Poltergeist
  • Poltergeist
  • Poltergeist

Poltergeist

4.3 21
Director: Tobe Hooper

Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight

     
 

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With Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hopper, Steven Spielberg had his first great success as a producer. Released around the same time as Spielberg's E.T., the film presents the dark side of Spielberg's California suburban track homes. The film centers on the Freeling family, a typical middle class family living in the peaceful Cuesta Verde Estates. The father,See more details below

Overview

With Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hopper, Steven Spielberg had his first great success as a producer. Released around the same time as Spielberg's E.T., the film presents the dark side of Spielberg's California suburban track homes. The film centers on the Freeling family, a typical middle class family living in the peaceful Cuesta Verde Estates. The father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), has fallen asleep in front of the television, and the dog saunters around the house revealing the other family members -- Steve's wife Diane (JoBeth Williams), sixteen-year-old daughter Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old son Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke). Soon strange things begin to happen around the house; the pet canary dies, mysterious storms occur, and Carol Ann is summoned to the TV set, where a strange shaft of green light hits her and causes the room to shake ("They're he-e-ere!"). As curious events continue, Carol Ann is repeatedly drawn to the television, where she begins to talk to "the TV people." Soon Carol Ann is sucked into a closet, disappearing from this reality plane. Unable to find his daughter, Steve consults Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight), a para-psychologist from a nearby college. Lesh finds that paranormal phenomena is so strong in the Freelong household she is unable to deal with it and sends for clairvoyant and professional exorcist Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) to examine the house in hopes of finding Carol Ann. Tangina makes a horrifying discovery: Carol Ann is alive and in the house, but is being held on another spectral plane.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
At a time when horror films focused on a rogues' gallery of masked slashers, Steven Spielberg took the road less traveled with Poltergeist, a classic haunted house tale set amid cookie-cutter homes and under picturesque suburban skies. The film follows the Freeling family's inevitable crumbling as an unearthly force transforms their home into a house of horrors, culminating with the disappearance of five-year-old Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke, who passed away upon completion of Poltergeist III). Spielberg's original script blends terror with comic relief, and the mind-blowing special effects of George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic help make the film more than a mere two hours of things going bump in the night. Spielberg even recruited The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Tobe Hooper to direct a cast of actors then unknown, including Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams. Upon opening in theaters, Poltergeist quickly became a cultural phenomenon, as the sight and sound of television static took on a whole new meaning and little Carol Anne's cry, "They're here!" became the catchphrase for 1982 and beyond.
All Movie Guide
Though directed by Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist is most often thought of as a Steven Spielberg movie, with all of the hallmarks of a Spielberg film: impressive effects, snappy pacing, and a child-like sense of wonder and horror. At the time, the director was juggling the haunted-house project with the more personal E.T., and cult horror director Hooper was called in to helm. Legend has it that Spielberg had his fingers in just about every decision, and even directed some of the scenes himself, leaving the job's technical aspects to Hooper. Spielberg would eventually be credited as co-producer and co-screenwriter. Poltergeist is clearly more akin to Spielberg's E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind than to Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Eaten Alive. It's a very engaging film, thanks to Jo Beth Williams's solid performance and the slick, chilling effects by Industrial Light and Magic.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2008
UPC:
0012569798496
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:54:00
Sales rank:
11,878

Special Features

New Digital Transfer from Regenerated Picture Elements; Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists Revealed ; Documentary in 2 parts: Science of the Spirits and Communing with the Dead

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Craig T. Nelson Steve
JoBeth Williams Diane
Beatrice Straight Dr. Lesh
Dominique Dunne Dana
Oliver Robins Robbie
Heather O'Rourke Carol Anne
Zelda Rubinstein Tangina
Martin Casella Marty
Richard Lawson Ryan
Michael McManus Tuthill
Virginia Kiser Mrs. Tuthill
James Karen Teague
Jane Feinberg Actor
Mike Fenton Actor
Clair E. Leucart Actor
Jeff Bannister Actor
Lou Perry Pugsley
Dirk Blocker Jeff Shaw
Allan Graf Neighbor
Joseph Walsh Neighbor
Noel Conlon Husband
Robert Broyles Pool Worker #1
Sonny Landham Pool Worker #2
William Vail Implosion Man
Philip Stone Football Announcer

Technical Credits
Tobe Hooper Director
Richard Edlund Special Effects Supervisor
Jane Feinberg Casting
Mike Fenton Casting
Cindy Folkerson Stunts
Donna Garrett Stunts
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Michael Grais Screenwriter
Bruce Green Editor
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
Bob Herron Stunts
Dennis E. Jones Production Manager
Michael Kahn Editor
Cheryal Kearney Set Decoration/Design
Pat Kehoe Asst. Director
Kathleen Kennedy Associate Producer
Ann Lambert Costumes/Costume Designer
Matthew Leonetti Cinematographer
Marci Liroff Casting
Frank Marshall Producer
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
L.J. Mower Costumes/Costume Designer
Dorothy Pearl Makeup
Craig Reardon Makeup Special Effects
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Felix Silla Stunts
James Spencer Production Designer
Steven Spielberg Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Mark Victor Screenwriter
Chuck Waters Stunts
George Wilbur Stunts
Bob Yerkes Stunts

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