Poltergeist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Poltergeist Reviews

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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.
June 26, 2017
Poltergeist was not as scary as I expected it to be, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless. I would even recommend it for children past age seven.
June 14, 2017
Poltergeist is a special effects showcase.
½ June 2, 2017
After seeing what passes as a horror movie nowadays with SILENT HILL 2, I decided to go back to a movie that truly scared the piss out of me when I was young. Granted, it was not hard to scare a 7-year-old me, hell Michael Jackson turning into a werewolf induced terrified eye covering for me every time. To my surprised delight, POLTERGEIST still scares the bejesus out of me 28 years later. The effects, while dated are still scary as hell. That little girl is equal parts cute and equal parts creepy. Creepy kids make scary movies better. It's just a fact. And of course Coach Hayden Fox is in it. And JoBeth Williams looks pretty hot in just a t-shirt plus she's kind of a badass. While it may say Directed by Tobe Hooper, everyone knows the great one directed this. It's horror fantasy as only Spielberg can do it.
May 24, 2017
Problems insue for a family who built a housing development on an old burial ground.
May 17, 2017
So many pop culture references come from just this movie and Family Guy parodies it in an entire episode. What a great movie! I wasn't expecting it to be so good.

The visuals and effects are very eye-catching and the movie is kind of thought-provoking. The actors have this fun chemistry and connection with one another that makes you keep watching. Definitely will re-watch it!
May 14, 2017
Not very scary, but well made and unlike any other horror film I've ever seen before. I really felt the film missed a few opportunities to heighten the suspense and tension, but there was still plenty in the final product. The acting is all very good, even from the kids, which is rare from so many child actors in one film. The last 20 minutes didn't work as well for me as much as the rest of the film, but it was far from bad. Overall, this is something very unique and I can say I enjoyed it
March 4, 2017
10 out of 10:

Great special effects, creepy imagery, and smart writing, Poltergeist makes one memorable horror film.
½ February 22, 2017
childhood memory of this scary movie haunts me. It's not as scary as it was, but still a well made story.
½ February 18, 2017
Even though I still ever-so-slightly prefer the 2015 remake, Poltergeist offers up some decent scares and a storyline that keeps you watching. Also, this has one of the most hilarious endings in movie history, even though it's not laugh-out-loud funny.
December 15, 2016
It's a real testament to the talents of the cast that they managed not to be completely upstaged by the special effects, most of which still stand up very well today. Good story, great characters and a lot of spine-tingling fun.
December 11, 2016
Poltergeist may be a bit unvelievable for adult viewers, but it is clever, organized and, of course, tention-packed. Thanks to Tobe Hooper'direction and Steven Spielberg production, this film becomes a modern classsic.
November 28, 2016
Poltergeist is the one 80's film that stands out as unique and clever and is not afraid to reveal itself as horrifying
½ November 23, 2016
A genuine treat that overstays its welcome.
½ November 9, 2016
2.47 --- A classic 80's horror movie, but with less than stellar directing. The acting is pretty flat throughout. Story is extremely clunky. Writing is subpar. Overall a disappointing movie.
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