was the power of an image once it was inside my brain. All it took was a glance in the wrong direction, a slight pause as a rectangular slice of terror penetrated my peripheral vision and that was it. I was infected.

So it was that my relationship with Poltergeist (1982) began with an image. A small girl surrounded by darkness, her hands placed against a glowing television screen as a discarded teddy bear lay forgotten beside her. Above the image sat two words: “ They’re here. ”

I hated that cover. Shuddered at the mere thought. Such a cover was the stuff of nightmares, surely, and had a tendency to creep back into my consciousness late at night when I least expected it, just as I was attempting to fall asleep. There was something oddly familiar about it, relatable in a way that was a step or two too close to home. Maybe it was the fact that it was a kid on the cover, or the large console TV that looked like the TV that sat in every middle class American’s living room at the time. Either way, it was dangerous and I wanted no part of it.

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Even in the early days of my horror education, it was clear that Poltergeist was a monumental film for a multitude of reasons, primarily because it was told so gracefully through such a personal lens. The film spends a great deal of time and effort populating itself with characters who feel real and lived in, making for a family that is deeply relatable and providing an emotionally resonating backbone to the narrative.

It’s the sort of movie that feels oddly safe and comforting since it so closely resembles the mood of 80’s family films that I knew and loved growing up. Of course, it’s for precisely that reason that when the needle drops and the terror enters in that the film succeeds in being so intensely disturbing. Plus, it’s peppered with some of the best practical and special effects work of its time, adding further to the spectacle which amplifies the story to something that feels much bigger in scope than it might have otherwise.

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Beginning with the desire for an innocuous midnight snack and concluding with the act of tearing his own face off, the scene is quick, mean and shocking in the context of what had been a fairly careful, reserved climb toward horror. It breaks the mold of expectation given the film’s PG rating and reminds the viewer what the invisible beast who resides in the house is capable of.

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It’s a scene that echoes the unnerving tagline which always stared back at me from that VHS cover. After all, in light of watching the skin being torn away from his face, I think Marty needed little convincing otherwise that they were indeed there .

Marty enters the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator and shuffles around for a snack. He takes a chicken leg and puts it in his mouth before removing a steak and placing it on the counter. He crosses the kitchen and sets a pan on the stove. He pauses due to a strange sound. He shines a flashlight on the counter and watches as the steak moves itself along like a slug. It stops and begins to expand, more meat churning and bursting from its center. He spits out the chicken leg and stares at it on the kitchen floor. It’s covered in maggots. He runs to the utility room, coughing into the sink and splashing water on his face. He turns to the mirror and notices a gash. He pulls at it and proceeds to pull the skin off of his face, exposing muscle sinew and bone beneath. There’s a flash and he’s fine, alone in the bathroom, feeling his face.

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The refrigerator is the perfect target for Tak’s housebreaking skills.

The script is written through a blue-collar lens, describing the scene as the character might describe it, rather than breaking it down practically. This perspective allows for nuance and creativity in the filmmaking as well as a more engaging experience for the reader, further bolstering the everyday relatability which makes the overall story so effective.

Tak takes out a salad bowl and noshes from that, but his chewing is too loud so he opts for a beautiful New York steak wrapped in cellophane.

In the film, Marty, referred to in the script as Tak, enters the kitchen and gravitates toward a box of Ritz crackers on the countertop. He reaches in and eats one somewhat distractedly. The camera tracks with him as he moves to the refrigerator. He opens it and bends down to look inside. He shoves a chicken leg in his mouth as he moves before finally landing on a large steak. He pulls the meat out and sniffs it, putting it down on an adjacent countertop.

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The protracted entryway into the scene puts the viewer in Marty’s headspace. Sure, what’s happening onscreen isn’t anything special, but it’s small, quiet moments like this which lend credence to the overtly supernatural terrors juxtaposed against it.

The sound he hears is wet and gross, referred to in the script as A CRAWLING GUSHY SOUND that bubbles and softly hisses. In the script, Marty can’t make out what it is that’s making the sound at first, seeing a shape moving along the counter  before shining his flashlight over to get a good look. In the film, the image cuts directly to the steak which slowly slithers, slug-like along the countertop, the sound protruding from it as unpleasant and unappetizing as the script suggests.

The screen cuts back and forth from Marty to the steak for a moment, before landing on the flashlight. The light clicks on and the camera pans up to Marty’s face, illuminated as if he’s about to tell a ghost story to some unsuspecting kids at summer camp. At that point the steak stops and, now spotlighted, begins to bubble and curdle in its center. Meat bursts forth from within, reproducing itself and churning outward in a kind of grotesque, low pressure geyser of raw, chopped flesh.

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He starts to gag looking at it and realizes the chicken is still in his mouth.

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A thousand maggots crawl away from it into the dark corners of the kitchen.

While the maggots Marty sees onscreen do not range in the hundreds, let alone a thousand , the effect is the same. He gasps and runs into the utility room adjacent to the kitchen. The film excises his scripted retching in favor of some coughing as well as a cut away to his counterpart still surveying the monitors near the stairs. Staying in the moment at this point is one of the key reasons the intensity ratchets up so successfully.

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Onscreen, this evolved into a very different manifestation of death and decay. The light intensifies, altering from soft white to a bright orange and red hue, something suggested at the tail end of the scene by the script, as Marty notices a gash on his cheek and prods at it. Blood leaks out, dripping into the white sink.

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All told the 26 second sequence contains 16 different cuts before finally holding on Marty’s bloody, fleshless skull, its jaw agape in utter horror, appearing as a reanimated corpse that feels like it stumbled off of an R-rated Italian Zombie picture. Then, the red light intensifies once more and suddenly normalizes, leaving Marty to stand before the mirror as he was, unscathed. In the words of the script, BACK TO NORMAL.

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The final frames of the scene find Marty feeling his face uncertainly, looking around the utility room and then back out into the kitchen and the rest of the house. He knows what they who reside in the place are capable of. His fear has been redefined.

It’s another step toward understanding what it is the characters are up against. After all, it’s not all chair stacking and floating toys, there’s something darker and far more sinister at play… and whatever expectations they might’ve had going in, are about to be defied.


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From the damning inferences I made given the simple image of a girl with her hand on a fuzzy television screen in the dark to the moment I finally saw Poltergeist, I was taken in by everything the picture had to offer. The relatability, the family element, the everyday nature of it all— each component served to indoctrinate the movie into my subconscious, adding credibility that made the drama more poignant and the horror more palpable.

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As scripted, the scene stops short a bit, revealing the character in the mirror as a decaying body rather than graphically showcasing the decay by way of grasping hands. When it finally landed on celluloid, under the guidance of Tobe Hooper’s brilliant sensibilities for horror, the scene was something else entirely, brought to life through practical effects and blue-collar ingenuity, from the top of the production to the line level.

“Spielberg was literally hands-on during the scene where Marty rips his own face off,” Gary Sussman wrote in a 2017 retrospective of Poltergeist for Moviefone ( Found here ). “The effect was accomplished with a model bust of the actor’s head, but he was nervous about handling the only bust the production had, so those are Spielberg’s own hands you see tearing at Marty’s flesh.”

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There’s a power to that kind of belief. That brand of fear. And when you combine the inviting warmth and wonder of Steven Spielberg with the beautifully disturbing realness of Tobe Hooper, what emerges is not just a great horror film, but a great film .

As a kid, very little got under my skin more than the horror aisle at the video store. Not because of the one’s I had seen, but because of all that I hadn’t. What those mysterious VHS tapes might entail. Thinking back on it now, I wonder how many of those boxes scared me far more than the movies inside ever could.

Still, at that age, I suppose being afraid of what might be in that TV was probably better than seeing a guy rip his own face off. Either way, once I laid eyes on it, the movie, like its villainous entity, was there . Present in my world. And, like all the best movies, always would be… whether I was afraid or not.

Poltergeist (1982): Written by Steven Spielberg & Michael Grais & Mark Victor & Directed by Tobe Hooper


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Katt Williams Says Cedric the Entertainer Stole ‘My Very Best Joke,’ Reveals He Demanded ‘Friday After Next’ Remove Assault Scene: ‘Rape Is Never Funny’

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Katt Williams’ recent interview on Shannon Sharpe’s  “Club Shay Shay” podcast has gone viral for a handful of soundbites and revelations made by the comedian. Williams made his film debut playing Money Mike in the 2002 comedy “Friday After Next,” which he revealed originally included a sexual assault scene that he refused to participate in (via BuzzFeed ). Williams pushed the studio to get the scene removed from the movie because “rape is never funny.” The comedian succeeded.

“The truth of the matter is, Money Mike in the original script gets raped in the bathroom,” Williams revealed. “Katt Williams had to take the risk in front of the studios, and the cast, and the powers that be — in his very first movie — and say respectfully, humbly, ‘Guys, if we’re talking about anything else I have no credibility and I have no pull, but we’re talking about comedy, where I have all the credibility and all the pull. The problem with ‘Friday After Next’ is we’re trying to make a classic comedy, and this comedy involves a rape, and rape is never funny no matter who it happens to or what the circumstances are.'”

Elswhere during the podcast , Williams revived his claim that Cedric the Entertainment allegedly stole a joke from him (via Entertainment Weekly ). And not just any joke: “My very best joke,” Williams said. Cedric the Entertaining denied stealing Williams’ joke during his own 2022 appearance on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast, but Williams now doubled down on the accusation.

“He thought that I was just a no-name comedian and that he could take this joke and nobody would know,” Williams said on the new episode. “The issue was that I had already done this particular joke on BET’s ‘ComicView’ twice. It had done so well on BET’s ‘ComicView’ that they made it part of the commercial.”

The “Club Shay Shay” Instagram account posted this soundbite from the interview, which earned a response from Cedric the Entertainer in the comment section.

“Revisionist History, regardless of whatever Katt’s opinion,” he wrote. “My career can’t be reduced to One Joke Katt Williams claims as his. I been [in] over 40 movies, my specials and brand speaks volumes for [who] I am.”

Variety has reached out to Cedric the Entertainer for further comment.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Club Shay Shay (@clubshayshay)

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The Poltergeist Scene That Legitimately Spooked The Cast

Carol Anne Standing in the Television Light

Don't get me wrong. It sounds absolutely  thrilling  to be haunted by a ghost. But if it's the ghost in the 1982 film "Poltergeist," I'll take a quick pass on being haunted by them. I mean, it's a  poltergeist, which is arguably more upsetting than your average "walk through walls" spooky spirit. Poltergeists throw things and try to physically harm you, and if you're sweet little Carol Anne Freeling, literally suck you into another dimension from which you may never return. I'm not messing around with that kind of power. 

"Poltergeist" tells the story of the Freeling family who move into a beautiful new home in California only to find that it is being haunted by, uh, poltergeists. The spirits are very into Carol Anne because she apparently exudes a life force that they find irresistible — hence the whole trapping her in another dimension thing. Once the family realize that the house has been built directly on top of an old cemetery, they quickly understand the reason for the ghosts' anger, and the rest of the film is their attempt to rescue their child and also get the hell out of there. To be fair, if my eternal resting place was obstructed by a whole, giant house, I'd be pretty upset too! I don't care if it  does  have an open floor plan and "his and her" sinks! I want to be able to watch the sunrise from my muddy, downtrodden grave, damnit!

The house eventually gets sucked into the Earth and destroyed, and the family, who do eventually manage to save Carol Anne, escape with a healthy dose of trauma, and — while I'm uncertain if their home owner's insurance covers poltergeists — they seem relatively happy to just get away from the whole, spooky situation and start their life anew. 

But perhaps the scariest thing about "Poltergeist" is the fact that the very imaginary poltergeists in the film seem to have actually transcended the silver screen to haunt the cast in real life. Honestly, it's a real "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" kind of situation. A lot of weird stuff went down on the set of the original movie and its sequels, and many of the cast members died strange or gruesome deaths. So much so that some attribute the cast's bad luck to one particular scene that was also a deeply disturbing experience for everyone involved. 

Maybe the Real Human Skeletons Were Behind It

The scene from the first movie that is often credited with playing a possible part in all of the cast's misery is the iconic pool scene starring JoBeth Williams who plays the mother, Diane Freeling. At the time the scene was filmed, the existence of the "Poltergeist" curse had not yet been established, but what if that's because this very scene is the thing that  caused  the curse to begin with?

When Diane gets sucked into the muddy, rain-filled hole that opens up in the backyard of her new home, she quickly realizes she's not alone. Because the house has been built on top of a cemetery and no one bothered to move the bodies before building said house, the massive influx of rain causes the rotted, skeletal corpses to take one final splash, and they rise to the surface to terrorize Diane. According to an article on Showbiz Cheatsheet,  not only did the skeletons terrorize Diane on screen, but they also terrorized Williams in real life. So much so that she nearly refused to film the scene at all, despite Steven Spielberg's attempts to make her feel safe. Her hesitancy to take a dive with her boney cast mates had to do with the fact that the pool was completely surrounded by large lights. Williams was reportedly nervous that one would get knocked into the water and electrocute her, and sure, that set-up really does feel like an "It Follows" sort of situation just waiting to happen. 

Still, she probably would have been even more reluctant to film the scene if she had known beforehand that the skeletons she would be swimming with would be  actual  human remains and not just props. Talk about finally getting your 15 minutes of fame. Some believe it is the use of literal human bones that doomed the cast of the film, however, in all fairness, it was pretty common for film crews to use real human skeletons instead of fake ones in the past. Either way, this scene turned out to be terrifying not just on screen, but during filming, as well. And who knows, maybe "The Poltergeist" crew just happened to buy some very unhappy skeletons looking to cast a nasty spell. Only the dead know the answer for sure.     

Why One of Harry Potter’s Most Powerful Characters Was Cut From the Movies

The Harry Potter movies couldn't bring every aspect of the books to the screen, and the cuts include one of the saga's most powerful figures.

Like a number of adaptations, the Harry Potter saga needed to trim its source material. Even with eight movies stretching well over a decade, t he Wizarding World was simply too sprawling to include every side plot in the original novels . The film series thrived on its ability to stay focused on the most important aspects of Harry's story while having the discipline to cut less necessary content -- no matter how beloved -- in the name of a functional running time.  It found a strong balance, which helped the movies win over fans for the long haul.

That includes one of the novels' most powerful -- and memorable -- characters. Peeves the poltergeist, a staple of Hogwarts (for better or worse) in the J. K. Rowling books , was slated to appear in the movies as well. He was even cast and scenes were shot, with late actor Rik Mayall playing Peeves in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. His scenes were later cut before the film's release, and the character dropped from the movies entirely. What happened? And why was Peeves deemed a necessary excision and not some other ancillary character?

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Peeves is a poltergeist, and, according to an interview with Rowling in The Leaky Cauldron , he "came with the building." He’s not strictly a ghost like Nearly Headless Nick or Moaning Myrtle, but rather a mischievous spirit akin to a sprite or a pooka. He may have been a manifestation of the chaos that arises in magic use or just a cosmic prankster attracted to the stuffy halls and hidebound rules of a place like Hogwarts.

Whatever his origins, he's presented in the books as practically invulnerable. He was immune to spells and traps, and he couldn't be locked up via any magic known to centuries’ worth of Hogwarts professors. Rowling’s short fiction "Peeves"  relates how the school headmaster tried to trap the spirit in the late 1800s, only for Peeves to effortlessly escape, arm himself and spend the next three days casually threatening the student body. That left him more or less a permanent fixture at Hogwarts, able to do as he pleased with no repercussions. He ruthlessly takes advantage of the fact throughout the seven Harry Potter novels.

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Most of his pranks are far less deadly than the one described in "Peeves," but he causes Harry and his friends no end of trouble regardless -- often by making noise that alerts people to their presence -- and there appears to be nothing anyone can do about him. Despite that, he remains loyal to Hogwarts as an institution, particularly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when he rallies to the school's defense during the assault by the Death Eaters.

The exact reasons for dropping him from the movie remain a mystery, despite Mayall's presence and performance. The actor spoke about it in a YouTube video  and suggested that the character had to be cut because his antics kept making the young actors he was working with break character. On a more speculative level, including him in the movies would have padded the overall run time a good deal without an attendant contribution to the main plot. This is borne out by Nearly Headless Nick, who is similarly ancillary to the story. John Cleese played Nick in both Sorcerer's Stone  and  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets , yet he simply vanishes in the third: never to return to the film series despite a recurring presence in the book similar to Peeves. He's not missed, simply because there's more than enough going on as it stands.

And Peeves wasn't the only content from the novels put to film, only to be cut in the editing room for the sake of the bigger picture. For example, Harry's goodbye to the Dursleys in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1  -- a heartfelt moment in the books --  was shot but ultimately dropped in favor of emphasizing the danger for  Harry and his friends . The pacing demanded it. Similarly justifying Peeves would have meant a great deal of build-up for a comparatively brief payoff -- placed somewhere in the Battle of Hogwarts and likely lost amid the literal death and rebirth of multiple central characters. As much as he adds to the Potterverse, he had to come second to the story as a whole. His presence in the cutting room -- despite his powers and presence -- was an understandable result.

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Poltergeist On Netflix: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Horror Classic

By Dan Auty on July 21, 2020 at 8:35AM PDT

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If horror in the 1970s was defined by serious, intense movies such as The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Don't Look Now, the 1980s was the decade when the genre became fun again. This was the decade of the horror comedy , and the biggest scary movies of the '80s were increasingly silly franchise films such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th.

Horror in the '80s kicked off in wildly entertaining style with 1982's Poltergeist. The film was ostensibly directed by Tobe Hooper, the man behind the utterly terrifying Texas Chainsaw, but it was very much a Steven Spielberg movie. Spielberg produced and wrote it, based on an earlier story idea titled Night Skies. And thematically, Poltergeist is absolutely in keeping with his other films of the era, most notably Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, in which normal suburban families encounter something strange beyond their understanding.

As we'll see shortly, the true "author" of Poltergeist has been debated for decades, But there was no denying the huge success of the movie--it was the eighth highest grossing movie of 1982 and is now considered a horror classic. The blend of engrossing family drama, scares, suspense, and dazzling thrills is masterfully done. It's that rare thing--a scary movie loved by horror and non-horror fans alike.

The success of the Poltergeist led to inevitable sequels and remakes, but none are remotely in the same league as the original. The film can now be streamed in Netflix , so this is a great time to revisit it--or perhaps even check it out for the first time if you're yet to experience its wonders. And once you've done that, read our guide to all the things you didn't know about Poltergeist...

1. Spielberg wanted Stephen King to write the movie

1. Spielberg wanted Stephen King to write the movie

Considering they are such giants of modern pop culture, Spielberg and Stephen King have never worked together. As Entertainment Weekly explained, they came close on Poltergeist. Spielberg stated that he wanted King to help him with the script, but that he was "unavailable." King himself revealed a bit more about his unavailability--it seems he was on a Transatlantic cruise when the call came in. "It didn't work out because it was before the internet and we had a communication breakdown," he said. "I was on a ship going across the Atlantic to En­gland."

2. Drew Barrymore auditioned

2. Drew Barrymore auditioned

Drew Barrymore , then aged seven, auditioned for the role of Carrie-Anne, which subsequently went to Heather O’Rourke. Spielberg told her that she wasn't right for the role, but Barrymore later revealed that the filmmaker told her she had another project in mind for her. "I was like, 'Oh yeah, OK, I'm sure he won't call,'" Barrymore said. And, of course, he did call and that next movie--ET: The Extra-Terrestrial--made her a star.

3. A very expensive model house was destroyed in a few seconds

3. A very expensive model house was destroyed in a few seconds

One of the most coolest effects in the movie happens right near the end, as the Freeling's entire house is sucked into a vortex in the cursed ground below it. For this iconic moment, Industrial Light and Magic built an incredibly expensive and detailed model reconstruction of the house, which was about six feet wide and held together with hidden wires. The model was then placed over a vacuum funnel. As the cameras rolled in super slow motion, the wires were pulled, the house collapsed, and the whole thing was sucked into the "ground." Needless to say, this was a one-shot deal. Check out this image of the model house on the se t, as well as the pieces of debris which have been stored in a glass cube ever since.

4. The movie used a revolving room

4. The movie used a revolving room

The amazing scene in which Diane is dragged around the walls and ceiling of her bedroom by the unseen forces was achieved with the use of a revolving room. The set was built on a gimbal, with a fixed camera position; as the room slowly turned, actor JoBeth Williams rolls from one surface to the next, but the camera placement makes it looks like she is being pulled up the wall. You can see footage of the set in this behind-the-scenes featurette, from about three minutes in.

5. Spielberg's hands make a cameo

5. Spielberg's hands make a cameo

Poltergeist's most memorably gruesome scene comes when Marty, one of the paranormal investigators, hallucinates that he is tearing the flesh off his own face. An animatronic head was built for these scenes, and the hands we see tearing at the face are Spielberg's own. Check out Spielberg at work in this behind-the-scenes image .

6. Kitchen chairs were quickly switched

6. Kitchen chairs were quickly switched

One of the most brilliantly effective moments in the movie is the moment when the ghosts rearrange the kitchen tables while Diane looks away for a few seconds. It was a simple trick--as the camera follows JoBeth Williams as she opens a cupboard, crew members ran in and swapped the chairs for a pre-glued stack which they placed on top of the table. If you watch this clip of the scene carefully , you can see the reflection in an appliance of the crew moving in, and the plant rustling as the chair switch was made.

7. There's a weird cut to avoid upsetting Pizza Hut

7. There's a weird cut to avoid upsetting Pizza Hut

Fans who have seen Poltergeist many times will know that there's a very strange jump cut. At the 32 minute mark, Diane is telling Steve about her initial experience with the ghosts, when mid-sentence, it suddenly cuts to the Freelings standing outside their neighbors house. For such a slick and professional movie, it seems very strange and sloppy. The answer to why it's there lies in the script . As the scene continues, there is a negative reference to Pizza Hut (specifically Steve saying "I hate Pizza Hut!") that was cut at the minute.

8. Spielberg appealed to get an PG rating

8. Spielberg appealed to get an PG rating

Unsurprisingly, Poltergeist was initially given an R rating by the MPAA, due to "children in peril." However, Spielberg, MGM chairman Frank Rosenfelt, and psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Jones flew to New York in April 1982 to appeal that rating. Ultimately, the MPPA's appeal board voted unanimously to reduce the rating to a PG.

9. Spielberg was contractually forbidden from directing the movie

9. Spielberg was contractually forbidden from directing the movie

Even though he wrote and produced it, Spielberg was in pre-production on ET at the time, and was contractually obliged not to direct anything else during this period. So he handed directional reins over to Tobe Hooper.

10. Rumors about directorial credit led to a fine and decades of controversy

10. Rumors about directorial credit led to a fine and decades of controversy

The rumors that Spielberg in fact directed Poltergeist started back in 1981 , long before the movie was released the following year, when it was reported that he was on set every day and calling the shots. Since producers are not allowed to simply take over in this way, there was a subsequent investigation by the Directors Guild of America, which fined MGM $15,000 for under-representing Hooper in publicity for the movie. The controversy also led the studio to take out an ad in the Hollywood Reporter, in which Spielberg semi-apologised to Hooper for the way their "unique, creative relationship" had been misrepresented.

But the issue has never gone away. Prior to his death in 2017, Hooper was regularly asked if Spielberg was really the director--in 2014 he simply stated "I was making the movie and later on, I heard this stuff after it was finished." The recollections of different cast and crew members have frequently contradicted each other too--actor James Karen , who played Mr. Teague said "I considered Tobe my director," while cinematographer Matthew Leonetti said "Hooper was just happy to be there...but really, Steven directed it."

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Poltergeist (2015)

A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive. A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive. A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.

  • David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Michael Grais
  • Sam Rockwell
  • Rosemarie DeWitt
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Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Did you know

  • Trivia Rosemarie DeWitt wanted to do the film, after she experienced the engaged and lively audience reaction at the premiere of The Conjuring (2013) , which she attended because it featured her husband Ron Livingston .
  • Goofs (at around 1h 20 mins) When the family's car is pulled back into the house, Eric asks if everyone is okay but his mouth is not moving while he is stuck in the car.

Madison Bowen : They're here.

  • Crazy credits SPOILER: A scene is shown halfway through the end credits: Carrigan Burke is filming a new episode of his show. Dr. Powell (wearing the same glasses Tangina wore in the original trilogy) is his new co-host. He gets mad at her for messing up her line.
  • Alternate versions The U.S. Blu-ray release includes an "Extended Cut" that runs 7 minutes longer than the Theatrical Cut, which is also on the Blu-ray.
  • Connections Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Why Is Nothing Original Anymore? (2015)
  • Soundtracks Sugarcrush Written by Owen Williams Performed by Joanna Gruesome Courtesy of Slumberland Records, LLC

User reviews 459

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  • How long is Poltergeist? Powered by Alexa
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  • May 22, 2015 (United States)
  • United States
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  • 1295 Upper Paradise Road, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (Exterior house shots)
  • Fox 2000 Pictures
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $35,000,000 (estimated)
  • $47,425,125
  • $22,620,386
  • May 24, 2015
  • $95,437,994

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  • Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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How Did 'Poltergeist' (1982) Get a PG Rating?

poltergeist cut scene

On Friday, a remake of the 1982 classic Poltergeist hit theaters . It earned itself a PG-13 rating for what is ultimately a haunted house tale with some nifty CGI thrown in for good measure. In 2015, the idea that a horror movie not aimed directly at kids (like the perfectly creepy Coraline ) could get a PG rating is absurd. Horror today is such a gore fest there is no way the MPAA would let even a tame horror movie for adults be given a rating designated for family friendly fare. Oh how the times have changed. Back in 1982 when Poltergeist , which in my humble opinion is one of the scariest horror movies ever made, was released the MPAA was a lot more lenient because Poltergeist is certainly not a movie a seven-year-old should be watching. Especially if that seven-year-old lives in the suburbs.

Poltergeist is one of my favorite movies of all time. I vividly remember the first time I watched it. I was around 10 and the movie came on television. I was completely entranced by Carol Anne's creepy pronouncement, "They're here!" and I spent the next two hours becoming increasingly more freaked out as the family dealt with more and more paranormal activity. By the time bedtime came around I was so petrified of the TV I crawled in with my mom to ensure I made it through the night. To this day, Poltergeist still frightens me, but as an adult viewer it's not just the scary scenes that shock. After watching these scenes, you too will be asking yourself how Poltergeist ended up with a PG rating.

1. The Parents Smoke Weed In Their Bedroom

Early in the movie before all the crazy poltergeist business starts happening, there is a completely naturalistic scene between Diane (JoBeth Williams) and Steve (Craig T. Nelson) where they hang out in their bedroom, smoking pot, rolling joints, and discussing a time when Diane was a child and her father thought she might have been sexually assaulted after sleep walking. The scene grounds the film and introduces us to Diane and Steve, but can you image what would happen now if a PG film just tossed in recreational drug use like it was no big deal and had two little kids come into the room a moment later?

2. Robbie Gets Snatched By The Tree

Robbie is almost eaten by a tree outside his window. This little kid is literally yanked out of his bedroom window by a possessed tree. I have no idea how director Tobe Hooper made the scene look so realistic, but it still holds up today.

3. Carol Anne's Voice is Heard Through The TV Set

I know as a kid I thought of the TV as a close, personal friend. The TV is certainly not supposed to suck up small children and deposit them in purgatory where they get chased by evil monsters their parents can't see or protect them from. The fear in Carol Anne's voice is what sells this scene the most. Given how young she is, it makes the whole situation all the more disturbing.

4. The Face Melting

Poltergeist is not an especially gory movie, but when it does get bloody it goes for broke with the double whammy of one paranormal investigator hallucinating his face getting melted off while the other watches a steak decompose right in front of him. I am still not over the face peeling — in what world is that kid appropriate?

5. The Rebirth Scene

One of the most impressive parts of Poltergeist is its emphasis on female relationships, especially between mothers and daughters. Ultimately, only Diane can save her daughter and she does so by going into purgatory to get her back. The visuals blatantly call forth images of birth, including Carol Anne and Diane being expelled from purgatory covered in goo and everyone waiting for Carol Anne to take a breath. The symbolism would go over children's heads, but what was the MPAA's excuse?

6. Diane Is Dragged Onto the Ceiling

Just when you think it's all over, Diane is forcefully held down on the bed by the demon before it sends her flying to the ceiling. The scene is both violent and sexually suggestive in a way that never fails to make me shudder.

7. The Skeletons

There are a lot of urban legends surrounding Poltergeist , but one of those legends is absolutely true: the skeletons used in the movie were real human remains . The real kicker is no one told Williams they were real before she was put in the muddy pool with them. Her screams are not method acting is what I'm saying.

8. The Clown

Even if you have never seen Poltergeist , you have probably seen the clown from Poltergeist . The clown was scary way back at the beginning of the movie when it was just leering at Robbie, but when it tries to strangle him at the end? Game over.

Now you know what a PG movie looked like in 1982, kids. Pretty different, huh?

Images: MGM; Giphy (2)

poltergeist cut scene

Poltergeist (1982): TV, terror and suburbia

  • By TheHaughtyCulturist
  • Published: 24 January 2021
  • Updated: 13 December 2023

An old-fashioned, chunky, portable TV set.

The ghosts in 80s horror movie Poltergeist aren’t just for scares. They shine a light on family, childhood – and what comes after death.

The Freeling family are living the American dream: three kids, a beautiful home and room for a pool. But when 5-year-old Carol Anne hears voices in the TV, it’s the start of a nightmare that sees the little girl snatched by spirits haunting the family home.

This article unpacks the themes and storytelling methods of 1982 film, Poltergeist. Reading past this point will reveal what happens (in the movie, and possibly the afterlife).

The end of childhood

Growing up is hard to do , a truth that cinema, literature and society returns to time and again. Poltergeist’s haunting builds on this same idea.

The film revisits popular theories of the time that linked pubescence with poltergeist activity , especially in girls (see also 1973’s The Exorcist). Even The Waltons – America’s cosiest TV show – saw youngest daughter Elizabeth manifest fears of growing up via a haunting.

With hindsight, the trend seems a rather suspect way of dwelling on the bodies, desirability and sexual availability of young girls.

In Poltergeist, it’s 5-year-old Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) who attracts ghosts, while older sis Dana (Dominique Dunne) attracts openly lecherous builders. Incidentally, that latter scene may have passed without note at the time, but is downright creepy now.

Yet it’s not just the children who must grow up. Parents Diane (JoBeth Williams) and Steve (Craig T. Nelson) are themselves still adolescents who smoke pot and jump on the bed. Diane in particular has a lot of growing up to do on-screen.

She starts the film dressed in boy shorts and sneakers, as though she’s just come in from playing in the yard. It’s only when her daughter disappears that we see her more like a traditional suburban mom in slacks and blouses.

She wears all-white to rescue Carol Anne (and even kneels in front of Tangina to take her blessing, like a kind of baptism). And she ends the movie with a streak of white hair, a badge of honour signifying wisdom and experience.

Her journey through the closet – with shades of Narnia – signifies a delayed coming of age. It’s the end of innocence and the knowledge of death ( foreshadowed by Tweetie at the start of the film).

Similarly, the Freeling kids between them face all manner of childhood fears: clowns, scary trees, storms, and the dark. The whole film is as much about childhood as it is about the supernatural.

The film also plays on the dark side of childhood. Children are innocent and we (largely) don’t like to think of them in serious peril. At the same time, kids can themselves be a source of eeriness – just ask these parents on Mumsnet .

How Poltergeist explains the afterlife

Poltergeist uses a ghost story for scares, but also as an examination of family, childhood and the afterlife.

The film doesn’t have vague theories about what happens after death, by the way – it has a whole university departmen t. Several 80s movies did, in fact, including Ghostbusters and The Entity.

These parapsychology experts provide context for otherwise unbelievable events, and explain it to the audience. Their scientific authority lends truthfulness to unnatural events, and simultaneously makes them more frightening.

Yet while the film calls on science, it ultimately hands authority to a more folkloric type of knowledge keeper in Tangina Barrons (Zelda May Rubinstein). With her tiny frame and high voice, Tangina is yet one more ‘child’ in the movie. And yet, along with parapsychologist Dr Lesh, she’s also a [grand]mother figure.

Together, the two women explain that some people die and go straight into ‘the light’ – i.e., the afterlife. Others get lost and need a guide to show them the way. And still others don’t realise they’re dead at all, or aren’t ready to leave. They linger in between, mourning the lives they’ve lost, consumed with malevolent feeling.

“There is no death. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness.” Tangina Barrons

It’s these lost and angry spirits who have Carol Anne, Tangina says. They’re attracted to Carol Anne’s light or life force (again reinforcing those dubious messages about desirability being most potent in young girls, and non-existent in old or older women).

Tangina’s explanations do much to create the film’s sense of dread. The childlike simplicity of lines like “Hold on to yourself. There’s one more thing,” is a stroke of genius as much as Carol Anne singing “They’re heeere.”

Yet despite all this wisdom and knowledge, it’s Robbie who explains how to bring Carol Anne back:

“If I get killed, could I see her, show her how to get back here? You could tie a rope around me and hold it tight, and somebody could come get us.”

In fact, this is exactly how the film resolves the journey into and out of the afterlife .

TV people and the terror of technology

Like 1983’s WarGames , Poltergeist examines our burgeoning relationship with technology.

In WarGames the danger is Artificial Intelligence. In Poltergeist, it’s television. This may not sound particularly terrifying, but keep in mind that TV is the more ubiquitous in daily life. For now, anyway.

  • Parents have long warned kids not to sit too close to the television or risk ending up ‘square-eyed’. Or round-bottomed, perhaps.
  • The little screen has often been a threat to the big screen, too. This has been particularly relevant during the pandemic, when cinemas closed and viewers turn to streaming content. 2002’s The Ring revisits the rivalry , but swaps television for video.
  • Video was a source of social terror in the 80s, both for the way it disrupted entertainment media (as streaming now does), and via fears about ‘video nasties’ – see The Ring for more about both.

Countless children have imagined that little people behind the screen make the magic of TV. Poltergeist builds on this. It introduces the threat via a snow-filled TV screen (complete with the hazy outlines of hidden figures) in the film’s opening scenes.

For audiences at the time, this was also a clever way of creating jump scares long after the film ended . Anytime your own TV fritzed, or when programming ended for the day , you were likely to remember the film and shudder. The Ring uses the same technique.

While TV technology has evolved since then, tensions remain. The ‘TV people’ trigger subconscious fears of being watched without consent.The Truman Show elevated this idea – TV watching us back – to clever new heights, commenting on the growth of reality TV.

Likewise, we’re now facing the consequences (or fears) of digital devices opening up a conduit to hackers and others who mean us harm.

Some horror movies see characters haunted by their own bad choices, such as those who mess around with ouija boards. But others have seemingly innocent families unfairly attacked by circumstances (hauntings) they can’t control.

Poltergeist has a foot in both camps. The Freelings don’t deliberately provoke evil spirits. They buy the wrong house, then invite the afterlife into the front room through poor viewing habits. Tough call.

In poltergeist, TV acts as a spiritual medium, ‘channelling’ ghosts into the front room (pun intended).

In that respect, it stands for the ouija board used in other horror movies. Similarly, the TV war the Freelings have with their neighbours foreshadows the much bigger battle to come.

The suburban nightmare

Television may be the instigator of unease in Poltergeist, but suburbia is its co-star.

At first, the suburbs represent safety and predictability. The film’s eerie opening tour of the Freeling’s home gives way to morning, and sweeping shots of uniform, spacious houses and kids on bikes.

These scenes are similar to those in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (also 1982). Spielberg, who directed E.T, co-wrote and produced Poltergeist. And both films evoke Spielberg’s own suburban childhood.

The suburbs have a reputation as safe, perhaps even boring. Yet in both films, this is a false floor. Rather than delivering the Freelings to safety, the Cuesta Verde estate is the source of supernatural horrors. See also The Stepford Wives , where the horror buried out of sight in the suburbs is murderous misogyny.

The ‘burbs represent material wealth and financial security. The rolling landscape – far removed from the cramped, dangerous city – is akin to an unspoilt, heavenly afterlife . It’s the reward for the Freeling’s hard work, as Diane says later in movie.

Unfortunately, any such promise has already been ruined. The development company built the estate on old burial grounds – but only relocated the headstones. The Freelings pay for this sacrilege through the haunting itself, but also when the bodies burst through the floor of their dream home.

The Freelings, as the archetypal American family, also play a role in their own terror. They willingly champion over-consumption with their swimming pool, and the TV sets all over the house.

Finally the family flee suburbia. They do so like Biblical characters, with dad Steve sounding like Lot as he tells the kids not to look back. When they reach safety – a Holiday Inn – they finally ditch the TV, just as they’ve rejected suburbia.

Why are the Freelings haunted?

The Freeling’s home is built on a former burial ground. But, rather than deal with this respectfully, the development company relocates the headstones and leaves the bodies behind.

“It’s not ancient burial grounds. It’s just … people. Besides, we’ve done it before.” Steve Freeling

What happens to the Freelings is partly (and unfairly) a punishment for this. But the film also explains it’s because Carol Anne was born in the house, and has a particularly bright life force.

Robbie and Steve add to this at the start of the film, when they talk about how the scary tree was there long before the estate. Robbie’s fear stems from the tree knowing everything about them – like the TV people, it’s watching them.

There are a few gaps in this explanation. There must be other children who have been born on the estate, yet we don’t hear of any other hauntings – the Freelings are singled out. That (and the vagueness of the backstory) adds to the terror. Ultimately, the film’s dread comes from the things we don’t know … and maybe can’t avoid.

  • The film’s abrupt cut scene in the Freeling’s kitchen (when Diane first tells Steve about the poltergeists) is supposedly due to a negative reaction by Pizza Hut. Read for yourself at thebeardedtrio .
  • Family dog Eboz is a clever camera device at the start of the film. He introduces the family, visiting each of them while they sleep. Goof: someone walks in front of Dana’s door just before Eboz enters (yet the family are asleep).
  • Spot the angelic references, including a framed picture of an angel in Diane’s bedroom. There’s also a brief clip of 1943 film A Guy Named Joe playing on the TV, in which Spencer Tracy plays a guardian angel .
  • The ghosts are playful at first, but it’s all a big distraction. The tornado marks the turning point, with Carol Anne abducted during the storm. Afterwards, the family find they’re ‘not in Kansas any more’ .
  • The confusion about whether Carol Anne should or shouldn’t go into the light – they change their minds and argue about this several times – is a tension device. We don’t know for sure whether Carol Anne can be saved until she finally opens her eyes.
  • The rope between the entry and exit points is a kind of umbilical cord . Diane must save Carol Anne through a repeat birth, a visual metaphor which peaks with the scene in the bathtub.
  • Diane worries Carol Anne will accidentally drown in the pool they’re building. But later, it’s Diane who almost drowns in it. This pool scene used real skeletons . The pool turning into pit of mud and death is a final visual reminder that this suburban dream is well and truly over.

Poltergeist (1982), directed by Tobe Hooper

What to read or watch next

  • The Amityville Horror, The Conjuring (haunted houses, malevolent ghosts)
  • Videodrome (80s, horror, video technology)
  • The Black Phone (horror, childhood)
  • The Ring (90s, horror, video technology)
  • The Shining (80s, horror, childhood Vs the supernatural)
  • The Others (childhood, old women in horror)
  • The ‘Burbs, The Stepford Wives (the suburban nightmare)
  • E.T. (Spielberg, suburbs, childhood)
  • Seven (paradise lost)
  • The Witch , Rosemary’s Baby (old women in horror)

Picture credit: KoolShooters

  • Explore: 1980s , analysis , essays , film , horror , Spielberg , supernatural , themes , theory

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Katt Williams says he pushed for 'Friday After Next' rape scene to be cut: 'Rape is never funny'

Katt Williams

Comedian Ka t t Williams said he pushed for a rape scene to be cut from the 2002 movie “Friday After Next,” his film debut.

“Rape is never funny,” Williams said, explaining his decision in an episode of the “ Club Shay Shay ” podcast, hosted by former NFL star Shannon Sharpe, that was posted Wednesday. 

In the sequel to the hit comedy “Friday,” starring Ice Cube and Mike Epps , Williams played a pimp named Money Mike.

“Money Mike, in the original script, got raped in the bathroom,” he said. “The problem with 'Friday After Next' is we’re trying to make a classic comedy, and this comedy involves a rape, and rape is never funny no matter who it happens to or what the circumstances are.”

“If you would allow me, allow us to do this movie without a Black man getting raped in it, I promise you it will be twice as funny,” he said he told the filmmakers.

It was a bold move for Williams, who admitted he had no sway with the Hollywood bigwigs at the time. 

"Katt Williams had to take the risk in front of the studios and the cast and the powers that be, in his very first movie, and say, 'Respectfully, humbly, guys,'" Williams said. "If we’re talking about anything else, I have no credibility and I have no pull, but we’re talking about comedy, where I have all the credibility and all the pull." 

Williams shared the revelation as he was clearing up comments another comedian, Rickey Smiley, who played robber Santa Claus in "Friday After Next," made on the " Pierre's Panic Room " podcast in 2022, claiming he was originally supposed to play Money Mike.

“A lot of things people don’t know, I was supposed to be the pimp and Katt Williams was supposed to be the Santa Claus,” Smiley said on that podcast. “That’s what I auditioned for. I auditioned to be the pimp. And then Katt Williams was going to be Santa Claus and then somebody and Ice Cube decided to switch it up. I didn’t give a damn; I was just happy to be in it.”

Williams disputed Smiley's account, saying on the Wednesday episode of "Club Shay Shay": "I can tell you this, we auditioned in Los Angeles. I was audition No. 201. Two hundred Black comedians auditioned for the role of Money Mike with me."

"[Smiley] told everybody it should have been my role, everybody on the scene," Williams said. "So considering that’s the real story, why would you bring up that story? Thirty-five members of the cast have never brought up that Rickey Smiley was going to play Money Mike."

Breaking News Reporter

Screen Rant

A cut storyline from the harry potter movies can start a fun tradition for the reboot show.

The HBO Harry Potter remake has the opportunity to use a cut storyline from the books and start a fun tradition that it could use in many seasons.

  • Max's Harry Potter TV show remake will follow the books more closely, allowing for the inclusion of cut plotlines and details that were left out in the movies.
  • The Deathday Party chapter from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which was not included in the films, could be adapted as a Halloween episode in the Max reboot.
  • The Max reboot has the opportunity to create fun Halloween-themed specials, as the Harry Potter books often had significant events happening around Halloween that were not fully explored in the movies.

Max's upcoming Harry Potter TV show remake is expected to follow the books more closely than the movies, which means they could use a cut storyline from the movies to start a fun tradition. Although the news of the reboot came relatively quickly, considering that the last film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, premiered in 2011, it has an opportunity to explore the source material better. J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World universe is very complex and detailed, and Max has revealed that it will adapt the seven Harry Potter books over ten years . That could prove to be challenging, but it could also work in its favor.

The magic of the eight Harry Potter movies is hard to replicate, but they weren't perfect by any means. Given that films have a limited time to adapt the story, there were many details, storylines, and even characters that the original films left out. Although there are many character details and moments the Harry Potter remake can't replicate , the Max Harry Potter remake has an opportunity to create a more faithful adaptation of the source material , which could also set it apart from the movies by bringing some cut plotlines from the books to life and starting its own traditions.

10 Biggest Challenges Harry Potter's TV Remake Must Overcome

The harry potter movies cut nearly headless nick's deathday party, the scene took place on halloween.

Nearly Headless Nick (or Sir Nicholas) was Gryffindor's house ghost, and he had several scenes, but his Deathday Party didn't make it to the books. The students interacted with the ghosts more in the books, and in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry had been invited to Nick's Deathday Party, which celebrated the anniversary of the day he died. The scene didn't make it in the second installment, which was a shame, because it was funny, weird, and gross, but it was a perfect Halloween scene, especially as it took place on October 31.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron were forced to skip the annual Halloween party to attend Nearly Headless Nick's 500th Deathday Party. However, it gave readers a bigger view of the Wizarding World, because the guests were mostly ghosts, and all of them had interesting stories. Moaning Myrtle and Peeves the Poltergeist were also invited and it gave a rare insight into the world of ghosts, which seemed to behave like a normal community at a party. There was music, and disgusting food, and, although the Golden Trio were the only humans attending the party, Sir Nicholas explained that it gave him a certain status to have them at his party.

Max's Harry Potter Reboot Should Turn This Chapter Into A Halloween Episode

This could set it apart from the movie adaptation.

The upcoming Max Harry Potter reboot should adapt the Deathday Party chapter as a Halloween episode. Although Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets still maintains a light tone compared to what's to come in the rest of the franchise, Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party is the best example of how creepy the franchise can sometimes get, which could work perfectly as a Halloween special. Although the second installment has many creepy moments for people with arachnophobia and ophidiophobia given the scenes with Aragog and the Basilisk, the ghost chapter is still pretty light in a fun way.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron attended the Deathday party, but they found it a bit odd. Although all the ghost guests liked Harry and welcomed them at the party, there was nothing edible for them to eat, and the music wasn't celebratory, but sad and lamenting. The three of them were keen to check it out, but they used the first opportunity to leave the party. This storyline that was cut from the Harry Potter films would make for a great episode on the Max reboot. Besides, it leads to Harry and his friends finding the first victim of the Basillisk, which would be the perfect ending for a Halloween episode.

Death Eaters Can Be So Much Cooler In The Harry Potter Remake (& Far Closer To Canon)

Halloween episodes could become a fun tradition for the max reboot, the harry potter films barely covered the holidays.

The Harry Potter books heavily commented on holidays, and the Max reboot could start a fun tradition with Halloween episodes. The movie adaptations did show glimpses of the fun Halloween decorations, but they never focused on the day itself. Harry Potter is a series about magic, and there are many ways it could create interesting, creepy, and fun Halloween-themed specials. In the books, some of the most defining moments happen around Halloween, especially in the first novels, and it could help the show create original moments that are not overshadowed by the movie adaptations.

The first book had a big party on Halloween, and Professor Quirrell used the opportunity to release the troll in the dungeons. In Chamber of Secrets, they attended Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Sirius snuck in on Halloween and attacked the Fat Lady portrait, and the Champions were chosen on Halloween in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, proving the holiday could become a fun tradition for the upcoming Harry Potter Max reboot.

Harry Potter


Comedian Katt Williams says he had a sexual assault scene cut from 'Friday After Next': 'Rape is never funny'

Posted: January 4, 2024 | Last updated: January 4, 2024

  • "Friday After Next" originally had a sexual assault scene, according to comedian Katt Williams.
  • Williams said that his character, Money Mike, was meant to be assaulted in the script.
  • The "Atlanta" actor asked for the scene to be cut because "rape is never funny."

Comedian Katt Williams said he had a sexual assault scene removed from the 2002 movie "Friday After Next."

Williams, who is best known as a stand-up comedian, made his first movie appearance in the "Friday" sequel, playing a pimp named Money Mike.

According to Williams, when he first auditioned for the role, the script contained a scene in which Mike was assaulted in a bathroom.

Speaking on the "Club Shay Shay" podcast on Wednesday, Williams said he spoke out against the scene after being cast in the role.

"Katt Williams had to take the risk in front of the studios and the cast and the power that be in his very first movie, and say, 'Respectfully, humbly, guys, if we're talking about anything else, I have no credibility and I have no pull. But we're talking about comedy where I have all the credibility and all the pull,'" Williams recalled.

He continued: "The problem with 'Friday After Next' is we're trying to make a classic comedy, and this comedy involves a rape, and rape is never funny, no matter who it happens to, or what the circumstances are."

Williams — whose character ended up being one of the most memorable parts of the movie — said he promised to create an even funnier scene if the assault was removed.

Williams also addressed claims that he took the role of Money Mike from another comedian.

Rickey Smiley, who plays the robber Santa Claus in the 2002 movie, said on the "Pierre's Panic Room" podcast in 2022 that he was supposed to play Money Mike, and Williams was supposed to play the burglar.

"Somebody and Ice Cube decided to switch it up," Smiley said.

However, speaking on the "Club Shay Shay" podcast," Williams said he only auditioned to play Money Mike.

Comedian Katt Williams says he had a sexual assault scene cut from 'Friday After Next': 'Rape is never funny'

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poltergeist cut scene

The Extended Cut

poltergeist cut scene

Why Ben Affleck and his film editor rough cut scenes on set for the ‘Air’ actors

Ben Affleck leans to his right for a portrait.

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There’s an ensemble scene late in Ben Affleck’s shoe-centric saga, “Air,” in which principal cast members, including Affleck as Nike founder Phil Knight, are seated at a boardroom table as rookie Michael Jordan decides whether to sign with the underdog shoe company.

“They already know the story, they already know Michael Jordan, they already know how it ends,” Affleck tells The Envelope about building drama in a scene that everyone already knows the outcome to. “They better be learning information that’s new and kind of interesting or has to be genuinely funny. And it all has to be rooted in reality.”

The tipping point comes when Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, addresses Jordan directly. “A shoe is just a shoe until somebody steps into it, and then it has meaning. The rest of us just want a chance to touch that greatness. We need you in these shoes not so you have meaning in your life, so we have meaning in ours. Everyone at this table will be forgotten as soon as our time here is up, except for you. You’re going to be remembered forever, because some things are eternal. You’re Michael Jordan, and your story is going to make us want to fly.”

Matt Damon and Viola Davis in the movie "Air."

Review: Ben Affleck’s entertaining Michael Jordan-Nike drama is more than hot ‘Air’

Ben Affleck’s first directorial effort since ‘Live by Night’ stars Matt Damon as the Nike basketball guru who spearheaded a landmark celebrity endorsement deal.

April 5, 2023

The monologue, made all the more famous after Donald Trump used it without permission in an ad for his 2024 presidential bid, was by screenwriter Alex Convery , but rewritten by Affleck and Damon to reflect the price of fame. It’s part of the process for Affleck, a two-time Oscar winner, who welcomes dialogue input from all his cast members, who include Viola Davis, Chris Tucker and Jason Bateman.

“Writing is creating the word, but it really is a process of acting, especially with great actors. The way I earned trust on this movie was by having editorial on the set,” offers Affleck, who invited his editor, William Goldenberg, to rough-cut scenes for actors to observe before moving on. “I think they all found a great place to be, and I think that’s because they were able to see the movie as they were filming it.”

An Oscar winner for “Argo” and veteran editor of such movies as “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Heat” and “The Imitation Game,” Goldenberg had no compunction about letting so many cooks into the kitchen. “I don’t usually get to meet the actors, so on that level it was fun,” he says. “Ben and I have worked together for a long time. I know his sensibility, he knows mine, so we’ve developed a shorthand together.”

As lifelong friends, Affleck and Damon last appeared together in Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel.” But “Air” represents a creative collaboration between them not seen since the beginning of their careers on their breakout hit, “Good Will Hunting.”

Ben Affleck wears a track suit and sunglasses as he sits behind an office desk in "Air."

“The person who ends up with the stronger opinion tends to win out,” Affleck says about any on-set differences between himself and Damon. “I have respect for him, and I think there’s a reason why he feels so strongly about it. The fights are about who cares more about this. What’s interesting with Matt is I have to earn his respect like I would with any other actor. He doesn’t want to be in a bad movie. He’s not doing me any favors. And I wouldn’t expect him to treat this any differently.”

Their most significant collaboration to date is Artists Equity, a new production company formed with Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital. Employing an innovative business model, they aim to streamline the production process and partner with creators who will share in the commercial success of projects. “Air” is the company’s first production, with a couple future projects in the works — “The Instigators,” starring Damon, Casey Affleck and directed by Doug Liman, and “Small Things Like These,” directed by Tim Mielants and produced by Cillian Murphy, who leads a cast starring Ciarán Hinds and Emily Watson.

“It’s very director-based, it’s very rooted in treating people fairly and reflecting what people bring to the project,” Affleck says of Artists Equity, mentioning another project — “Unstoppable,” Goldenberg’s directorial debut, currently in production.

A portrait of William Goldenberg

“It happens there’s a phenomenal part for Jennifer in it,” Goldenberg notes, mentioning Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Lopez, who plays mother to Anthony Robles, a three-time All-American wrestler born with just one leg. “She’s extraordinary to work with. She’s a consummate professional and so helpful to me as a first-time director, whether it’s blocking or little script changes or ideas for her character.”

Affleck has been burned in the past, working with Lopez on “Gigli,” a 2003 rom-com that got scorched by critics and was a box office flop. But that didn’t keep him from producing “Unstoppable,” although he won’t be appearing in the movie.

“With Jen, it was more like she would come home and talk about her day and how it’s going. And I’m secretly trying to find out about dailies,” he says. “I work with my wife the same way I work with Matt or any of the other actors in a movie. The whole thing is geared around respecting the contribution of these incredible artists and what they bring, and giving them the environment and the space to do their best stuff.”

Los Angeles, CA - December 13: Actor Ben Affleck is photographed during a day of promotion for his new film, "The Tender Bar," at Four Seasons hotel, in Los Angeles, CA, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. The George Clooney-directed film, has Affleck portraying an uncle, becoming an unconvential mentor to his nephew (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Ben Affleck is done worrying about what other people think

As he earns strong reviews for ‘The Tender Bar,’ Ben Affleck reflects on his career ups (he loved ‘The Last Duel’) and downs (‘Justice League’ was ‘the worst experience’).

Jan. 7, 2022

Reflecting on his Oscar wins — in 1998 for the “Good Will Hunting” screenplay, which he co-wrote with Damon, and in 2013 for best picture winner “Argo,” which he produced and directed — Affleck notes that such honors can change your work life but not your inner life.

“I won the Oscar as a very young guy,” he says. “I did appreciate how meaningful it was, and it really changed my career. My life changed overnight. Before that show and after, my life has never been the same. And the second time, I’d been through a lot and had sort of managed to be all over the place in terms of ups and downs, and it was nice for me to be affirmed as a director. But one of the things it told me was it doesn’t make you feel any better or any different. A lot of people go through a depression, because they get the thing they thought their whole life was supposed to be a meaningful thing, and they find ‘This doesn’t change anything about how I feel.’ ”

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