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Overall Rating
4.35

Awesome63.64%
Worth A Look: 19.48%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad: 3.9%
Total Crap: 3.9%

2 reviews, 65 user ratings


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Poltergeist (1982)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Who doesn't love Poltergeist?"
5 stars

Come on, the kid gets sucked into the TV...that one goon eats maggots, then peels his own face off...that big, strange 'orifice' closet monster...that evil toy clown...and the swimming pool full of...something. It's a classic modern haunted house movie, transplanted into the suburbs. Enjoy.

Please tell me in what capacity Poltergeist does not entertain. The suburbanites are all pretty darn cool, especially those hip parents, smoking joints late at night after putting the kiddies to bed. (Yeah, suburbia, take that.) The kids are less annoying than usual in...well...nearly every movie ever made. There are a few brilliant glimpses of satire, like the scene with the remote controls changing the neighbor's channels, or the dad trying to ride a bike with a couple of six-packs under each arm. It's obvious that Spielberg had considerably more here input than as 'executive director'.

Things start going wacky in the Freling household, with chairs sliding around, and a mini-tornado in the kids' bedroom. They wise up after their youngest daughter is sucked into a TV and decide to call some authentic-looking university Ghostbuster types. Then Tangina shows up. The diminutive actress Zelda Rubenstein is simply great. She looks and sounds pretty silly, but she plays it straight and delivers a fun performance.

'Director' Tobe Hooper piles the 'good parts' one on top of another, especially towards the end. The ghosts and monsters and delsuions that start popping up are harsh enough for the horror fans, yet just mild enough for the kids to appreciate without freaking out. A true rarity: An excellent 'Hollywood' horror movie.

Perhaps a subtle poke in the chops to suburban living and consumerism, but forget all that and bring on the ghosts. There's scares galore and plenty of real creepy stuff to keep you into it. (P.S. Avoid the sequels like you would red, flaming syphillis.)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1385&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/20/99 16:41:14
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell OVERRATED NEVER WAS SCARY IMHO 1 stars
10/13/13 David H. spooky, well-crafted, non-PC creepfest 5 stars
3/23/13 MILT MALKIN Eh. Outdated. Too family friendly to be scary. 2 stars
12/11/12 Mindy Overrated. 1 stars
6/21/11 art A Plethora OF TERROR! 4 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles ONE OF THE BEST 5 stars
11/01/10 Simon Supremely entertaining. amazing how modern horror still gets it so wrong, w/stuff like this 5 stars
11/22/09 Andoc This is the best ghost film made in modern times, a true masterpiece of its genre 5 stars
5/13/09 Nick Everything about this movie is flawless! Ive seen it about 8 times already! 5 stars
1/30/09 MP Bartley Clearly more Spielberg than Hooper, but gets the balance between scares and thrills perfect 5 stars
10/03/08 Jesse This film is hair raisingly intense and creepy. 5 stars
10/03/08 Dr.Lao Alot of noise, alot of flash, but that's about it 3 stars
8/22/08 PAUL SHORTT SKILFUL AND SCARY 3 stars
6/14/07 Vincent Ebriega If "Poltergeist" wasn't made, no ghost story today would be frightening. 5/5 5 stars
12/05/06 Stephanie I love this movie! I'm almost obsessed with ghosts and extremely obessed with horror films! 5 stars
8/16/06 anthonyuk i absolutely love this film, one of my all time favourites 5 stars
6/08/06 Sugarfoot Very suspenseful horror movie, also eerie coincidences add in some creepiness. 4 stars
12/03/05 cody a cool supernatural ghost story with scary and freaky effects, good acting 4 stars
10/12/05 Tom Burns creepy stuff. check it out. 4 stars
5/10/05 Indrid Cold Good horror/fantasy. Not particularly scary, but the last 30 minutes don't dissapoint. 4 stars
3/14/05 Ronin As a kid I was so scared after seeing this movie that I wished I didn't see it at all 5 stars
2/02/05 ralph a true movie expert 32 yrs old this is argueably the best ever ghost movie 5 stars
8/20/04 Joe Criteser The Freling family is so REAL, and that's why this film works so well. The acting is great! 5 stars
7/01/04 American Slasher Goddess Creepy, great acting and well directed, one of the best modern day haunted house movies. 5 stars
3/09/04 Jenna This movie was two hours of wasted potential. A lot of stupidity. 3 stars
1/23/04 polyana great movie, scared me half to death. tears for heather o'rourkey she was so cute 5 stars
12/10/03 Samuel frightening! its only rated pg, because pg-13 didn't come out till 84' 5 stars
11/30/03 john a bit sappy at times but scarier than you might expect 4 stars
11/18/03 Nikki Jean Theophobia creepy, funny and the most bewildering "when trees attack" sequence 5 stars
8/31/03 DHite Good, although not that scary. Story worked very well 4 stars
7/30/03 Jake Noone sees this film being lame? Why does the mother trust the house to shower at the end? 2 stars
6/02/03 GMan scared the shit out of me...especially the final scene of the house... 5 stars
4/11/03 Andrew Carden Razzle Dazzle Visuals and Superb Performances. Rubenstein Is Chilling As The Psychic. 5 stars
2/07/03 Turtle A totally awesome horror film! One of the best. And Craig T. Nelson is a bonus, too! 5 stars
11/25/02 Charles Tatum Scared me poopless 5 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 Scarred me as a child. Fear the clown! 5 stars
9/21/02 I Can't Swim Should have been over after "This house is clean" scene 3 stars
6/16/02 R.W. Welch Effectively done supernatural thriller with decent writing. 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver I walked home from the cinema and was afraid of the trees. 5 stars
1/26/02 murat the movie loses it's control still average it could have been better 3 stars
12/02/01 stoner73 pretty crappy 2 stars
11/12/01 Kenneth E. Carper Best fuckin' haunted house movie ever! And if anyone says any different he's an asshole!!!! 5 stars
10/10/01 Andrew Carden I Loved It FRom Beginning To End, Scary and Chilling. 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith "God is in his holy temple!" ..."Carol Ann!!!!!" 5 stars
9/03/01 I love movies laughably silly and awful, bad acting, bad effects, and no story 1 stars
8/14/01 Der Geist WHAT'S HAPPENING??? To me it's the best what happened in the 80s cinema 5 stars
8/07/01 E-Funk The best of its kind. A masterpiece in every respect, truly frightening and heart-felt. 5 stars
7/31/01 Stewart To me, the best horror film of the '80s. A roller-coaster ride. 5 stars
7/06/01 Genghiz Tanghe pretty tense and cute at parts 4 stars
6/14/01 Gary A great take on childhood paranoia, but there are too many characters & plot loses its way. 3 stars
6/03/01 Erik North Ranks right up there with THE SHINING as the top horror film of the 80s. 5 stars
6/02/01 Wesley Tuttle Scary as Hell 5 stars
5/07/01 Matthew Belanger Everything in the movie was perfectly done, especially the chosen house! 5 stars
3/15/01 Lisa A truly awesome and terrifying classic! Look out for THE TREE! OH GOD THE TREEEEEEE!!!! 5 stars
2/09/01 Dark Sol A must see 5 stars
1/16/01 Karlee Pretty good early 80's horror movie. Great cast, good plot. 4 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Frightfully enjoyable and definitely scary. 4 stars
12/17/00 The Evil Penguin your average horror film 3 stars
4/11/00 the Grinch Heyzeus Christos, people, even Spielberg says Tobe was responsible visually! Givem a break! 5 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski The best horror movie of all time...DELIVERS THE GOODS!!!! 5 stars
2/10/00 Matthew Bartley Very good and spooky 5 stars
11/11/99 Ralf Behet Manages to deliver. Not a great film, but certainly watchable. 4 stars
7/10/99 Ben Leostein Rating: *** (out of ****) Category: "Very Good" 4 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Great film. More Spielberg than Hooper. Hmmmm. 4 stars
11/27/98 Lord Of The Dunce A really ungory horror flick. Suspenseful, good. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Jun-1982 (PG)

UK
  16-Sep-1982 (15)

Australia
  06-Aug-1982 (M)




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