Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Movie Review: "Poltergeist" (1982)

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Movie: "Poltergeist"
Director: Tobe Hooper
Year: 1982
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Steve Freeling (Craig T Nelson) is a real estate agent living with his wife Diane (JoBeth Williams) and their kids, Dana (Dominique Dunne), Robbie (Oliver Robins), and Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke); they live in a home built by the real estate development company where Steve works. Out of nowhere one day, his family starts being haunted by a poltergeist. The haunting starts out harmless enough with some objects moving about on their own or lights flickering. That all changes one night when a massive storm hits and his youngest daughter Carol Anne is sucked into a vortex that presumably leads to the netherworld where the ghosts exist. After taking their daughter, the poltergeist becomes more aggressive, and the Freeling family enlists the help of Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight), and her team of paranormal investigators to try to figure out how to get their daughter back.

"Theeeey'rrrreee Heeeerrrreeee!!"

While most horror movies rely on blood and guts and gore, this movie deals out its horror through spooky noises, eerie imagery, and sensationalism...that, and a clown doll...a really, really creepy clown doll....Mood is extremely important in this movie, and watching it in the dark makes it a thousand times better. Heather O'Rourke's performance here is outstanding for such a young child, and it's a shame that she died so young.
(SEE, MORE KIDS BEING WEIRD AND CREEPY!) There is some comedy in this film, and some of the special effects are a bit dated, but it doesn't take away from the downright eeriness the movie as a whole. It's rated PG, but may be rated PG-13 by nowadays standards.

It's one of my favorite Halloween/horror movies. It's a haunted house movie, and yet it seems as if it's so much more. It will most certainly be lost on the youth of today because they might not even know what white noise is, or what the end of a broadcast day entails (IE: ME, I had no idea it existed), rendering parts of it ineffective, almost. It seems like there is so much need to make movies that are increasingly more gory and bloody and gross, and since this movie doesn't have very much of that, some may pass it by entirely.

We think it's a classic, and a good one to watch on Halloween day (also, safe for kids to watch, minus THAT DAMN CLOWN).

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!


  1. This is another of my absolute favorite Halloween-y classics. And I love that it's not all shock-factor-gore. I like movies that are *SCARY* not endless blood and gore. As the old saying goes, "Less is more."


    1. Completely agreed on all fronts! Movies don't need to be gory and gross to be scary. This movie is perfectly creepy without a ton of blood!