“They’re here!” sings little Carole Anne Freeling as she stares at the white, noisy static coming from the family television set. At this moment we are right there along with her parents in realizing something has been visiting the 5-year-old via that medium. From then on- things get pretty spirited in the Freeling’s new dream home.
The very fact that the Poltergeist (1982) was produced by Stephen Spielberg and directed by Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s Tobe Hooper, should instantly clue us in that the “scary bits” will be an excellent display of special effects. In this case the haunted house is not a rambling gothic mansion with gables but a lovely home in American suburbia.
The classic scene described above immediately comes to mind for anyone that has seen the film. It haunts and sets the mood, setting us up for more to come. And the ‘more to come’ comes fast and furious. Strange occurrences get even more freaky and the little girl goes missing. Panicking in their desire to recover their youngest child, the Freelings call in professional, parapsychologist ghost experts. This is when things get really serious.
What makes it work so well? Seeing the horrific events through the eyes of this typical family, expertly played by relative unnknown newcomers to the movie scene. Jo Beth Williams plays mom- Diane Freeling beautifully, Craig T. Nelson- dad-Steven and their three realistic children are Dana (Dominique Dunne), Robbie (Oliver Robins) and little Carole Anne, (Heather O’Rourke). Also contributing to the believability as well as our empathy with the family as viewers, is the Freeling’s otherwise regular life in suburban California.
A noteworthy fact about the movie is that there was a certain amount of controversy over its public rating. It was given a PG rating but this was widely criticized, due to the intense and disturbing scenes of horror. It was partially due to this public reaction that the Motion Pictures Association of America, in 1984,devised ‘PG 13’- an entirely new rating category in-between PG and R.
Poltergeist was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects. However Spielberg’s own E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) which was out that same year, ironically won all three of these nominations. Poltergeist (1982) is a classic horror film that entertains and thrills.It is a fun and scary watch. I give it a 7/10 for good horror viewing.
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Writing online has been both my part and full-time occupation for several years. Before that I did freelance writing for several venues. However, it is my online writing experiences that have provided me with a daily challenge, surprising fulfillment and an exciting home life!I am a retired aesthetician and makeup artist who worked in a spa environment for several years and I love writing anything makeup or skincare. This is my expertise niche and I enjoy it.Now on Daily Voice News, not only am I the writer for Style and Beauty but I write for several diverse categories, including Retro Reviews- re-visiting those fabulous movie classics. Life on this site just gets better!