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Written by / 5/31/2015 / No comments / , , , ,

CHANNELLING LITTLE GIRL LOST TWILIGHT ZONE INTO POLTERGEIST

Writing on the wall
It's sheer luck when your daughter vanishes, her frightened voice speaking somewhere behind the walls of the house, late at night… '

That is, if your neighbor just happens to be an expert on inner-dimensional travel, beyond capable to guide you through the process of figuring things out by drawing lines on the wall so she can be pulled back to the real world, once again… 

And for those unaware, the "They're" in "They're Here" was already around for two decades: although in POLTERGEIST that helpful male neighbor is a short lady with an intentionally grating voice... And LITTLE GIRL LOST, from the third season of Rod Serling's THE TWILIGHT ZONE, was written by Richard Matheson, who later penned the television movie that would get POLTERGEIST producer Steven Spielberg on the map: JAWS is for killer fish what DUEL is for Mack Trucks, after all. And to connect LITTLE GIRL LOST even further to Spielberg: the episode was directed by Paul Stewart, the butler from CITIZEN KANE in charge of torching Charles Foster Kane's boyhood sled... Two were used for filming and, years later, the remaining "Rosebud" would be purchased by Steven himself, an Orson Welles fan

Little Girl Found 20 years later
So with Spielberg and Matheson having scratched each others backs (DUEL gave Richard a nice push as well), maybe a deal was worked out so the 1982 film's frantic third act could borrow heavily from what made up the entire ZONE premise  

Ironic that Spielberg would, the following year, produce a cinematic TWILIGHT ZONE... The best segment being the William Shatner classic NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET recasting John Lithgow, directed by George Miller, and originally written by Richard Matheson, thus epitomizing his ZONE contributor legacy.

Though not his best addition, LITTLE GIRL LOST is quite good, providing a sort of cursed vibe throughout – edgy turmoil equally shared by father, wife, neighbor, unseen daughter and especially that intrepid pooch… Leading to a glimpse into the other side: an out of focus, celestial shadowland that might have been better left to the viewer’s imagination, more developed within the contained Stage Play buildup – tightly written, acted, directed and allowing one of the best horror films to be made (and then horribly remade) years later. Now that's recycling!
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