Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Film Review: Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (Review)
United States/1982
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...a fantastic horror film for fans from across the spectrum."

As a family settles into their new home in Cuesta Verde, they become targets of malicious ghosts, that eventually abduct the family's youngest...

Poltergeist continues with the family, mostly the father (Craig T. Nelson) and mother (JoBeth Williams), attempting to save their daughter, who can only communicate through the television after being dragged into her closet and becoming one with the home. Of course, they'll need the help of paranormal experts, who don't seem to be as cheesy as I expected and actually add much to the film. The haunting continues -- well, it's actually a poltergeist, but you get the gist of it -- until the family eventually finds a way to bring her back from the other side. It all leads to an epic, and easily memorable, finale.

Poltergeist is a scary, funny, and fun horror film. Poltergeist delivers a very interesting haunting, with a family you actually like to spend time with -- a believable family, a family you can connect to. This makes the poltergeist fun and exciting in a way. Yet, the film manages to conjures many scares with its great suspense, unique visuals, and stylish direction; it's a film that gets progressively scarier, as the ghost become more and more malevolent, and begin to make their intentions clear. There are many memorable scenes in this film because they are unique and well-executed -- from the clown doll sequence to the vicious face-tearing, it's all still stitched into my mind. This blend of genuine, light-hearted humor and terrifying visuals make this a fun and exciting experience.

The acting is great from the entire cast. Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams share great chemistry, and the child cast deliver believable performances. The music and cinematography have Spielberg written all over it; his style really captures the mystical and fascinating feelings you love in film, it just keeps you hooked, almost in awe without being necessarily epic. (Spielberg didn't compose the music, but he seems to have a distinct style in the films he produces.) Tobe Hooper's direction is great, capturing every heartfelt moment and scare with great precision. Most of the special effects still hold to this day, but some will clearly feel out of place. (the storm/tornado sequence.)

Overall, Poltergeist is a fantastic horror film for fans from across the spectrum -- save for one or two scenes, I'd even argue this film is great for the whole family. Poltergeist is easily memorable, because it's so good and unique, especially for its time, and even now.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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