Review: Poltergeist

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Poltergeist released in theaters on June 4, 1982. The horror classic was directed by Tobe Hooper. Steven Spielberg produced Poltergeist and created its story.


A young family begins to experience strange things in their home. When the youngest member of the family goes missing, the desperate parents reach out to paranormal experts for help. They now find themselves in a horrific battle with supernatural powers beyond their worst nightmares.


  • Poltergeist never goes too deep into mythology or back story. It moves quickly and jumps from set piece to set piece with tremendous energy.


  • All the performances, especially from the young cast, are top notch. There are no weak links in the acting ensemble.


  • The third act, or final 20 minutes or so of the film, are truly spectacular. You feel like you are stuck in the house of horrors with the characters.


  • Because the film is nearly 40 years old – some things don’t age well. A few scenes involving the teenager daughter feel a little weird in 2020. But this isn’t really the film’s fault. We have just learned and evolved a lot as a society since 1982.


  • There are times when you question the actions of characters, especially the parents. You find yourself second guessing their actions in moments, but it doesn’t really hurt the film, it is just distracting.

In Closing:

Poltergeist is easily one of the most entertaining horror films ever made. It’s the closest a movie has ever gotten to putting you in the middle of a real life house of horrors. Some of the things don’t hold up well in 2020, but it’s nothing big enough to ruin the terrifying roller coaster ride.

Rating: B+