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Horror . Fantasy . Thriller

Craig T. Nelson stars as Steve Freeling, the main protagonist, who lives with his wife, Diane, and their three children, Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne, in Southern California where he sells houses for the company that built the neighborhood. It starts with just a few odd occurrences, such as broken dishes and furniture moving around by itself. However, a tree comes alive and takes Robbie through his bedroom window, and Carol Anne is abducted by ghosts. Realizing that something evil haunts his home, Steve calls in a team of parapsychologists led by Dr. Lesh to investigate, hoping to get Carol Anne back, so he can remove his family from the house before it's too late.

Actors: JoBeth Williams , Craig T. Nelson , Beatrice Straight , Heather O'Rourke , Dominique Dunne , Oliver Robins , Zelda Rubinstein , Martin Casella , James Karen , Robert Broyles
Directors: Tobe Hooper
Country: USA
Release: 1982-06-04
More Info:
  • Eric Henderson

    Poltergeist's most canny conceit is how it takes the concept of a haunted house—up to that point a gothic, remote icon (you practically had to accept a dare and then drive halfway across the state to ever find yourself in one)—and plops it in the middle of the most mundane of all possible locations: American suburbia.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Bill Cosford

    Poltergiest is no nonstop scream express; at times it pulls its punches (Spielberg wants that PG rating), and at times its effects are bigger than life and less than terrifying. But like Spielberg's Jaws, which was a perfect genre movie, Poltergeist does what it's supposed to do about as well as it can be done.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    Poltergeist proves closets are full of skeletons and scurrying ids. Hooper and company arouse childhood fears, teasing away adult defenses, making us hunker in our seats as the kids dive under the "Star Wars" sheets. It gives us the jeebies, third stage, without letting up, but spiritually, it's uplifting. [4 June 1982, p.13]

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Vincent Canby

    Poltergeist often sounds as if it had been dictated by an exuberant twelve-year-old, someone who's sitting by a summer campfire and determined to spin a tale that will keep everyone else on the edges of their knapsacks far into the night.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    A surprisingly yet successfully restrained lesson in how to haunt a house.

    Empire Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Poltergeist is an effective thriller, not so much because of the special effects, as because Hooper and Spielberg have tried to see the movie's strange events through the eyes of the family members, instead of just standing back and letting the special effects overwhelm the cast along with the audience.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Staff [Not Credited]

    Given the talents, Poltergeist is an annoying film because it could have been so much better.

    Variety Full Review
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