Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Director - Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem's Lot)
Starring - Craig T. Nelson (Coach, The Incredibles), JoBeth Williams (Dexter, Jungle 2 Jungle), and Beatrice Straight (Wonder Woman, Bloodline)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "It knows what scares you"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     When I was little, I'm talking elementary grade age, I loved all types of movies.  I didn't care if it was made for children, action, comedy, horror, or sci-fi.  I just loved movies.  Movies that I were obsessed with were Space Jam, Ready to Rumble, Halfbaked, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Air Bud, and Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist.  As you can tell I was pretty lame growing up.  It wasn't until I was a little more older that I fell in love with Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy and Romero's "Dead films.  Poltergeist was about it in regards to horror.  I have probably watched the film at least a hundred times by now and when Scream Factory sent me Poltergeist II and III it only made since to review the entire series.
     The film follows the Freeling family, father Steven (Nelson), his wife Diane (Williams), and their three children Carol Anne, Dana, and Robbie.  Steven is a real-estate agent and developer that has built the perfect life for himself and his family.  However, all good things must come to an end.  The family starts to see strange things occurring around the home that leaves the family on edge but one day something catastrophic happens and Carol Anne is taken to another plane of existence.  The family tries to find help with some paranormal investigators but they are unable to help so they bring in a medium to help.  She is able to get Carol Anne back but their problem is not yet put behind them.
     When I was little I remember liking this movie for the action and uncertainty.  The film gives you several false endings before pulling you back in to the dread and chaos.  I really enjoyed that and it's something that really respect about this film as I'v gotten older.  The acting in this one is great which is weird to say about a film that is centered heavily around children.  Most of the time child actors are awkward to watch in a more serious role but the late Heather O'Rourke and Oliver Robins did a great job in their roles and really sold the film for me.  Craig T. Nelson and the gorgeous JoBeth Williams was great as well but Heather and Robin were really what made the film so damn enjoyable.  The story for this one is fucking terrifying for a child and adult alike.  It is very claustrophobic and the angle or a young child getting trapped in another plane of existence is utterly terrifying for a child but it hits harder for an adult who has a child about the same age as Carol Anne like I do now.  The film also gets the viewer with the false ending before throwing them into even more horror.   Finally, the film has some great practical effects that Spielberg, who produced it, is known for.  The visual effects are very dated but the practical effects do stand out even by modern standards.  Sadly, there is a little blood or gore but not that much which is expected considering this horror film is family friendly.  Overall, Poltergeist is a must for any horror fan.  It has an amazing story, the perfect cast, and can really get under your skin...literally.  Check it out.

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