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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Poltergeist (1982)

In a Southern California suburban community, a family finds their home invaded by malevolent spirits that abduct the youngest child (Heather O'Rourke). To this end, the parents (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson) seek help from a parapsychologist (Beatrice Straight). Produced by Steven Spielberg, who co-wrote the script, and directed by Tobe Hooper (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) although rumors have subsisted for years that Spielberg also had a hand in the direction which has been verified by some cast members. At its core, this is a "B" movie with an "A" budget and all the trimmings from first rate (at the time) special effects to the excellent Jerry Goldsmith underscore. My only complaint is I wish the characters weren't so formulaic, the nuclear family is straight out of a 60s TV sitcom. That aside, this is a splendid ghostly tale of mother love and the consequences of disrespect for the dead. The exposition is a bit of a drag but once O'Rourke is spirited away, the movie steps on the gas and doesn't let up till the end. With Zelda Rubenstein (who steals the movie), Dominique Dunne (just awful), Oliver Tobias, Richard Lawson and James Karen.

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