“They’re here!” With those two words, the 1982 movie Poltergeist skyrocketed into legend status. This is one movie that appears on many must-watch horror movies lists and for good reason.
Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) sees and talks to invisible people. While her family thinks they’re just her imaginary friends, these people turn out to be demons called poltergeists and they are wreaking havoc on the Freeling family.
While this sounds like the typical haunted house story, the movie is actually well made and scary. All the actors do a great job, even O’Rourke. Child actors are usually not great actors, but O’Rourke did such an amazing job that she was better than some adults at the time. As for why the house is haunted, yes, it is a cliché reason but you won’t care so much since this movie is awesome.
If you’re used to horror movies that are nothing but jump scares (thanks Paranormal Activity) this movie doesn’t really have any. In fact, the real horror comes with how these poltergeists actually do attack the family to the point of kidnapping Carol Anne. That part right there is one of the scariest parts in the movie.
The movie also doesn’t talk down to its audience. The scenes where the poltergeists “play” with the family members are well done and some are actually scary. One of the craziest scenes is when all the dinner table chairs get stacked onto the table. Yes, it’s a funny scene but this is just playtime. That’s how poltergeists act: they play with you at first and then they let you have it with the violence.
The climax is one of the best and most messed up things you’ll ever see. What makes the climax even more messed up than normal is that the older sister Dana (Dominique Dunne) was in a pool with actual corpses. Yes, those aren’t props, those are real dead bodies.
Of course, one problem this movie does have is that it does drag on in parts. It’s a two-hour movie and while much of what happens is entertaining and plot-relevant, there are times when you find yourself falling asleep because the scene seems a bit too long for what they’re trying to do.
Poltergeist may have some boring parts, but much of the movie is awesome that throws at you great acting and plenty of scares that should make any horror fan love this movie.