POLTERGEIST (1982) Reviews and overview


Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Tobe Hooper (The Funhouse; Eaten Alive; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One; JawsDuel). It is the first and most successful film of the Poltergeist film trilogy. The film’s score was written by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith (Psycho IIAlienThe Omen).

Set in a California suburb, the plot focuses on a family whose home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct the family’s youngest daughter.


The film was ranked as #80 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever made. The film also appeared at #84 on American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills, a list of America’s most heart-pounding movies.


Steven and Diane Freeling live a quiet life in a California planned community called Cuesta Verde, where Steven is a successful realtor and Diane is a housewife who cares for their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne.

Carol Anne awakens one night and begins conversing with the family’s television set, which has started transmitting static following a sign-off.

The following night, while the Freelings are sleeping, Carol Anne becomes fixated on the television set as it transmits static again. Suddenly, an apparition emerges from the television screen and vanishes into the wall, creating a violent earthquake within the house in the process, to which Carol Anne announces “They’re here.”…


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” …a film which draws you in, gooses you gleefully for two hours then spits you out the other side, quivering but happy. There’s nothing too nasty in this effects-packed ghost story – the odd face-rip, the occasional pop-up corpse – but the effect is more bracing and enjoyable than a hundred Hostel‘s.” Time Out

” …animated and sinister playthings, rotting corpses in the half-dug swimming pool, lots of bright lights (a Spielberg trademark), a few boo-shouting monsters and a plethora of parapsychological phenomena.spIt still holds the attention, but really could do with a stronger storyline, and one suspects that it’s not really serious about trying to be scary. For one thing, it may be the only successful horror film ever made in which no-one gets killed.” Empire



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Buy Eaten Alive at a Chainsaw Massacre: The Films of Tobe Hooper from Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

  • Craig T. Nelson as Steven Freeling
  • JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling
  • Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling
  • Dominique Dunne as Dana Freeling
  • Oliver Robins as Robbie Freeling
  • Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons
  • Beatrice Straight as Dr Lesh
  • Richard Lawson as Ryan
  • Martin Casella as Marty
  • James Karen as Mr Teague
  • Robert Broyles as Pool worker #1
  • Sonny Landham as Pool worker #2
  • Michael McManus as Ben Tuthill
  • Virginia Kiser as Mrs Tuthill

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