Poltergeist Poster

Release Date: 1982

DVD Release Date: April 8th, 1997

PG|1 hr 54 min

Plot Summary
Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke) -- when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein, Martin Casella

Director: Tobe Hooper , Steven Spielberg

Genres: Thriller, Horror

Production Co: Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • Poltergiest is no nonstop scream express; at times it pulls its punches (Spielberg wants that PG rating), and at times its effects are bigger than life and less than terrifying. But like Spielberg's Jaws, which was a perfect genre movie, Poltergeist does what it's supposed to do about as well as it can be done. show more

  • Poltergeist is an effective thriller, not so much because of the special effects, as because Hooper and Spielberg have tried to see the movie's strange events through the eyes of the family members, instead of just standing back and letting the special effects overwhelm the cast along with the audience. show more

  • Poltergeist's most canny conceit is how it takes the concept of a haunted house—up to that point a gothic, remote icon (you practically had to accept a dare and then drive halfway across the state to ever find yourself in one)—and plops it in the middle of the most mundane of all possible locations: American suburbia. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

Featured News

view all
'Poltergeist' And 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial': Are They The Same Movie?
'Poltergeist' And 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial': Are They The Same Movie?
'Poltergeist' Scariest Scenes: 30th Aniversary Countdown (VIDEO)
'Poltergeist' Scariest Scenes: 30th Aniversary Countdown (VIDEO)
'Paranormal Activity 3' and the Scariest Ghost Scenes in Movies
'Paranormal Activity 3' and the Scariest Ghost Scenes in Movies
PG-13 Horror Movies That Prove the Rating Doesn't Matter
PG-13 Horror Movies That Prove the Rating Doesn't Matter
moviefone newsletter
Want more? Signup for our newsletter to get movie and TV show news, exclusive content, the latest trailers, giveaways and much more
By signing up I accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy