All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
A poltergeist invades a family home. What begins as minor excitement quickly turns into nasty ghostly encounters.
When October rolls around most people feel this urge to fill the month with horror films and I am absolutely supportive of this need! While I feel the need to fill my entire year [life] with horror films, I find that October is a time to revisit the films I have always loved, films which aren't just nostalgia-inducing but rather comforting in their familiarity. Poltergeist was released exactly one year and two days before I was born, so it is quite obvious that I grew up with this movie. There is something about Poltergeist which I never tire of, it has to be one of the most re-watchable movies I have ever seen (repeatedly, for 30 years).
One of the…
This is perhaps one of the best easy-access horror films ever made. While it never gets really scary, it does have a sense of eeriness and looming threat that makes it a riveting viewing experience.
The child's perspective betrays Spielberg's involvement, but he puts it to good use. Child involvement in horror films has been done so many times, but here the child represents a kind of innocence, whereas they usually are treated as the source of evil in films of this irk. And little Carol Anne has become nothing short of iconic.
It is by no means a perfect film, but certain scenes and sequences are simply engraved in a collective psyche of people who watched it back in…
I have only previously seen Poltergeist all the way through once, and that was over 15 years ago and I assume on a pan-and-scan VHS tape. The film is deeply ingrained in my experience of growing up in the 80's, but I have no real nostalgia for it. So being able to revisit it now, in its intended format and a super crisp HD stream, was a total revelation.
Firstly, the film looks absolutely amazing. I know everyone claims that Steven Spielberg essentially directed this, but Tobe Hooper's follow-up to this, Lifeforce, also is a fantastic looking movie. So, you know, think about that for a while.
There is no denying that Spielberg's script is what sets Poltergeist apart from…
This is an iconic film from my youth, one that inspired me to love film and scared the crap out of me. It's a movie that gave me nightmares as a kid.
Settling in to start this movie, I realized that the concept of television turning off for the night is probably completely lost to a youthful viewer today. Would the snow that was common of television station late into the night be apparent to a viewer accustomed to hundreds of 24 hour channels? The Star-Spangled Banner would play, and the "end of television" for that day would begin.
From the beginning I will go straight to the end. The poltergeist itself is a result of building the home on…
There is still an awe-factor to watching this film 30 years later. It's pure Spielberg, and Spielberg was at his zenith of power in 1982, so his fingerprints are everywhere to be found. His first concern is wowing you, and he brings the thunder, defining 80s supernatural horror with dozens of iconic moments. It's fun to imagine how radically different it certainly would have been had it been only Tobe Hooper involved, or solely directed by Spielberg himself. The blended result doesn't feel like a compromise, but a ghost story full of ridiculous imagery, and often to its detriment. It's not the special effects, I think they hold up very charmingly. The execution of some of the haunting moments feel…
Poltergeist is a classic ghost story that, thanks to a perfect mix of Spielberg and Tobe Hooper, feels much larger in scope than it should while still focusing on the small details of a haunted house tale.
It's full of memorable and now iconic imagery, which along with the generally excellent practical effects and the slow, creeping camerawork make it fantastic visually. It's cut-and-dry haunted house plot would normally be criticised for being cliched, but a) it basically made the cliches, and b) it executes them better than any other similar story I've seen. It's exciting and creepy but never out and out terrifying, making this a widely accessible 'horror film'.
Poltergeist has obviously influenced many films we now see today, and despite not being a perfect film, is a real gem. And for some reason I kept being reminded of 'Aliens' when I watched it?
Holy shit! Why did it took me 25 years to watch this? Can someone tell me why? Please?
This was really going for me. Too bad they ruined it in the second half.
Produced and co-written (and some would say secretly authored) by Spielberg, pleasantly scored by Jerry Goldsmith, and hiding a chipper "family first" theme under horror trappings, POLTERGEIST certainly doesn't amount to the scariest film ever made. It's actually sort of lame, especially when compared to Spielberg's other film that same year, ET, released a week later. A family loyalty drives both, but the sci-fi intrigues on top of them -- an alien invader/pet or a TV-centric supernatural curse -- have starkly different aims and different levels of success. ET was a dark-dipped WIZARD OF OZ fantasia about mystical loneliness; POLTERGEIST tries for true, gruesome horror, and fails, leaving only some bloated and confusing string-heavy 'immature dead' thing in its place.
Poltergeist starts off so playful and then get so real so quick and I love it so much.
Holy crap, this was AMAZING. It felt so much like a Steven Spielberg movie (and reading up on it, a lot of people think he basically directed the whole thing while Tobe Hooper stood off to the side counting money like Gus Van Sant in Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season), and classic-era E.T.-Steven Spielberg to boot. So much so that the really gory bits felt a little out of place amongst all the magic and wonder.
That bit where the mum’s going into the light after her daughter and wind and light is swirling all around and Zelda Rubinstein is shouting in her little wee voice… beyond epic. God-damn no-kidding movie magic.
Oh man, I was not expecting such…
The American suburbs in the 1980s in one of my favourite places to visit, especially when it comes from the mind of Speilberg. Whilst establishing the life of the family the haunted house elements are slowly introduced. The family always feel real which is why when the horror starts it's believable and so effective. The title and premise suggest a horror film but for the majority of the film I was reminded more of Close Encounters, where normal people just have to deal with an extraordinary situation. There are scares but not too many which only makes them more effective. Towards the end things become more chaotic and the film slides more into horror but it is an enjoyable theme park style ride which feels fully deserved after everything that precedes it.
When POLTERGEIST works it REALLY works, and fortunately most of the movie fires on all cylinders. The biggest problem with The film happens to be the same problem many of these Spielberg produced films from the '80s did. The problem is that they attempt to replicate the tone and the style of Spielberg, and it often serves to highlight the fact that these filmmakers just aren't in the same category. Spielberg is an absolute master of tone, a filmmaker who can move seamlessly through beats of terror, grand adventure, comedy, and sentimentality without ever losing the audience. To be Hooper just doesn't have that same ability. The elements of horror and comedy in this work really well, but the more sentimental stuff comes across as cloying and largely false.
Again, though, most of what this movie sets out to do it accomplishes, it just might have benefitted from not being forced into Spielberg's shadow.
#58 of Top 100 Best Horror Films
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- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- The Shining
- The Thing
- The Exorcist
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