Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Written by Stephen Spielberg
Directed by Tobe Hooper

JoBeth Williams .... Diane Freeling
Craig T. Nelson .... Steve Freeling
Beatrice Straight .... Dr. Lesh
Dominique Dunne .... Dana Freeling
Oliver Robins .... Robbie Freeling
Heather O'Rourke .... Carol Anne Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein .... Tangina Barrons

Steve Freeling has moved his family into the town of Cueste Verde, a community that his company has helped to build. He himself is the top salesman of the surrounding real estate and is held in high esteem by his employers. The neighborhood seems very picturesque and Spielbergian (go figure), a white picket day dream. But when strange things begin happening in the Freeling household--the young Carol Anne carrying on conversations with the television, family pets dying, earth quakes completely isolated to their property line, furniture rearranging itself, etc.--it appears that some supernatural force has unloaded their own U-Haul trailer as well.

The spirits that haunt the Freeling household begin their hauntings in a playful manner, entertaining the family with their antics and practical jokes. Things quickly spiral out of control and it's not long before Carol Anne is sucked through a vortex that appears in her closet and taken to the Other Side. Desperate to get their daughter back, Mr. and Mrs. Freeling hire a team of psychic investigators to set up camp and bring her home. The poltergeists are more than the team bargained for and they in turn bring in the incredibly creepy Tangina Barrons, a psychic who has "cleansed" many houses in her time.

Tangina does her psychic mumbo jumbo and gives us all the chills as she bravely sends Mrs. Freeling where no man has gone before. The closet.

Finally! A movie that is as good today as I remember it being when I was a child. Hell, it's even better. Although there are no killings or fatalities in this film, the promise of these things seem just around the corner no matter how many times you've seen it. The overall feeling of this film is dread and unease, and normal everyday items all seem possessed by the unknown. The scene in which the investigators first come in contact with Carol Anne via the television is spooky as hell and capable of giving a grown man the chills. The acting is dead-on and you never doubt that the Freelings are in fact a familial unit. Sure, some of the special effects seem a bit cheesy by today's standards, but this film was made in 1982 and was ahead of its time by those standards.

This film is considered a classic for a reason. It's far and away one of the best ghost stories ever. Turn off the lights, curl up in the dark, and listen to the incoming storm.

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: Although Tobe Hooper is credited as the director, many people believe that most of the directorial work was done by Stephen Spielberg himself; On the television in one of the bedroom scenes is a 1943 movie called A Guy Named Joe, which Spielberg later remade as Always; Poltergeist was originally given an R rating but the filmmakers successfully protested and had it brought down to a gentler PG; So many strange and horrible events followed the cast of the Poltergeist series that many people have attributed them to a curse;

Rated PG
114 minutes
United States

"This house is clean."

1 comment:

  1. YAY! One of my top 5 gets a review. God I love this movie. I would show it to my kids, but I really don't want to stay up all night with them cause they're scared :)


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