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Poltergeist (1982)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  4 June 1982 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 92,111 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 311 user | 204 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Poltergeist (1982)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
...
...
...
...
Michael McManus ...
Virginia Kiser ...
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

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Spielberg worked on Poltergeist (1982) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) literally back to back. Principal photography on Poltergeist ended in August of 1981, then Spielberg took a few weeks off and began work on E.T. Spielberg also supervised the visual effects for both films simultaneously (which were produced at Industrial Light & Magic under the supervision of Richard Edlund and Dennis Muren). Once post production work on Poltergeist began in early 1982, Spielberg was in total control. He was responsible for the editing of the film (Spielberg's usual editor Michael Khan edited this film while Carol Littleton edited E.T), the final sound mixes and loops, the supervision of the visual effects, and the selection of Jerry Goldsmith as the composer of the score. Poltergeist and E.T opened to theaters nationwide only a week between each other during the summer of 1982, Poltergeist on June 4th and E.T. one week later on June 11th. Spielberg later said "If E.T. was a whisper, Poltergeist was a scream". See more »

Goofs

In the beloved breakfast scene with Diane and the kids, Diane's spatula appears and re-appears. When Robbie first says "Ask Dad!", Diane's right hand is firmly clasped around the plate of waffles. Then, in the next shot, she has the spatula in her hand again. 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 Star Spangled Banner, playing on the Freeling's TV set is heard over the initial opening credits. See more »

Connections

References The Evil Dead (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music based on "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith
Arranged by Arturo Toscanini
[Played as TV sign-off music several times]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Better than a 7.1
25 October 1999 | by (Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

Horror films often do not get their do, and the 7.1 rating for Poltergeist shows that this trend will most likely continue. Clearly an influential film by Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist reached for, and achieved, everything that the earlier Amityville Horror failed to be; namely, scary, credible, and well acted.

Poltergeist, in a nutshell, is a story of suburban California family that discovers the darker side of the American Dream when their youngest daughter, Carol Ann, makes contact with evil spirits through the family television set. "They're here", never fails to send chills down my spine as I recall seeing this film for the first time as a teenager.

Perhaps 10 to 15 more years will finally lend the credibility to this film to finally place it among the classics in modern horror cinema.


106 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
15 year old daughter, underwear and no brah? Old men hitting on her lol DreadFox
Anyone seen the remake? detataandrea
Whispering voices in the TV static? rilian-95781
A little perspective on the "who directed Poltergeist" question sgladwin
Okay I am on record as loving this movie LoneWolfArcher
Dana (the older daughter) may have an eating disorder albert-carpenter
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