Director Tobe Hooper has sadly passed away. This is my review of his movie “Poltergeist,” which I wrote on my old website in 2015.
Here’s the opening to “Poltergeist”: a little girl named Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) wakes up at night, and begins talking to a statical TV. Her mother Diane (Jobeth Williams) asks her who she was talking to, and she says: “The TV People.” That explains the series of strange events going on in their household, including the kitchen scene when Diane places a chair dead center, and the ghosts pull it across the room.
Her brother Robbie (Oliver Robins)is afraid of both the evil toy clown living in his room, and the tree outside his window. And since they are both afraid of thunder storms, their father Steven (Craig T. Nelson) tells them to count every time lightning strikes, so they’ll know whether or not the storm is over soon.
Then, all Hell breaks loose as the tree, with great special effects, grabs Robbie until Steven saves him. And also Carol Anne gets sucked into her closet, and then into the TV set. So, the family turns to three parapsychologists (Beatrice Straight, Richard Lawson, and Martin Casella) for help, and they come to the conclusion that this is a poltergeist. And a spiritual medium (Zelda Rubinstein) announces to them the truth about why Carol Anne is trapped in the nightmare.
“Poltergeist” was released in 1982, a time when most horror films had originality and didn’t rely on wall-to-wall screams. This film is creepy, interesting, and visually stunning. Directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg, the movie makes you ponder on what the outcome will be every time something creepy happens. I have seen a “Family Guy” spoof of this movie a long while ago, so I found some things to be a little obvious. But nonetheless, I enjoyed this movie for the casting , the special effects, and the dark story it tells.