- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
Tip of the reviewing hat to Patwell James who is the only previous TCMr on this site to have the cojones to buck the Spielberg/Hooper hype and point out that this movie just aint all that scary. I mean, except for Zelda Rubinstein's voice, which is creepier than any number of maggots coming out of a thousand raw steaks, this film majorly sucks in the horror dept. And as far as a satire on suburbia goes, I won't even dignify that with a comment. Give it a C.
- Michael Whitty
In 1982 Steven Spielberg came out with both "Poltergeist" and "E.T." and while "E.T." was more of the classic "Poltergeist" still had its story and characters and EFFECTS in good form. A house in a nice neighborhood has problems with ghostly phenomena first affecting the little girl from the TV set. Later investigators find results and the spirits take the little girl away for some time. The family does get her back but the spirits return one more time to destroy the house. The special effects are remarkable in combining the natural world and the spirit world. We see some ghastly sights before it is all over. "Poltergeist" rates as a good scare film as this was just before Spielberg started his own company.
"We just want you to find our little girl."
- Edward Fraraccio
I saw Poltergeist for the first time when I was 7, renting the DVD in 2005 and loved it. I just saw it again recently. It was the first time I'd seen it since that first viewing. I remembered it so clearly, I knew what was going to happen, and yet it still felt like watching it for the first time.Poltergeist revolves around Steve (Craig T. Nelson) and Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams) who have recently moved to Cuesta Verde with their three children, 16-year-old Dana (Dominique Dunne), 8-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and 5-year-old Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke). They're an average American family, but their lives are turned upside down when they find out their house is haunted. The ghosts seem to be obsessed with their television. When the ghosts kidnap Carol Anne, they're forced to battle the evil spirit that holds their daughter in order to save her.The performances are top-notch. The special effects still hold up. The plot is still very original.Poltergeist is the first of its kind, a classic, the best haunted house movie, and a well made thriller that really gives you a good jump. I personally believe it's the greatest supernatural thriller of all time.Poltergeist features a great plot, great acting, great directing, and great writing. What's not to like? It's not really a horror movie, just a fun haunted house movie for the whole family to enjoy.
- Dashiell B.
Under Spielberg's guidance, Hooper was able to make this family horror more tamed, but just as terrifying. A family ran by Williams & Nelson is upset when youngest daughter O'Rourke is kidnapped by manevolent spirits, great supporting work from Straight and Rubinstein. The setting of a modern house being terrorized was truly original and most of the first half of the film spend time establishing characters, but the second half becomes loaded with suspense and horror. A masterfully-made horror film. I give it a 4.5/5.
It's 31 years since this film was made and it is still as scarey as it was the day it came out! Three decades ago, for you youngsters, this scared the pants off the public. I viewed it again tonight and nothing has changed. It is creepy (that damned clown!) and still can chill you. Okay. I get it. It doesn't have all the whiz-bang special effects and CGI available today but it is still one of the best sci-fi flicks. There is something about the unseen versus all these slasher films of today where you see the blood and gore that makes a film frightening. I much prefer this film!
.....I hate clowns!!!! Is there anything more creepy?
First, I'd like to thank TCM for including this gem in their annual Oscar line-up! When I saw this film during it's original release, it REALLY scared me; I was 12-13 years old, and man! It made an impression! On the other hand, I also found it funny and touching; I adore the family here. Especially Craig T. Nelson (whom is highly under-rated as an actor) and Jo Beth Williams; I wished they were MY parents; they really felt like they belonged together. (I still can't forget the awful tragedy of Domonique Dunne (Dana) after this film wrapped; it really threw me then and still makes me sad now. I'm a huge fan of her brother, also under-rated, Griffin Dunne of 'An American Werewolf in London' fame). The other stand-out for me was Beatrice Straight ('Network') as Dr. Lesh; I found her so comforting. Watching it 30 years later, I have to admit I'm tickled that the people responsible for this film are Tobe Hooper--the man behind one of THE most nightmare-inducing films of my lifetime, 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', which preceded this by about five years--and Steven Spielberg, whom WROTE and produced! I wasn't even aware back then, but love it now. This film still holds up for me; sure, the effects are SO dated, and the story by todays standards may not frighten, but I still love this movie. I don't need buckets of blood and an insane chainsaw-wielding in-bred rube (though very effective from Tobe; every other knock-off falls short)...it's what you CAN'T see that terrifies me...this wasn't a haunted house--this was a nice, brand-new neighbourhood! Genius. The entire scene withe the hungry tech-guy, Marty.....ugh. Have never been able to get past the maggot thing...all in all, you can't beat a good ghost/haunting/paranormal story...and the characters here really hit it home (Zelda Rubenstein? Great facet to the tale). Well done.
I remember when I first saw this movie and I was very frightened by it. It seems to go deeper than just the visual impact. There is a primal fear factor from the beginning that builds and develops over the span of the film. Audiences are more jaded these days so perhaps it is not as scary for them. I love Zelda Rubinstein and feel she was pivotal in making the film most interesting. The entire series of Poltergeist movies are rare fun for me.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies... LOVE IT! Especially the ending... Starting out on the "moving day"... You think "everything is over", then all hell breaks loose... Love JoBeth Williams as the heroic mom... :) Love when she finally gets to the top of the stairs (after the "ghoul pool"...) and it just grows and grows... Getting longer and longer... Not to mention when the house disappears into thin air after the family finally gets away! Try explaining THAT one to your insurance company... HAHA! In fact, they "poke fun" at it in part 2 when they're filling out the insurance papers for the house... :) I watch this movie everytime it plays on TV and thoroughly enjoy it each time... :)
- Patwell James
This alleged horror classic, to me, is simply too silly and cartoonish to be taken seriously. The whole thing plays like a kid-safe version of The Amityville Horror. There are good ideas here, but the overuse of special effects and ridiculous plotlines kept me far from the edge of my seat. The acting is great, though.
Interesting. Mixed feelings on this one. Off the walls unbelievable in some ways, but compelling and thrilling in other ways. The touches of humor are a big plus, as are the lead performances. Chilling at times. I don't think it's impact today was a strong as it was in 1982.
Scariest PG of all time!
That clown That clown Very scary.
this movie is too scary