DIRECTOR: Tobe Hooper


May Contain Spoilers!

Will we be adding this to our collection?  NO

Poltergeist is up there with The Amityville Horror (1979) as an icon of 1980’s horror. But not a slasher, a scary and relatable take on the genre. This has its producer, Steven Spielberg, written all over it, but lacking the pronounced style of the director. But the essence of  a classic Spielberg film is here, with the ick factor, slime, gross effects and skeletons, which were very vogue at the time.

The plot follows a family who have moved on to a housing project which is still expanding, only for it to have been built on a graveyard without their knowledge. The house begins to experience poltergeist activity, which grows in force until in a scene very reminiscent of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977), their youngest daughter is taken into what could be described as limbo, for want of a better word, and is trapped with spirits trying to find their way to the light.

Apparently getting away with no-one seeing their daughter for a while, the family call in a group of paranormal investigators in order to rescue their little girl. The details here are now old hat, but in 1982 help give this movie kudos and credibility, making this a well referenced classic, though not the best haunting film ever made, because it isn’t.

The film is a poor man’s Spielberg movie, but it holds itself together quite well, in no small part thanks to Jerry Goldsmith’s brilliant score, with a sense of awe and spectacle. The effects hold up pretty well too and are here the help steer this away from hard-core horror and  into the realms of An American Werewolf In London (1981), with striking imagery and lighter touch combined.

Overall, a minor classic, the sort of horror film which it is okay for children to watch yet quite striking in its tone.

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