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Poltergeist (1982)

 -  Horror  -  4 June 1982 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 75,773 users  
Reviews: 282 user | 167 critic

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

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Writers:

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

Poltergeist (1982) on IMDb 7.4/10

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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 ...
Marty (as Marty Casello)
...
...
...
Lou Perryman ...
Pugsley (as Lou Perry)
Clair E. Leucart ...
Bulldozer Driver (as Clair Leucart)
...
Jeff Shaw
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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:

They're here. 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:

Poltergeist  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$6,896,612 (USA) (4 June 1982)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

[WILHELM SCREAM] When the TV plays Go for Broke! (1951), one of the soldiers screams. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot immediately following the credit of "Directed by Tobe Hooper": Jeff Shaw on the bicycle pulls out of his drive-way (at the end of a cul-de-sac) on a bicycle with a crate of beer under his arm, and he turns left. Opposite the cul-de-sac is a yellow van parked in it's driveway. However after he turns left, there is no yellow van and the texture of the lawns are completely different. It is a different street. 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

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 »

Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Truly Unique Film
8 June 2004 | by (Vancouver, British Columbia) – See all my reviews

Poltergeist was one of the films of the 80s that many kids of that era remember renting when VCRs were already a very popular thing. Like The Exorcist, it has been embedded into our movie culture as one of the great scary movies.

This film has been credited as having great special effects. But what I love about this movie is that, like other Spielberg films, the FXs are not offered to us at the expense of the film. That is, the effects aren't used to cover up holes. This is very popular in movies today. With the advancement in computer technology, many filmmakers decide that they can write their script on a POST-IT note and fill in the missing pieces with million-dollar special effects. But Spielberg films do not do this. Even in films like Jurassic Park which was a special effects showcase, the computer technology did not cover for anything. It enhanced the film to make it absolutely spectacular.

Poltergeist seems to be in the same vein as JAWS in that the monster is not shown right off the bat. Though a film like this is intended to be far-fetched and exploding, it is done in such a way that we almost could believe that this is what a real haunting would be like. We don't see a slimy creature around every corner. Instead, fear of the unknown is used. And Spielberg was a genius in tapping into childhood fears. Clowns, trees, lightning, closets...genius! Because, though we all tend to grow out of our childhood fears, there is still something terrifying about looking at them as an adult.

A great concept and great acting come together to make a truly unique movie. The long-debated question as to whether Tobe Hooper (the film's credited director) actually directed much or whether Spielberg took over for most of it, has never been satisfied. However, the film seems to show more tones of Spielberg than anything.

See it. * * * 1/2 out of * * * *


53 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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