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Notes about this movie:
2- Terribly inept parents
3- Looney Tunes Ghosts
4- Creepy Blonde Kid
5- Creepy Clown
6- Creepy Tree
7- More Epilepsy
8- Not Scary but Fun
9- NOBODY WOULD SLEEP IN THAT HOUSE AGAIN
10- Everybody expects the TV to turn on the whole time at the end.
It has its moments but it's clearly more Spielberg than Hooper, for better or worse.
I'm not sure Poltergeist knows what poltergeist are, but that's not my main gripe with the 1982 horror classic (great title, if anything). What bugs me is that it looks great, is well shot for creepiness, and its iconic status in pop culture can't be disputed, but frustratingly, I can't give it a favorable review. For one thing, it treats the supernatural in the same way Close Encounters treats UFOlogy (note Spielberg's hands on approach to producing this thing). The ghosts are essentially extra-dimensional aliens, and the epileptic strobing could be right out of an alien encounter movie (compare it to E.T., for example). Which is fine. Horror tropes reexamined through the lens of science-fiction. But after what normally would be the climax, there's an extra reel, and that one IS from a straight horror film. It was aliens from the beyond, and now it's Indian burial ground revenants, and who the heck knows anymore? It's a little like the idea that you'd call in a psychic investigator, and later, you'd call in ANOTHER psychic expert - isn't that really the same role? - who contradicts the first one, but not really... Was that all a manifestation of the struggle between director Tobe Hooper and his overlord?
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #31 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #84 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #187 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #423 in Box Office Mojo's All Time Adjusted Box Office
This movie ranks #678 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #681 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #709 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #858 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?