Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
With Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hopper, Steven Spielberg had his first great success as a producer. Released around the same time as Spielberg's E.T., the film presents the dark side of Spielberg's California suburban track homes. The film centers on the Freeling family, a typical middle class family living in the peaceful Cuesta Verde Estates. The father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), has fallen asleep in front of the television, and the dog saunters around the house revealing the other family members -- Steve's wife Diane (JoBeth Williams), sixteen-year-old daughter Dana (Dominique… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film delivers honest special-effects shocks without forfeiting its good nature."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"It is consistently redeemed by its creator's dazzling sense of craft."
‑ David Pirie, Time Out
"One of the 1980s' most distinctive and important horror movies."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Hooper and Spielberg have worked long and hard to bring the ghost story to its fullest potential. They have succeeded."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Thanks to Poltergeist, more than a few of us still sleep with the lights on: the world has changed, but our closets haven't."
‑ Rob Vaux, Sci-Fi Movie Page
"Given the talents, Poltergeist is an annoying film because it could have been so much better."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Hooper and Spielberg hold our interest by observing the everyday rituals of this family so closely that, since the family seems real, the weird events take on a certain credibility by association."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The buildup is slow and deliberate, creating a vivid sense of love and warmth within the family who share the harrowing adventure."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
""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."
‑ David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org
"A frightening, supernatural horror film that defined a generation."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"Though the shocks are well conveyed, it's the sweetness that lingers, making this the first cute and cuddly entry in the genre."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Poltergeist is like a thoroughly enjoyable nightmare, one that you know that you can always wake up from, and one in which, at the end, no one has permanently been damaged. It's also witty in a fashion that Alfred Hitchcock might have appreciated."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York 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."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"One of the all-time great haunted house movies."
‑ M. Faust, Common Sense Media
More reviews for Poltergeist on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This

1408 (2007)
Insidious (2011)
The Exorcist
The Exorcist (1973)