7.4/10
114,785
333 user 227 critic

Poltergeist (1982)

PG | | Horror, Thriller | 4 June 1982 (USA)
A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,578 ( 203)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Carrie (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Freeling family have a new house, but their troubles with supernatural forces don't seem to be over.

Director: Brian Gibson
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
The Omen (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Gremlins (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
The Evil Dead (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Carol Anne is staying with her aunt in a highrise building, and the supernatural forces that have haunted her previously follow her there.

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: Heather O'Rourke, Tom Skerritt, Nancy Allen
Scream (1996)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Martin Casella ...
...
...
...
Lou Perryman ...
Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart ...
Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
...
Jeff Shaw
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first real ghost story. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos diabólicos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,896,612 (USA) (4 June 1982)

Gross:

$76,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Diane opens the bedroom door and is met with a fearsome scream was the first to be filmed. See more »

Goofs

When Dana looks out the window at Steven rescuing Robbie from the tree, it is raining against the window and dark. In the next shot, she runs outside to witness the tornado vanishing and the rain has stopped and it is much brighter outside. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carol Anne: Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes. Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The initial end credits has the closing shot of the Holiday Inn as a backdrop. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Omen Legacy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Twisted Abduction
(uncredited)
Strings and Percussion Arranged by Chris Boardman
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Scary, chilling haunted house thriller makes for an exciting spookfest
15 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Horror films centering on ghosts haunting an average American family have dated back to the early age of Hollywood, arguably during the silent film era. Ever since then, many Hollywood directors have tried emulate the effective scare factor in films dealing with a family fighting against evil spirits. Some attempts have prevailed, others have fallen victim to dull, unscary duds. This haunted house horror flick directed by Tobe Hooper, the man behind the legendary 70s horror flick 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' is not only far from the latter category but still manages to hold up it's scare hallmark to this day. In this stellar 80s horror film, Hooper maintains a helping hand from legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg who not only serves as the screenwriter but also a co-producer with his frequent collaborator Frank Marshall to bloom a spine-chilling supernatural film that leaves you scooting at the edge of your seat. This film follows a family living in a suburban California neighborhood, the family consists of Diane Freeling (played by JoBeth Williams), her husband Steven (played by Craig T. Nelson), and their three children: 16-year old Dana (played by Dominique Dunne), middle child Robbie (played by Oliver Robins), and their youngest Carol Anne (played by Heather O'Hourke). When the family is unexpectedly visited by evil spirits and the youngest child is subsequently abducted, the family must acquire the help of an expert parapsychologist Tangina Barrons (played by Zelda Rubinstein) to save her.

When Tobe Hooper made 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' in 1974, he proved to have more than the potential to establishing a nerve-wracking atmosphere without feeling the need to rely heavily on gratuitous gore and stock characters; both of which made major trademarks in the horror genre during the 80s and 90s. Instead, he preserves a scary atmosphere not only through spooky imagery including a tree in the background that springs to life in a malevolent manner, and a sinister clown doll (though not with the scary facial features as Chucky in 'Child's Play') but also through effectively building suspenseful gravitas. And he successfully accomplishes this without relying on contrived jump scares. From the opening minutes of the ghost terrorizing the family, to the loud, hair-raising climax following the full-scale paranormal invasion of the house; the emotions of the characters can greatly be felt. Straight-out spook scares along with a grotesquely gruesome hallucination sequence in a bathroom are all Tobe Hooper has under his belt, he gracefully offers a few tongue-in-cheeks to deflate at least some of the horror. In terms of performances, the cast gives some alright performances as the Freeling family, but perhaps the most top-notch is the emotionally chilling portrayal of the parapsychologist Tangina Barrons by Zelda Rubinstein who provides some chilling substance and fear as the helping hand in their unpleasant predicament.

Poltergeist is an astonishing horror film achievement by Tobe Hooper, a heart-stopping horror flick that makes for an honest scare experience. Children are in danger throughout the picture, there is an explicit sense of terror that pushes it's PG-rating far over the edge (and possibly the PG-13 rating), and there are plenty of moement to make an average child (and teen) struggle to go to bed at night. Calling the horror film of the decade may feel a bit of an overstatement as it doesn't quite touch the pinnacle of the 80s horror genre. Nonetheless, it is a solid supernatural thriller that really works even to this day.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?