Poltergeist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Poltergeist Reviews

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½ February 27, 2018
This is one of those horror films that are more than meets the eye. Released in the early 80s when video and television had taken over from cinema, it can also stand as a critique.
½ February 17, 2018
Childhood memory of this scary movie haunts me. It's not as scary as it was, but still a well made story. 1001 movies to see before you die.
February 13, 2018
The movie that introduced the plot of what happens when you build a house on a graveyard to me. This was the apex of scary in the 80s back when the graphics were not what they are today.
January 27, 2018
I give this a 86/B+.
December 16, 2017
In my opinion, Poltergeist is the greatest horror flick of all time. The special effects are nothing short of amazing, and while they're not as advanced as modern day CGI, I believe that makes them even scarier. Poltergeist combines all types of horror, from suspense to monsters, and uses them all perfectly. The bathroom scene, where the man tears off his face, is one of the scariest scenes in movie history, and even by today's standards, it's bound to unsettle audiences. The story is horrifying for all characters involved, and has something that will scare every horror fan out there. Poltergeist is a true horror classic, with effects whose scariness can never be topped.
December 3, 2017
Oh my god!!! I luv this movie so much:)
November 22, 2017
Has some good parts, but most of the movie just does'nt float my boat.
November 6, 2017
An unusually dark film that although Spielberg didn't specifically direct had a huge input in.

The story of a typical Californian family that are taken back by some strange occurrences firstly identified by their youngest daughter.

She then mysteriously is transported to another world & the family frantically try to find out what happened. Builds to quite a unsettling third act...not typical Spielberg quite interesting.
½ November 4, 2017
The Poltergeist is a decent film, it is not my favorite among the horror genre. This day in age, the movie is just no longer scary. The closest that comes to being creepy is when the little girl says, "They're here." Nothing else in the movie jumps out as creepy or scary. The creation of the film had a few creepy aspects to it, like the pool scene being shot with real skeletons. Even though this film no longer fits the genre it was intended for, people still remember it. It is a classic. There are parts that do not make sense, such as when the little girl gets sucked into the closest and everything else goes in with her. Later the room is back, with everything exactly the same and in the same position. The story line is a little ridiculous. The special effects help throughout the film to make it memorable. Building a subdivision on the top of a graveyard is beyond the stupidest thing in the movie. Even the father points it out. However, he does not use those exact words. Thinking about it, it reminds me a lot of Amityville Horror. The basics are the same, a family living in a home, signs of warning like objects moving on their own, and then finally the possession occurs and the spirit/ demon/ etc. terrorizes the family. To me, Amityville is better than this movie.The story line is not completely ridiculous but it is slightly predictable. It is one thing that is a little annoying to me, some horror movies, including Poltergeist, are predictable.
November 1, 2017
Dated by early 1980's special effects, where maybe they tried to show too much, this movie is less a scare ride and more the tale of a family in crisis from forces they don't understand. Steven Spielberg's influence as a producer is felt in a big way throughout this film, and you can see many parallels to how his characters have developed in other movies. There's even a scene that's meant to be scary (without giving spoilers) that almost mirrors the special effects used in a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Unfortunately, many of the trailer moments from this movie have become tropes used for decades, making one believe that Poltergeist is full of cliches. On the contrary, this is one of the films that created some of those cliches, but you wouldn't know it because some of the story elements are so overused today. Bottom line: this is still an enjoyable movie today, especially with stand out performances from Craig T. Wilson and JoBeth Williams. They play truly frightened parents and as the audience we believe in that fear. If you haven't seen it, yes, it's worth a movie night to watch this scary classic.
October 31, 2017
Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg's fantasy horror classic takes a small town sitcom family and sticks them right in the middle of a supernatural shitstorm.
Old-school special effects reign supreme, but many of Poltergeist's creepy moments have long passed their sell-by date. Today, the film is but a nostalgic relic, which in a video store would need to be placed in its own bizarre kiddie-horror subsection somewhere between Scooby Doo and one of those ghastly Paranormal Activity rip-offs. A soundtrack worthy of a Home Alone picture doesn't help Poltergeist's childish dynamic, which reaches its peak during an embarrassing 'pop-up coffins' sequence in the final act, which wouldn't look amiss in one of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion attractions.
The childish side would be fine, and even fun, if it wasn't for the fact that one or two sequences still chill to the bone - making Poltergeist wholly inappropriate for little ones even in the age of internet porn. Face-shredding prosthetics and paranormal clowns still frighten today, even if they look out of place in this twee tale of family values in the face of misfortune.
October 10, 2017
a slow paced, chilling, and smart horror classic. what more can you ask for??
½ September 23, 2017
Extremely entertaining, cast was excellent, creepy, thrilling, & very scary. A modern horror classic 10/10
½ August 27, 2017
Because of the old ratings system I was allowed to watch this "PG" film when I was 6... I recently re-watched it and was still as terrified as an adult as when I was an unsuspecting child. That clown doll still freak me out.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2017
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 guy who conceived one of the most terrifying films ever), Poltergeist is quite entertaining and has a lot of great moments.
August 9, 2017
Great fantastic classic movie starring the iconic little blonde girl. I normally like to hate on classic movies but this caught my eye and definitely is a classic. I already watched the new reboot movie which was ok and I know that their are two more movies in this franchise and know that they suck but at least this is good.
½ July 16, 2017
Going in to this movie, I was not exactly sure what is what other than some horror movie written by Steven Spielberg, I didn't know what to expect. It's a PG rated horror movie from the 80's, so how scary could it be, right? Right? Yeah, this one is easily one of the scariest horror movies of all time. Don't let the rating mislead you.
This movie was not bad, however. Despite not being actually directed by Spielberg, it had a very Spielberg feel to it, as far as the directing. And I loved it. Tobe Hooper does a great job directing not just stylishly, but when it comes to the horror elements, he pulls it off with terrifying results. The performances are also great. The child performances, though they aren't in very much of the film, are great and sometimes scary. JoBeth Williams' performance is also great, and the actors really make it feel like the horrors happening in this movie are really happening.
Steven Spielberg's script is also great. It's a very smart and original horror movie script. It has scary elements, some surprises, unique ideas, and it really does the horror movie gig that we're now all so tired of in an interesting way. Horror movies now are just something scary happens and there's jump scares and that's about it. This movie is different. It builds suspense in an interesting way. Instead of horrific things just happening, we see them start to happen and people start to figure it out, then things go haywire. I do have one complaint about that aspect, however. It could have been a lot more interesting if it felt like the characters didn't know what was happening. Pretty much after the chair scene, all the characters know there's a haunting in their house and are just fine with it. They almost seem like they're having fun with it. Nonetheless, like I said before, this movie is scary. I was a fan of Spielberg at a younger age, and I'm glad this was one of his movies I didn't watch. I would have an instant death fear of clowns, as most people probably did after seeing this movie. This isn't a true pure horror movie, but it sure is scary.
Overall, Poltergeist is a classic horror flick, but also a unique one. It's horrifying when it wants to be (mainly the last 30 minutes) and also has amazing directing, a smart and original script, and great performances. Definetly worth seeing, but not at night!
July 10, 2017
We all know that people in horror films usually act irrationally, but the Freelings' behaviour is simply beyond ridiculous. Zelda Rubinstein is definitely the best about "Poltergeist" while Beatrice Straight's character is just there without any particular reason.
July 2, 2017
I was terrified of this film as a kid. I recently rewatched it, hoping for some spine tingling fun, however, I was very disappointed. The acting throughout is terrible, the story ridiculous, and the special effects have dated a lot.

The film being nearly as old as me, I can forgive the dated effects, but the acting and story... no.

I felt no connection to the characters, and was frankly switching between boredom, not caring, and cringing the more the film went on.
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