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
In the 'Ask Dad" scene: Just before Carol Anne starts to participate in the 'ask dad', she is just about to put a knife into her mouth with her right hand. Then, the knife is suddenly gone. 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.
See more »
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 »
Carol Anne's Theme
Choir Arranged and Conducted by Paul Samunovich
Orchestra by The London Symphony Orchestra
Choir by The Children's Educational Choir and Elin Carlson
Written, Music and Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
[The music plays over during the ending credits] See more »
I noticed that IMDb lists the release dates for films, and laughed here because I could never forget Friday, June 4, 1982, my last day in tenth grade, and about my tenth date with the exceptionally pretty and wonderful young lady I dated throughout most of high school. The weather was perfect, and I took my ladyfriend out for a nice lunch and a walk down Broadway in search of a movie. ET had been the hyped Spielberg film of that summer, but this one was already out, and the thought of a horrified hottie clinging to me for dear life (or vice versa) was irresistible. Poltergeist it was.
Like all Spielberg films, one will not find many weaknesses. The plot will be engaging, the visuals stunning, the acting excellent, and the overall experience first-class. This film did not disappoint.
The restrospectively amusing casting of Craig T. Nelson in the lead. Notable supporting cast include the late Dominique Dunne and the late Healther O'Rourke, both of whom would die tragically in 1988 and 1982, respectively, the earlier by domestic violence and the latter by illness. The loss to Hollywood is still felt to this day as each would likely have Oscars by now. The cast of competent, moderately known talents provided a strong yet muted substance to the special-effects stylings for which Spielberg became so famous.
As I settled in with my date to watch the film, I was equally enthralled both by her touch and the screen. From the moment O'Rourke uttered the to-this-day-chilling "They're here!!," through the amusing plot twist that explains the hauntings (a certain home developer forgot to do something with the gravesite that had previously existed on the land and apparently ticked off some spirits), though the death, destruction, and absolute terror experienced by the hapless protagonist family.
I will never again be fifteen, never again experience the deep cuts to the heart that come with teenage desire, never again wonder if maybe those horror movies could happen in real life, never again will experience the thrill of not having school or any other responsibilities for the next three months, and will never again be as vital or physically capable as I was so effortlessly back then, but to have had that even once, all at the same time, in the greatest city in the world, was absolutely awesome.
Whatever might have been wrong with my life at that age simply did not exist in that theater, during that film, with that date. Anything less than a perfect film would have spoiled what was literally a perfect day. It didn't.
65 of 93 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?