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HD   PG Closed Captioning

Tobe Hooper

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About the Movie

When Steve Freeling moves his family into a new house in the development where he is the top homes salesman, it looks like things are going well for him and his family. But as his wife, Diane, and his children, Dana, Robbie and little Carol Anne, begin to unpack and settle in, strange things start happening. Almost playful at first, a mysterious force begins stacking chairs on the kitchen table, or making objects slide across the floor. But the ghostly antics soon turn terrifying as the house, or something in it, starts attacking the Freeling family, and Carol Anne is abducted by evil spirits still trapped on Earth, looking to use her innocence to get into the afterlife. This truly frightening film was written and produced by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg ("War of the Worlds"), directed by horror movie master Tobe Hooper (the original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre"), Craig T. Nelson ("The Invisibles"), Jobeth Williams ("Fever Pitch") and Zelda Rubinstein ("Sixteen Candles").

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 58
  • Fresh: 50
  • Rotten: 8
  • Average Rating: 7.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: 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, Oct 7, 2014

Fresh: The film delivers honest special-effects shocks without forfeiting its good nature. – TIME Magazine, Jun 1, 2011

Fresh: [It] raises interesting psychological issues in the context of a baroque ghost story. It's a devastating commentary on the tv-oriented suburban lifestyle. Finally, it demonstrates the power and efficacy of the story told from the child's point of view. – Bruce McCabe, Boston Globe, Apr 26, 2018

Fresh: 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, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Pure scary fun!

This movie is a classic. The effects still look fresh today. Everything about this movie is simply fantastic.

One of the best!

This was one of the first movies in my life that truly scared the HELL out of me and at the same time made me really appreciate the craft of a well told creepy tale. The second Poltergeist movie is just as good in my opinion and that is rare for a sequel to be great. Well worth the watch!


Yes it's old but it could've been better. Ten beginning seems very long and drawn out to me. Absolutely hate that fricking clown doll!! Ugh it scared the crap out of me!! But besides the doll the rest of the movie wasn't scary at all.

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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Horror
  • Released: 1982

Customer Ratings

Available Bundle

  1. Classic 80's Bundle Volume 2, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.