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31 Days of Horror Movie Reviews: Poltergeist

poltergeist

“Carol Anne – listen to me. Do NOT go into the light. Stop where you are. Turn away from it. Don’t even look at it.”- JoBeth Williams as Diane

Craig T. Nelson  plays Steve Freeling, a husband, father of 3, and real estate developer moves his family into his company’s new planned community. Steve is unaware that the company has been cutting corners. Instead of leaky pipes or sticking doors, Steve’s family inherits a dark history as the house and the even the earth beneath their feet betrays them.

At first the paranormal intrusion into this typical suburban family is playful.  The series of harmless tricks, like self stacking dinning room furniture, seems magical. Soon the multiple apparitions haunting the Freeling household fixate on the youngest family member, Carol Ann.  When Carol Ann disappears into the house itself, the family and allies have to fight against the spirit “Beast” that is trying to hold on to all of the souls in the home, living and dead.

Without giving away any of scares or spoilers, Poltergeist is a great combination of sudden frights and the creepy. By the end of the movie, you are scared of clowns, trees, mirrors, closets, swimming pools, real estate companies, suburban homes and definitely, televisions. The characters are well fleshed out and you find yourself genuinely caring about this family. The plot is well paced and the dialogue is highly quoted even today.

Poltergeist  is the scary story that continues to haunt horror fans and general audiences alike. The haunted house movie released in 1982 was Steven Spielberg’s first time as a producer. Most fans also credit him, and not the listed Tobe Hooper, as the director. You can easily see Spielberg’s style in the visuals through out the film. The special effects are realistic and convincing. 31 years later, this movie holds up.

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