Apr 022012

Director: Tobe Hooper

Rating: PG

Running Time: 114 minutes

Release Date: June 4, 1982

Genre: Horror

Cast:Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson ), Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams) (JoBeth Williams ), Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight ), Dana Freeling (Dominique Dunne ), Robbie Freeling (Oliver Robins ), Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke ), Marty (as Marty Casella) (Martin Casella ), Ryan (Richard Lawson ), Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein )

Synopsis: The Freelings are a nice family living in a suburban house inCalifornia. Then, strange things start to happen in the house involving the youngest daughter, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), and culminate in her getting sucked into another dimension. The family can only communicate to her through the TV. They ask a team a team of parapsychologists and a spiritualist, Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) for help. In the end, there is a huge battle between the living and the dead and good and evil.

Analysis: In 1982 when Poltergeist was first out, I can remember that some critics said that it was a coarse and crude film with few good features. Over the past 30 years, it has had a chance to win more people over and now many would consider it a horror classic. I agree, but I was on its side from the beginning.

The film provides some good scares, like the evil clown doll and when the parapsychologist hallucinates that his face peels off. From it, I also have nightmares about falling in murky water and having corpses appear and drag me down. I think that is a pretty good accomplishment because I have become petty immune to scares like that over the years.


  • Hilarious remote control duel.

  • The music is great and sets the tone well.

  • Funny how the family treats the strange goings on as something to play with.

  • Looks on the parapsychologists’ faces are priceless when they see ghosts for the first time.

  • Very imaginative unearthly spirit monsters like the giant head and the spider ghost dog.


  • Some of the special effects are dated, especially those dealing with clouds.

  • The tree monster looks pretty fake.

  • Scene where Carol Anne gets sucked into her close looks pretty bad.

  • Strange unnecessary crotch shot of the mom when she is attacked on the bed.

Conclusion: This is a great movie that freaked me out when I was a kid. Watch it if you get a chance!


Frank’s Ratings






Special Effects


Would Watch Again?




Susan Tyrrell

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