Phantasm (1979)

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Critic Consensus: Phantasm: Remastered adds visual clarity to the first installment in one of horror's most enduring -- and endearingly idiosyncratic -- franchises.

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The remastered original classic that started it all, in which two brothers discover their local mortuary hides a legion of hooded killer dwarfs, a flying drill-ball, and the demonic mortician who enslaves the souls of the damned.

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Critic Reviews for Phantasm

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (8)

"Phantasm" will not be remembered as a masterpiece of the horror genre, but it sustains a gauche, hokey, desperately improvisational charm.

Oct 20, 2017 | Full Review…

While holding onto the handmade charm of the original, the 4K version makes the image less murky and the seams less visible, giving the picture back the vividly nightmarish quality of its original theatrical run.

Oct 6, 2016 | Full Review…

Freshly refurbished with better sound and digitally sharpened visuals for this latest rerelease, "Phantasm" remains a pretty effective fright fest.

Oct 6, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Phantasm is wildly imaginative and legitimately creepy, confronting death and mourning as part of the coming-of-age process while also delivering nutty Jawa-type critters and blood spurting out of peoples' faces.

Oct 6, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

One of the most idiosyncratic movies in the horror canon.

Oct 3, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Strong point of the feature is that it's played for both horror and laughs.

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Phantasm

½

Silly and with no sense of structure, this movie is basically a series of random scenes put together and with a bunch of random creatures attacking the characters over and over until boredom is all that is left, with the Tall Man being one of the most stupid and unscary villains ever.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"Phantasm" is a surprisingly well-done film for a low-budget, amateur project. It's original and thrilling to watch. Unfortunately, the acting and dialog are too weak to garner five stars.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Don Coscarelli's cult classic is admittedly disjointed. It's not quite the sum of its parts, but there are many individual scenes that are wonderfully conceived and executed, some even with unexpected humour. The amateurish acting, odd transitions, and plot holes keep Phantasm from being great in my eyes, but the film is an exercise in creativity and ingenuity, not to mention in showcasing the coolest flying killing device in recent memory.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

½

This 1979 Cult classic is a very interesting Horror film with many creative ideas on-screen; Phantasm is a brilliantly constructed piece of work that is sure to please the true horror fan. What makes this a wonderful, terrifying and memorable experience is that it introduces a unique horror villain, a Mortician with strange powers by the name of The Tall Man. This sinister being collects bodies and shrinks them down to dwarves and makes them his slave in another dimension. This is a work of Sci Fi and supernatural horror. While watching this movie, you realize all the elements that director Don Coscarelli uses to enrich his film's plot, therefore Phantasm branches in a few horror genres, most notably the ones that I've just mentioned. This is an effective chiller that does generate plenty of eerie moments due to the films atmosphere and memorable theme by composers Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave. The performances are great and every actor brings something wonderful to the film. I view this film as one of the defining movies that helped reshape the face of terror. This is a classic, and rewatching it years later, you can see why genre fans call it a favorite. Don Coscarelli adds enough supernatural overtones to keep viewers wide eyed from start to finish. This is one feature that no one should pass up. Angus Scrimm delivers as The Tall Man and introduced us to a memorable horror quote: "BOOOYYYYY!!" This is from a horror enthusiast's perspective, a terrific and creepy line. There's enough gore, spooks and other surprises that are very well constructed by director Don Coscarelli to make this one stand out among other horror yarns that have come before and after. A lack of logic is permitted throughout the film because it's such a unique film that you simply don't care. The sequels add to The Tall Man's story, but never do anything new. However, they're just like this one, very entertaining and worth seeing.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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