Poltergeist (1982) - Horror, Thriller

Hohum Score



A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke
Length: 114 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 32 out of 363 found boring (8.81%)

One-line Reviews (180)

Enjoyable popcorn horror from Tobe Spielberg.

Now living with her Aunt and Uncle (including a worryingly tactile Tom Skerritt), the constant "mirror" motif this one flags up is unsettling at first, repetitive after the first fifty billion times.

In conclusion:Pros:+Some truly scary scenes+Fun concept and enjoyable characters+That freaking clown+The last 20 minutes+Good characters...

A very entertaining and chilling 114 minutes, with one of Jerry Goldsmith's best scores to cap it off.

Intense terror .

predictable monsters .

The story is told with an even distribution of character development and mind boggling action sequences.

It gets really intense and action packed, and I loved it.

There are many decent (and overlooked) ghost stories out there to discover, don't waste your time on this fairy-tale.

Poltergeist is one of the most thrilling films ever made!

Exciting, suspenseful, great story, acting, effects, and music score.

"Poltergeist" is one hell of a thrilling horror flick that I can watch anytime.

These are just my own irks, and these are only likely to come from dedicated film/horror fans - because the most part, regular film goers wouldn't be too bothered about these kinds of things - because the story itself is entertaining enough.

Too much Hollywood makes this a dull movie .

It's nearly two hours of wonderful, jolting, exciting, 'frightening' fun...

One of the worst movies that i have ever seen.

The reason for this is because Spielberg, widely considered the most formulaic and corny filmmaker alive (definitely so by yours truly), couldn't decide with "Poltergeist" whether he wanted to make a truly scary horror film or a fun-for-the-whole-family recreation of a Disney Land ride (complete with bright flashing lights and skeletons).

Still, if you're wanting a highly productive and intriguing horror movie, rent or buy Poltergeist.

The music is stunning and beautiful.

"Poltergeist" is definately worth watching, for those in neat of excitement.

Just suspenseful on the edge of your seat scary.

And the whole amusement park ride of the finale that is basically Spielberg obliterating every thread of the film in bland cinematic fireworks - this is now the template of a good summer movie.

Then the young boy was starting to be experiencing something fishy in the house such as the clown staring at him and the unexpected storm.

This is a very intense movie for that low a rating, I'm amazed it got by.

I have never really believed any of the supernatural/more-between-heaven-and-earth stuff, but this film actually managed to make it scary and exciting.

Entertaining .

This is a very thrilling movie.

I vaguely remember seeing Poltergeist as a kid, my main memory of Poltergeist is where the boy get's dragged under the bed by the evil clown at the bottom of his bed, it always scared me back then, especially knowing we had a very similar clown down in the cellar.

"), but beyond all that it remains as gripping, entertaining and watchable as it was when it debuted.

Also, I just became bored many times throughout the movie, I was catching myself checking the time, and wishing it would hurry the heck up!

This is what happens when Spielberg dabbles in horror movies; what starts out as a pretty suspenseful horror film becomes so sappy and Spielberg-esque, you can literally see the butter and Log Cabin dribbling down your T.

Entertaining and Chilling .

Throw in a couple of dope-smoking One Percenters and a trio of really Bland suburban kids and you're all set.

And the fact that it's so unexpected makes the ending so satisfying.

This midget-actress looks like the ideal cast for about 2 minutes, then she becomes a real bore and very annoying to listen to.

Solid, entertaining ghost story has amazing special effects, memorable set pieces, and plenty of scares.

It's very suspenseful and one particular scene (involving a clown doll) made me jump out of my seat.

Her demeanor actually made many scenes predictable.

You're given a very likable family, fantastic special effects, taut direction (supposedly Tobe Hopper directed but I have my doubts), a good script and some enjoyable shocks.

A great entertaining movie .

And while the scenes after the climax were the most frightful and disturbing, I found them to be tedious and pointless putting an unsatisfying end to an otherwise incredible movie.

Some scenes are more funny than scary, like I said, some of the acting is weird, and some scenes are just boring.

One major reason for its success is melding the mundane setting of middle class middle America with a supernatural premise similar to THE EXORCIST from ten years earlier .

Thin and empty chiller, though raising the occasional parapsychological shiver.

But the big issue I took with the movie, was the bad script and boring pacing and how terribly non scary this is.

Entertaining .

Such as the tree or the room where they're trying to get the girl back are very cool but yet it's uninteresting by the way it's executed.

Aside from that, this is one of the most entertaining movies of all time.

Poltergeist simply has too many irons in the fire and it comes off as disjointed and unsatisfying.

Despite the film's full-on embrace of the supernatural instead of sticking with minute suspense, there's still a strong curiosity factor that makes the ghostly mayhem intriguing rather than scattered and unnecessarily chaotic.

If you want to have a really enjoyable time being scared, don't miss seeing Poltergeist.

This is high-voltage film-making at its compelling best ans Steven Spielberg presents the best in modern cinema.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that it hasn't aged well or that countless horror films since have imitated it, but I found it rather predictable and silly at times.

Brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg and horror veteran Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"), this classic ghost story will long be remembered in the film community for its unique and entertaining blend of humor, drama, and raw horror.

He wrote this story, about some of his childhood fears and recollections, and the movie plays like a disjointed series of set pieces, which are only partially related by a poorly thought-out framing story.

It's a gripping film, with a great cast, great story, high production values, and great direction.

I laughed out loud multiple times during an "intense" scene.

Falling asleep in his chair one night, Steven wakens to find his youngest daughter Carol-Anne (Heather O'Rourke) talking to the static TV screen.

Intense landmark .

This movie is original to the core, visually stunning, realistically acted (hard to find nowadays) and a masterpiece of horror to cherish for generations to come.

For example, the part when one of the investigators hallucinates himself ripping its face off looks stunning, and due to how real it may look for some people, may have to be fast forwarded for younger audiences.

The screenplay and story by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor were well-written, giving us a compelling plot, and the direction by Tobe Hooper is top-notch, making the movie brilliant and original.

Some attempts have prevailed, others have fallen victim to dull, unscary duds.

One of the most enjoyable rainy afternoon movie days was spent in the luxurious Paramount Theater Sydney with 1200 screaming others laughing and rolling about as we all shrieked in breathless unison through this terrific film.

The famous image of a little girl mesmerized by a TV screen showing only static, is intriguing and suggestive of all kinds of supernatural fun.

A fabulously enjoyable horror film.

These teases start slow and you expect the Val Lewton jump scare model, where the pressure will be let off after a minor scare.

A family begins to experience intense poltergeist activity in their home.

That combined with the sentimental elements of Steven Spielberg's wonderful and exciting films land-marked during that time, this is one of the most memorable fantasy/adventure movies up there with "Back To The Future", "The Goonies" and "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" Spielberg is Executive Producer and Tobe Hooper, Director of The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" work together in a perfect collaboration that is equally disturbing as it is charming and thought-provoking.

Standing unfairly in Spielberg's shadow is "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" director Tobe Hooper, who makes "Poltergeist" eerie and suspenseful enough to keep the film engaging when the special effects are full-blown and the lid has been popped off in terms of realism.

Clean, enjoyable horror .

It features wonderful editing by Michael Khan, beautiful acting, electric photography by Matthew Leonetti, and a breathtaking original score by Jerry Goldsmith (the classic sound track has evolved into an international hit).

I will say this to start off with, the special effects in poltergeist are actually very cool and entertaining, especially for 1982.

I would say it's a little bit light for a Tobe Hooper film, but it has it's moments and I enjoyed it.

The other Spielberg, the one of serious aspirations, is a pompous historician and pretentious storyteller.

This is an emotional, entertaining movie that scares me and makes me laugh every time.

She's also a stunning-looking, platinum blonde child.

Events are exciting, exhilarating, and scary (though never too scary), and the special effects are top notch.

I would not say it is a perfect film, but it probably will become a classic in the near future due to its unforgettable scenes and its entertaining plot.

It was never boring and always exciting, but it felt a bit contrived after the false ending.

Yet as uneven as it is, and as blatantly plagiarised as it is of Twilight Zone episode Little Girl Lost, I still find myself enjoying watching Poltergeist, with its slick production and some memorable moments; the clown, poor darling Heather O'Rourke saying "they're here", the first chair sequence, and the always creepy Mrs. Tuthill, all things that help to make it a frustratingly enjoyable nights viewing.

A family's living in an idyllic suburban neighborhood takes a turn when they get some unexpected visitors in the form of ghosts.

Spielberg has claimed that the movie contains most of the things that gave him nightmares as a child and this is possibly the reason of the many disjointed scary scenes placed on the film.

Even Tobe Hooper's direction is slow and plodding, and many of the scenes just don't pack the wallop they should.

This movie is very intelligent and simply breathtaking.

Like most people, I loved this film when it came out and enjoyed it both at the theater and on VHS a handful of times.

Suspenseful, frightening musical score by the master Jerry Goldsmith.

The explanation for the events are a little cliché as is the end where we get more problems after it is stated that the events are over...

The ending is super, (watch and see what happens to the familys house at the end)and suspenseful.

Overall Poltergeist is a movie definitely worth watching.

Directed by Tobe Hooper and written and produced by Steven Spielberg, the movie is somewhat slow suffering from an irregular pacing and only begins to warm up seriously near the end.

The action sequences are greatly imaginative and entertaining, Jerry Goldsmith's score is his best, being horrific, tense, spectral, childlike and such a masterpiece.

I'm not usually a stickler for this, but just after the sixty minute mark that the film seems to sag: While more (arguably interesting) characters are introduced, it slows the pace down to a crawl and leaves the film bland and - worst of all - not that scary.

After literally hundreds of views, i still find this movie to be an exciting adventure for anybody who is looking for a creep-fest.

Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper managed to get intense performances out of Jobeth Williams and Craig T.

This is a fairly fun, entertaining movie.

This might be the worst movie I've ever seen.

All throughout the land grown men fall asleep to its warm, comforting glow and children everywhere suckle on its electronic teat.

If anything it's ridiculously overdone and tiresome.

Its fast paced and scary if you really think about the concept.

Spielberg's updated haunted house film is suspenseful and intriguing .

If I hadn't found it so damn funny, intense and well done special effects-wise, I probably would have given it a lower score.

It's a good entertaining film.

Once the film gets going and their true nature becomes apparent, it has one great chill after another when they bring in the paranormal team by bringing in these high-tech equipment and other gizmo's is shocking because that starts in on the more thrilling scenes.

It's suspenseful most of the way through, and at times (and I'll say several times) it's downright frightening.

So sit back and get prepared for excitement and stunning effects.......

Despite that tiresome debate, I felt that what excels in this movie is the superb acting from about as good a cast as you could ask for.

It's emotional, fun, exciting, heartfelt, and yes, even scary.

The story makes you feel and care about the characters, and the great practical effects keep you on the edge of your seat.

It is a movie to scare 3 years old, to bore 13 years old and to insult 30 years old.

Great and enjoyable horror movie.

Lots of awesome special effects and stunning performances, especially by the star of show Heather O'Rourke, who plays Carol Ann Freeling.

but some of them deserved more screen time-Slow start-Not that scary8/10

Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Oliver Robbins, Dominique Dunne, and Heather O'Rourke) gave a stunning and heartfelt performance.

The plot will be engaging, the visuals stunning, the acting excellent, and the overall experience first-class.

The pacing is decent, but as I said, the film seems too slow after about one hour or so, and I couldn't keep watching attentively.

A lot of the things with this film are boring and uninteresting to me.

Maybe it was worth watching in 1982 .

Richard Endlund's team really provide some stunning set-pieces with what were state-of-the-art effects at the time as we witness the series of paranormal activity which plague the Freeling family.

This was taking away from the cliché of horror movies where the heroes are the older ones.

Part of the film's problems lie in the confusion over who is really directing here.

Fascinating, frightening, as suspenseful as they come.

Breathtaking horror film that builds up suspense .

The fact the family realise there's a supernatural force in the house early on took something away from the film, also Carol-Anne is a great actress and great presence as the sequel proved, and her absence for being captured made me feel empty.


the film is slow paced for the first quarter and then picks up speed.

This was the era when Spielberg did serious movies that were much more enjoyable than he does now.

Poltergeist is a little long; six minutes short of 2 hours is far too long to sit still being scared every 15 minutes.

I know I said ten , but a notable is V: The original mini series made me on the edge of my seat when I saw Diana eat , or pretending to it a rat V is the best at both science fiction and horror ******* perfect .

Poltergeist is a slightly entertaining, mildly frightening film that suffers from a horribly written final fifteen minutes.

That same TV lulls the family to sleep every night with the Star-Spangled Banner.

The Freelings waste little time and soon contact a paranormal group, well over their heads, to help them rescue their daughter from the unseen captures.

The talented cast together with ahead-of-its-time supernatural elements and entertaining fast-paced humor and eccentrics make this a tour-De force of all our suburban childhood traumas, including a ghostly tree, thunderstorm paranoia, a creepy clown-doll, and other various toy artifacts that are embedded into our psyches and plague our fears of the unknown and overall uneasiness with innocent curiosities.

I watched this entire movie on the edge of my seat.

Very scary suspenseful supernatural horror classic directed by Tobe Hooper (and produced by Steven Spielberg) about a contemporary middle-class suburban family beseiged by malevolent spectral forces who invade their home and kidnap their youngest daughter (eerily portrayed by O' Roarke with innocence and the right amount of "different"-ness).

I think it's become a cliche after Anthony Hopkins performance in "The Silence Of The Lambs" to think that actors are good at playing crazy evil guys .

This movie is very entertaining for fans of all ages and genres.

Technically breathtaking, scary as hell.

Her performance is riveting, and she is pivotal in making an incredible story believable.

From the crew's first experience in the haunted room or the chilling sequence of the hallucination of the one victim pulling his face apart and their spectral encounters seen on the video monitors, there's quite an impressive amount of enjoyable scenes here that really pick the action up in this section.

So says little Carol Anne Freleng (Heather O'Rourke), the clairvoyant daughter who sees "TV people" in this highly suspenseful parapsychological thriller from co-writer/co-producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper.

It's enjoyable, popcorn fare as far as a kind of super-charged, intense, sometimes very well acted film (Jobeth Williams is really good here, never less than believable and showing heartbreak and joy and humor in equal measure, Craig Nelson too, the kids, well, that's another story), and it's not to slight that it can be enjoyed "for the whole family".

A very exciting and creepy ghost story from Tobe Hooper, the director of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1&2" and Steven Spieldberg, the director of the "Indiana Jones" trilogy.!!!

It has such a fantastical set up and mostly enjoyable mid-section, and dynamite special effects that hold up, that it's easy to forget the biggest liability: it has two g*ddamn climaxes.

I wouldn't call it a classic, but it is very adroit and highly entertaining .

The end result is a boring, cheesy, and all around over the top flick.

It seemed to move very fast and then slow to a crawl and then start up again.

But the movie is otherwise visually stunning, the atmosphere is chilling, and the performances are top-notch.

Movies like already mentioned "The Thing" and "Hellraiser" still "work" for people not because they have astonishing special effects or gore, but because they offer unusual story, nice world, good mystery, great characters, they are solid and because of this they are still enjoyable.

I found the movie ok at times, but when the thrilling stuff happened, it wss really scary.

Some thrilling sequences include the tree which wishes to swallow Oliver Robbins(..as well as the scene with the creepy clown doll which attempts to strangle him with it's arms), Jobeth Williams being pulled across the walls unwillingly, and O'Rourke's room being sucked into the closet where a vortex exists.

Much of the film is delightfully devoted to the excitement and thrill of it all, but the film gets a bit draggy when some experts on the paranormal field enters the house and starts investigating - luckily the film raises it's torch when that rousing and long climax comes upon us.

Perhaps a more low-key approach would have been more effective, and as entertaining as the film was throughout (although it does have a climax too many), the theatrical effects make the film look dated and suffocate any chance of real scares.

There's no terror of the mind here, no atmosphere, no suspense; just sick stuff happening, mostly to children, at increasingly short and predictable intervals.

the film is creepy, intense, lighthearted, tragic, funny, horrifying, insightful, cute (without being cutesy), and overall unforgettable.

What a waste of time.

In this sense, "Poltergeist" remains suspenseful throughout, making it effective through the excessive use of strobe lights and wind machines.

Instead we get a great first hour, filled with funny and entertaining moments and the other half of the movies which left me with a really bad after taste.

It is entertaining, interesting, original, and terrifying.

Some of the explanations as to what's going on are unsatisfying and don't quite fill in the blanks as we hope, but the film is so genuinely creepy and entertaining that by the end, you feel just as drained as the Freelings.

A boring horror film.

Only when you have a film complete with engaging characters, acting of calibre, effects to hold your breath, a score of enchantment and the screenplay and story so gripping you know you're in for a good two hours of chilling and brilliant entertainment.

Scary, chilling haunted house thriller makes for an exciting spookfest .

Another fascinating piece of film trivia concerns the film's barnstorming finale, in that the skeletons used were real, working out cheaper in production costs, and that this fact was deliberately kept from JoBeth Williams.

In My opinion they are fine sequels and are just as entertaining and scary as the first.

This movie is soooo boring just like the 2nd one!

After nearly twenty years, two vastly inferior sequels, and a lame TV series that had nothing to do with this film, POLTERGEIST is still effectively suspenseful, as well as a clear influence on the more recent THE SIXTH SENSE.

Poltergeist is an awesome ghost story and a truly entertaining film.

A great story, stunning special effects and fine performances by all of the actors.

The script by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais & Mark Victor is a bit patchy, there are long periods where things slow down considerably & then it will liven up again with a burst of paranormal action.

What follows is a series of unexpected, thrilling, deeply moving scenes that play with the notions of life, death, instinct, and fear.

I highly recommend it.

I give it a "5" because it is entertaining and has a likable cast.

On an overall scale, Poltergeist is a very finely crafted horror movie that promises a fun & entertaining experience and despite being marred by the test of time, it can still surprise the new comers.

I don't see it as much of a horror film, but a very intense fairy tale where the parents have to do go to incredible lengths to get their daughter back.

Both Terrifying And Entertaining, .

Even better notions; the suburban prosperity given to us as mysterious supernatural properties in their own kitchen, fascinating at first.

A few intense scenes...

Scary, funny, absorbing--still a great film 20 years after it was made.

I maintain, however, that it's this suburban Spielberg that is worth watching.