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.
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
Heather O'Rourke was chosen for the film when she was eating lunch with her mother and sister at an MGM commissary. Steven Spielberg came up to them and wanted O'Rourke for the part of Carol Anne. She initially failed the screentest because she kept laughing her way through the audition, even when she was supposed to be afraid. Spielberg thought she was too young to take the part seriously, but he still recognized something special in her, so he asked her to come back for another audition, and this time, bring a scary storybook with her. He also asked her to scream, so she screamed and screamed until she started crying. This audition got her cast as Carol Anne. See more »
During the initial investigation, when the ghost comes down the staircase, nothing appears on the monitor, but when reviewed, the tape does appear to have captured the incident. This is part of ghost lore. See more »
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.
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After the credits and the logo of the MGM lion is shown, we hear children laughing. Fans of the film have assumed that the laughing children are those who have been released from the beast and have crossed over the threshold into the next life. See more »
"Poltergeist" is Steven Spielberg's vision of a ghost story, and a great one at that. This is an outstanding movie in every way possible. It has terrific acting, a good story to tell, a nice sense of humor, and astonishing special effects. Plus when I first saw this film, it was pretty scary.
"Poltergeist" tells the story of a suburban family living in a small town in California who's home is abruptly invaded by supernatural forces who are anything but friendly, and proceed to terrorize the entire clan. This is a movie that plays like a roller-coaster ride, and once it gets going it never stops.
Tobe Hooper, who directed the original 1974 cult classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", was picked by Spielberg to direct "Poltergeist". He does a fine job of creating scares and tension, even though rumors were floating around that writer/producer Spielberg actually stepped in and directed some of the film (Spielberg went on to say that Hooper was the director of "Poltergeist" even though Spielberg was very much involved with this film from start to finish). To me, it doesn't matter who directed it. This is still an excellent horror movie. Spielberg did a great job as writer/producer, and even if he had directed the whole movie it would still be as good. JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are wonderful as the head of the Freeling family, with Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, and Heather O'Rourke equally good as their kids. The late Oscar-winning actress Beatrice Straight ("Network") scores points as a parapsycologist investigating the hauntings, and Zelda Rubinstein steals scenes as the mysterious clairvoyant brought in to "clean house". The acting is great, but it's the Oscar-nominated special effects that dominate. Wow! This horror film is a must-see!
***** (out of five)
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