Poltergeist (1982) Movie Review

Poltergeist (1982) Poster

Poltergeist (1982)

1982 | R | Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
114 minutes / 1h 54min

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Poltergeist Plot Synopsis:

A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they "kidnap" the youngest daughter.

Poltergeist (1982) Review

Poltergeist (1982) is an American supernatural thriller horror movie that I have watched over 15 times. Director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Salem’s Lot (1979)) did an incredible job executing Steven Spielberg‘s screenplay. Poltergeist (1982) is the most successful entry in the Poltergeist film series. Poltergeist (1982) was named the 20th scariest film ever made by the Chicago Film Critic Association and was ranked #80 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Several people believed that the Poltergeist set is cursed because many individuals who worked on the Poltergeist franchise prematurely died from various reasons. The movie contains moving trees, moving furniture and real skeletons on set during filming.

Poltergeist revolves around malevolent ghosts that abduct the Freeling’s youngest daughter in Orange County, California. Steven Freeling (Craig T. Nelson - The Incredibles (2004), Coach (1989), The Proposal (2009)) and his wife Diane (JoBeth Williams) live in Cuesta Verde community. Steven is a successful real estate developer that was on site while Cuesta Verde was being built. Diane takes care of their children Dana (Dominique Dunne), Robbie (Oliver Robins), and Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke). It did not take long to see the paranormal activities in this movie. I was glued to the TV every time I watched this movie although I know exactly what was going to happen. Carol Anne wakes up one night and freakishly began talking with the TV that is transmitting static waves. Things went seriously wrong after Carol Anne did the same thing the night after, and an apparition comes out of the TV. Soon after there was an earthquake and Carol Anne said in the creepiest voice ever “They’re here”.

Bizarre paranormal activities start taking place in the Freeling’s home. The most horrifying one is when Carol Anne got sucked into a portal in her closet while her brother was being rescued from a haunted moving tree in their backyard. The family called a group of parapsychologists to investigate the matter and discovered that they have more than one apparition/ghost to deal with. Steven soon found out that their home is built on an old cemetery, and the corpse was not taken care of as planned. Spiritual medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein - Anguish (1987), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)) was called into the Freeling’s home. She told them that the ghost are not stable/not resting because they had their home taken away from them. A demon (actually a really malevolent spirit of a man--trying not to spoil this) known as the "Beast" has taken hostage of Carol Anne to gain control of the spirits/ghost. There is so much more to the movie, but I am not going to spoil the rest of the movie. It is truly one of the best horror movies I grew up with and still watch from time to time - at least once a year.

I did not find anything bad about this movie. The movie was an excellent watch for me in the 1980-1990’s and still is an excellent watch today. I did not find any plot holes or blemishes in this movie. The actors all did a phenomenal job with their roles. The music was eerie, and that made it compelling for me to not take my eyes off the screen. The cinematography was awesomely done, and the sets were spectacular.

  • Poltergeist Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 10
  • Overall Score: 8.68
  • IMDB: 7.4
  • MetaCritic: 7.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 8.6

About Poltergeist 1982

Title: Poltergeist
Year: 1982
Runtime: 114 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Score: 5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 4.34/5 stars from 124,546 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 124,546
MPAA Rating: R
Poltergeist Cast Starring: James Karen, Craig T. Nelson, Zelda Rubinstein, Allan Graf, Heather O'Rourke, Dirk Blocker, Fred Rogers, Joseph Walsh, JoBeth Williams, Robert Broyles, Sonny Landham, Jeffrey Bannister, Oliver Robins, William Vail, Phil Stone, Barry Nelson, Lou Perryman, Helen Baron, Noel Conlon, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Craig Simmons, Michael McManus, Virginia Kiser, Martin Casella, Dana Gendian, Richard Lawson, Jaimi Gendian, Clair E. Leucart
Poltergeist Writers: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Poltergeist Director: Steven Spielberg, Tobe Hooper
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
Language: English
Country: USA