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Poltergeist (1982)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  4 June 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 97,464 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 318 user | 213 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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


It knows what scares you. 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?


When Diane is in the bed with Steve talking about Carol Anne's behavior talking to the TV, Steve takes a book in his hands. This book is "Reagan: The Man, the President", published in 1981 and written by Hedrick Smith, Adam Clymer, Leonard Silk, Robert Lindsey and Richard Burt, all they correspondents of The New York Times at this time. See more »


When Diane enters the portal in the closet, the bedroom is filled with a strong wind, but the curtains behind her are motionless. 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 The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror (1990) 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

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.

108 of 140 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
Does the ending cemetery reveal make sense? Domzer
What happened to the dog? tapio_hietamaki
Whispering voices in the TV static? rilian-95781
Anyone seen the remake? detataandrea
Twilight Zone "Little Lost Girl" 1962 original idea for Poltergeist? teresah233
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