A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorize the family before they “kidnap” the youngest daughter.
Our Thoughts on Poltergeist (1982)
There are many movies on this year’s challenge that do not hold up well over the decades. Poltergeist is such a good movie and after watching it for the first time in several years it still hold up very well.
It is hard to believe that this movie came out in 1982 when I was just 11 years old. Like many of the scary movies in what is arguably the golden age of horror, this movie is equal parts nostalgia and good fun.
In 1982, Steven Spielberg pulled off an incredible feat. In June of that year, Spielberg released two films only weeks apart that were both highly successful yet diversely different in both subject matter and their target audiences. One went on to become the highest grossing film of all-time (E.T.), the other spawned a franchise (Poltergeist).
Poltergeist had a screen credit of being directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), but history has revealed that it was Spielberg’s vision, editing and overall command of the shooting that was really behind the making of this extraordinary film. Poltergeist brought back the traditional haunted house genre that lay dormant and restless since The Amityville Horror in 1979. You could say then, that this movie (mainstream) and Friday the 13th Part 1 is what truly kicked off of the decade of fear.
7.5 out of 10
Both of the terrors that plague Robbie came from Steven Spielberg’s own fears as a child: a fear of clowns and a tree outside his window.
Drew Barrymore was considered for the role of Carol Anne, but producer Steven Spielberg wanted someone more angelic. It was Barrymore’s audition for this role, however, that landed her the part of Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). The same year release.
Real human skeletons were used in the swimming pool scene, since the crew decided it would be too complicated and expensive to get fake ones. JoBeth Williams was not made aware of this until after the scene was finished.
Dominique Dunne (Dana Freeling) and Heather O’Rourke (Carol Anne Freeling) are buried in the same cemetery: Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. On October 30, 1982, Dunne was strangled by her ex-boyfriend in the driveway of her West Hollywood home. She died on November 4 at the age of 22 having never regained consciousness. On February 1, 1988, O’Rourke died of intestinal stenosis at the age of 12.