Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper’s horror movie Poltergeist, which was released in 1982, is still regarded as a classic in the genre. In addition to its unsettling plot and ground-breaking visual effects, Poltergeist has become well-known for a contentious decision made during production: the use of actual bones. We shall examine the specifics around the use of actual human remains in the film in this piece, as well as the ethical issues it raised.
The Macabre Option: The production team worked hard to create a genuine and spooky environment when filming Poltergeist. For other moments, notably the iconic pool scene where the skeletal remnants emerge from the muddy ground, they chose to use actual human skeletons to achieve this. This choice generated a lot of debate and caused many people to question where these skeletons came from.
The Truth Uncovered: As word of the purported use of real skeletons spread, concerned viewers and business insiders started to question the morality of such a decision. Investigations confirmed that actual human remains were used in the movie. These skeletons were acquired from a medical supply business, which acquired them from a variety of sources, including medical centres and universities.
Ethical Issues: The use of genuine skeletons in the film Poltergeist generated a larger discussion about how human remains should be handled ethically in the entertainment business. Many people claimed that using genuine human remains for realism was disrespectful and irresponsible, especially when it was done without the deceased or their families’ knowledge or agreement. Others noted that it promoted a heartless view of dying and desensitised viewers to the seriousness of handling human remains.
Industry Repercussions: The controversy over the inclusion of actual skeletons in Poltergeist prompted major adjustments in the movie business. As a result, there are now tougher rules and laws governing the collection and handling of human remains for films and TV shows. Nowadays, production firms frequently use synthetic reproductions or digital effects to produce realistic situations while preserving the respect of the deceased.
Legacy and Lessons: Poltergeist has been hailed for its influence on the horror genre, despite the controversies surrounding it. However, the movie’s inclusion of actual bones serves as a reminder of the ethical duty that directors have to uphold. It emphasises the addressing topics involving death and human remains in the name of art and entertainment requires tact and consideration.
The use of actual skeletons during the production of Poltergeist adds a disturbing dimension to the movie’s history. The debate over this choice raised questions about the moral limits of exploiting human remains in the entertainment sector. The use of actual skeletons acts as a cautionary tale, reminding both the filmmakers and the audience of the value of treating the deceased with respect and decency even though the film’s impact endures.