Originally released in 1982, Heather O' Rourke plays the main role as loveable (and cute!) Carol-Anne, while JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson (leading star of the 80s T.V. sitcom hit, "Coach"), & Zelda Rubinstein would probably be considered the supporting actors. It is the most original and creative ghost story since "The Exorcist" (1973) & "The Amityville Horror" (1979) about the Freeling family who lives in the beautiful California suburbs. (which is where the movie was filmed) Carol-Anne somehow has a link with the supernatural via the family television set and soon strange and funny things begin to happen: a large earthquake strikes the community, chairs begin moving on their own, and the family dog begins barking for no apparent reason. (Or so it looks from OUR point of view!)
However, the phenomenon soon turns into a terrifying nightmare of unspeakable horrors: the mysterious tree outside in the back yard comes to life and nearly swallows Carol-Annes' brother, Robbie whole; and Carol-Anne is sucked into a parallel demension (the afterlife) through her bedroom closet. Now, it's up to a group of professionals in the study of the paranormal and a gifted elderly psychic to get her back!
(WARNING: Do NOT read this if you have not yet seen the movie. Contains spoilers...)
In the world of the afterlife, Carol-Anne continues to be tormented by the powerful entity (AKA The Beast) and soon her mother must be plunged into the spectral world herself, while her husband and the others assist her safe return in the process. Barely escaping the undead insanity, Carol-Anne and her mother are brought back to our reality through a gateway in the bathroom ceiling.
Everything is back to normal and everyone is safe again... OR SO IT SEEMS! One night, the family agrees to leave their beautiful home but the nightmare isn't over yet! Robbie is attacked by the one thing that scares him, his stuffed clown doll, while the mother tackles head on with the beast ITSELF! The spirits are now PISSED!! Carol-Anne and Robbie are nearly swallowed back into the portal to the afterlife but are saved by their courageous mother.
The father, being a real estate agent arrives home with his boss and is enraged with anger with the discovery that the town cemetary's headstones was moved but the bodies were left buried under the Freeling's home. After a breathtaking escape, all hell breaks loose in the suburbs in an explosive thrill-ride finale! The ending was quite clever and nicely done and once you see it, you'll never think of T.V. sets the same way again! The DVD includes WIDESCREEN & FULLSCREEN animorphic formats and the original theatrical trailer to the film which is nice for an extra treat! But keep in mind that the BONUS extras are pretty limited.
There are absolutely NO BTS footage, let alone cast interviews or director commentaries. During the production of the film, real scary events were reported happening which weren't supposed to happen and ironically a few years later, Heather O' Rourke, Dominique Dunne (who played Carol-Anne and Robbie's older sister, Dana Freeling), & Julian Beck (who played the villain, Kain in the sequel) died. (Heather O' Rourke died before the release of "Poltergeist III") I only hope that maybe in the future a Special Edition 2-disk set of the movie can be available, teaching us what REALLY happened during filming with the cast interviews and such. After all, it would give Tobe Hooper and Spielberg fans a more insight to the movie. For now, this is the best version of the movie you can get and is without doubt, a MASTERPIECE in cinema!
I GIVE IT A 10/10!!!! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS #1 HORROR CLASSIC! BUY TODAY!!! I also recommend, "The Amityville Horror", "Tourist Trap", "The Exorcist", & "The Funhouse" in addition! They are all truly horrifying films in their own unique way.