Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor (Screenplay)
Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Michael McManus
Plot: A family’s home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.
Tagline – Some things have to be believed to be seen.
Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Classic Horror
Story: Poltergeist starts as the Freeling family Steve (Nelson), Diane (Williams), Dana (Dunne), Robbie (Robins) and Carol (O’Rourke) who have moved into a new build, that Steve’s company has built. Robbie is struggling to deal with the strange shapes around the house at night, and Carol has started her sleepwalking again, talking to the static on the television.
The family soon find out they have a poltergeist that Diane sees as something friendly only for the events to become must more sinister, targeting the youngest members of the house, the family must figure out how to save their family, where they only learn more troublesome truths about the house, turning to Dr Lesh (Straight) to study what is going on.
Thoughts on Poltergeist
Characters – Steve is the real estate agent that has been selling the house on the new land, he moved his own family into one to show just how confident he is in the neighbourhood and does what ever concerned father would do once the haunting start. Diane is the wife and mother, she plays with the ghosts first thinking it is a harmless haunting, but when things get serious, she won’t leave the house until she gets her daughter back. Dr Lesh is the one that is hired to study the hauntings, she sets up the tests to figure out what is happening and prepares the family for the test they will be facing. Dana is the oldest daughter in the family, she is dealing with being a teenager with ease and must look after Robbie while the rest of the family deal with the hauntings.
Performances – Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams as the parents are both great through, they show the concern and worries they might not find their daughter. Beatrice Straight does bring the confident figure to life, while also showing the fear she sees in the house. The child stars are strong too through the film.
Story – The story here follows a family that’s new dream home turns into a nightmare when it turns out it is haunted by vengeful spirits forcing them to confront the spirits before losing their family. This is the original haunted house to a new level story, it spins what was designed before with an old house with history being haunted, to a brand-new house being the events of the hauntings, one that wouldn’t be filled with murder or history. This does help the events of the story seem scarier and gives it an original side too because it shows that anybody could be the ones getting haunted.
Horror – The horror in the film is hauntings, we start with friendly ones which seem harmless and soon become deadly as the children are being targeted, the final act will bring the most horror to the whole film.
Settings – The film uses the brand-new house build for the main setting, this helps because it changes everything we should know about haunting houses.
Special Effects – The effects are great considering this came out in 1982, they don’t look terribly like certain horror films since this.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror film that has stood the test of time and will be remembered as one of the best of the 80’s.
Overall: Brilliant Horror