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Movie Info & Cast
- Craig T. Nelson
- JoBeth Williams
- Beatrice Straight
- Dominique Dunne
- Oliver Robins
- Heather O'Rourke
- Michael McManus
- Virginia Kiser
- Martin Casella
- Richard Lawson
Did You Know?
- Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper wanted virtually unknown actors to play the Freelings because they wanted to add a realism to the family that would off-balance the ghost story. They felt that if the audience watched well-known stars, then it would take away from the realistic feel of the characters.
- (at around 9 mins) The shadow of Carol Anne's bird when Diane is going to drop it into the toilet.
- Robbie Freeling: I got beat up once by three kids. They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck, and they're upstairs right now.
Atom User Reviews
Poltergiest is no nonstop scream express; at times it pulls its punches (Spielberg wants that PG rating), and at times its effects are bigger than life and less than terrifying. But like Spielberg's Jaws, which was a perfect genre movie, Poltergeist does what it's supposed to do about as well as it can be done.
Poltergeist's most canny conceit is how it takes the concept of a haunted house—up to that point a gothic, remote icon (you practically had to accept a dare and then drive halfway across the state to ever find yourself in one)—and plops it in the middle of the most mundane of all possible locations: American suburbia.
Poltergeist is an effective thriller, not so much because of the special effects, as because Hooper and Spielberg have tried to see the movie's strange events through the eyes of the family members, instead of just standing back and letting the special effects overwhelm the cast along with the audience.