Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a spooky adventure that takes place in a ghost-infested hotel. “All right,” I said when I first heard about the game’s existence, “I’d better get some sweet-ass references to The Shining out of this. The movie, the book—I don’t care. Just one or the other, or both.”
I’m some distance into Luigi’s Mansion 3, but I’ve yet to stumble upon any clear Shining references outside of a typewriter on a ghost-guard’s desk, but even that’s a muddled “maaaybe.” I guess there’s still plenty of time for Luigi to suck back a shower curtain with his Poltergust and reveal a decomposed woman floating in a bathtub of blood.
Thankfully, Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t devoid of other references to classic horror. I was pleased to see a shout-out to one of the all-time greats: 1982’s Poltergeist. If you haven’t seen it—remedy that this Halloween, please—Poltergeist is a movie about a family whose house becomes haunted by a passel of poltergeists, ghosts that make their presence known by playing tricks and moving objects. The spirits’ trickery starts off benign. In one famous scene, the matriarch of the house, Diane Freeling, turns her back for a second and turns back around to see the kitchen chairs are stacked on the table.
Domestic kitchens are in short supply in Luigi’s Mansion 3 (so far), so its Poltergeist reference takes place near some chairs and tables set up outside a cluster of gift shops. Said shops are lousy with ghosts, but most of them stay well-hidden until Luigi can root them out. I walked back and forth trying to access the stores, giving no thought to the tables and chairs I passed along the way. But when I turned back around a mere moment later, I found the chairs stacked in a manner that frankly should have defied the laws of physics.
Granted, the chairs in Luigi’s incident are stacked a bit differently from the “Poltergeist Pyramid,” but when I saw the immediate, silent change, my memory quickly reached back to the infamous scene—and the sleepless sleepover whereat I first saw it. 2007’s Paranormal Activity also had a hand in refreshing the popularity of teetering ghost chairs, but Poltergeist is the movie that put the phenomenon in everyone’s minds to begin with.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 is aces at delivering scares that are technically family-friendly, but still occasionally horrifying. There isn’t anything as nauseating as Poltergeist‘s “face-off” scene (you know the one), but Luigi’s Mansion aficionados should have a great time. Look for the game on Halloween, and make sure to take a look at our spooky Luigi’s Mansion 3 guides. OK, they’re not that spooky. Just mildly disturbing.