Poltergeist (1982)

With Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hopper, Steven Spielberg had his first great success as a producer. Released around the same time as Spielberg's E.T., the film presents the dark side of Spielberg's California suburban track… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Horror
Release Date: June 4, 1982
DVD Release Date: April 18, 2000
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.

TIME Magazine

The film delivers honest special-effects shocks without forfeiting its good nature.

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David Pirie
Time Out

It is consistently redeemed by its creator's dazzling sense of craft.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

One of the 1980s' most distinctive and important horror movies.

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Variety Staff

Given the talents, Poltergeist is an annoying film because it could have been so much better.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Hooper and Spielberg hold our interest by observing the everyday rituals of this family so closely that, since the family seems real, the weird events take on a certain credibility by association.

David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

The buildup is slow and deliberate, creating a vivid sense of love and warmth within the family who share the harrowing adventure.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Though the shocks are well conveyed, it's the sweetness that lingers, making this the first cute and cuddly entry in the genre.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

Poltergeist is like a thoroughly enjoyable nightmare, one that you know that you can always wake up from, and one in which, at the end, no one has permanently been damaged. It's also witty in a fashion that Alfred Hitchcock might have appreciated.

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Alan Jones
Radio Times

Hooper's direction may lack its usual edgy personality -- apparently over-ruled by Spielberg's script suggestions -- but he puts on a dazzling show, and the intuitive performances are uniformly on the panic button.

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More reviews for Poltergeist

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
Even with the level of horror toned down to meet Spielberg's crowd-pleasing standards (which is a pity considering that this movie was also directed by the… More
xGary Xx
A suburban home is invaded by an evil presence which befriends the family's young daughter and draws her into its spirit realm. Although Tobe Hooper is… More
KJ Proulx
Poltergeist represents horror at it's top form in the early 80's. It's not the best horror movie out there, but it definitely deserves it's… More
Tyler Robertson
The first time I saw this was when I was about 7 years old and it scared the everlasting crap out of me. How does it hold up now that my perspective on movies… More
Jason Calvin
When researching Horror films, you will undoubtedly come across, "Poltergeist". You'll also notice that the film is often showered with… More
Directors Cat
It's scary, tense and filled with memorable characters and lines. Poltergeist most intriguingly never fails to break it's eery feeling once the… More