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Poltergeist (1982)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  4 June 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 95,543 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 315 user | 209 critic | 7 from

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


From a dimension beyond the living, a terror to scare you to death. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos diabólicos  »

Box Office


$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$76,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to William Finley he was originally cast as Marty but replaced before filming. See more »


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 »


[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

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 »


Referenced in Witchcraft 8: Salem's Ghost (1996) See more »


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

A Classic of the Horror Genre
22 September 2015 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the Cuesta Verde suburb, in California, the real state agent Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) lives a comfortable life with his wife Diane (Jobeth Williams) and their children Dana (Dominique Dunne), Robbie (Oliver Robins) and Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke). Now Steve has decided to build a swimming pool for the family. One night, the Freelings witness Carol Anne talking to the static in their television set and telling that they are here. On the following days, the family witnesses weird events in their house and Carol Anne vanishes. Steve and Diane visit the parapsychologist Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight) from the university and she goes with her team to the Freelings' house. Soon she realizes that the family is living a poltergeist phenomenon. Further, Steve has a conversation with his chief Mr. Teague (James Karen) and learns that the community was built on a former cemetery. Will they be capable to retrieve Carol Anne from the demon that is holding the little girl?

"Poltergeist" is a horror movie written and produced by Steven Spielberg but directed by Tobe Hooper due to the contract of Spielberg of exclusivity while making "E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial" film. "Poltergeist" can be considered a classic of the horror genre, with an original story of haunted house. There are two sequels and one remake of this movie but none of them comparable to the original film. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Poltergeist: O Fenômeno" ("Poltergeist: The Phenomenon")

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Does the ending cemetery reveal make sense? Domzer
It just doesn't feel right bbadfish
15 year old daughter, underwear and no brah? Old men hitting on her lol DreadFox
What happened to the dog? tapio_hietamaki
Whispering voices in the TV static? rilian-95781
Anyone seen the remake? detataandrea
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