Poltergeist Movie Review

Release: 1982, Rating: PG, Run time: 114 min.

I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve ever been this disappointed in revisiting a classic movie. Poltergeist is a movie that I cherished for a long time, yet it was forever since I saw it last and I couldn’t remember a thing. I decided to pop in the Blu-ray and sadly I came out not liking it as much. The problem is, the movie is good, even great, but time hasn’t been kind to it. Should a movie that hasn’t aged well, be rated bad? That’s the 100 dollar question…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A family’s home is haunted by a host of ghosts. 

Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) is about to open a big can of worms.

Poltergeist is a simple story, about a family who starts experiencing strange events in their new home. The youngest of the family, Carol Anne, played by the adorable Heather O’Rourke, starts to communicate with the spirits and sadly by doing so, opens a gateway. The family starts to become worried for their safety, after a night of a tragic events and decides to get help from some specialists (wow, this plot sounds like The Conjuring).

Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) inspecting the house for the ghosts, who gave her that awful name.

Poltergeist isn’t your typical haunted house movie. It’s full to the brim of snazzy special effects (for the time) and tons of weird stuff happening. It’s also got a good amount of humor and I enjoyed a laugh or two, even when the movie wasn’t trying to make me laugh. You see, the problem with the movie, is like I said above, it hasn’t aged well. The acting is a little wonky with some people, especially the kids (minus Carol Anne, of course) and the story kinda goes all over the place. It has a hard time finding it’s grounding and suffers from multiple ending syndrome. There are story threads that just kinda hang there and don’t seem to be resolved. Why have these ghosts shown up now, after so many years? What’s with the giant tree? Also, the ending leads it’s self to the biggest problem. After everything that has happened, why would this family spend anymore time in the house?

Diane (JoBeth Williams) comes face to face with the beast from beyond.

Part of me doesn’t really feel right putting any hate on Poltergeist, as it is a classic and deserves to be regraded as such. I completely understand why people love it and I also know that I too loved it when I was younger. There are several moments that will make you jump and if your a kid, this movie will freak the crap out of you. Having now aged, Poltergeist loses a little bit of it’s charm, but you know what, I still think it’s a film that will always stay dear to my heart, problems and all.


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