• PG, 1 hr. 54 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:
    Tobe Hooper
    In Theaters:
    Jun 4, 1982 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 18, 2000
  • MGM Home Entertainment


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Poltergeist Reviews

Page 1 of 3
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.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 4/5

September 11, 2013
Ralph Novak
People Magazine

Hooper and Spielberg have worked long and hard to bring the ghost story to its fullest potential. They have succeeded.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

September 11, 2013
David Keyes

"Poltergeist" is a lot more dedicated to its cause than most viewers today are probably used to. It builds to something of value. That may not make it the most profound film of its genre by any stretch, but it does make it one of the most memorable.

Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 29, 2013
Emanuel Levy

Spielberg, here credited as producer as co-writer, shows the other (darker) side of suburbia in this horror film, made in the same year as the superior E.T.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B-

February 19, 2013
Rob Vaux
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Thanks to Poltergeist, more than a few of us still sleep with the lights on: the world has changed, but our closets haven't.

Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page | Original Score: A-

June 8, 2012
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight

A frightening, supernatural horror film that defined a generation.

Full Review Source: Cinema Sight | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 15, 2011

TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

June 1, 2011
M. Faust
Common Sense Media

One of the all-time great haunted house movies.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

January 2, 2011
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a compelling and consistently creepy piece of work...

Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Original Score: 3/4

February 18, 2010
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

Spielberg clockwork: great suburbs, great special effects, great abuse of an expositive score, great overuse of the slow push-in, great hot mom, great irrelevant dad, great plucky little kids.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 3/4

February 22, 2009
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

Think of it more as a fun-ride than a horror movie.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 7/10

October 11, 2008
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

Twenty-five years on, the film is still looking remarkably good %u2013 and, I'm betting sales of clown dolls have never quite recovered.

Full Review Source: Eye for Film | Original Score: 4/5

December 7, 2007
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

After a quarter-century, Poltergeist remains one of the most popular movies whose reputation rests almost exclusively on behind-the-scenes diversions.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 23, 2007
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

It's a highly effective and uncommonly emotional horror film, and in the summer of 1982, I preferred it to Spielberg's more universally admired E.T.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid

October 18, 2007
Scott Weinberg

So darn good it makes me wish Spielberg hadn't given up on the horror genre.

Full Review Source: FEARnet | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 12, 2007


At first this takes the form of your classic poltergeist activity (moved furniture, that kind of thing), but it becomes weirder.

Full Review Source: Film4

September 25, 2007
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

A surprisingly yet successfully restrained lesson in how to haunt a house.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

September 25, 2007
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Variety

September 25, 2007

TV Guide's Movie Guide

A vapid, silly horror movie with occasional moments of promise that ultimately fails due to an overdose of cuteness.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

September 25, 2007
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

September 25, 2007
Page 1 of 3
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