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Product Details

  • Actors: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Writers: Steven Spielberg, Mark Victor, Michael Grais
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Feb. 1 2001
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792833201
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,486 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

This awesome supernatural thriller stars Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as a California couple swept up in a wave of horror after sinister spirits invade their home and kidnap their child. Year: 1982 Director: Tobe Hooper Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Jo Beth Williams, Beatrice Straight


What a combo! Tobe Hooper, the director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, teamed up with family-oriented producer Steven Spielberg to make Poltergeist. The film is about a haunted suburban tract home in a development very much like the Arizona one in which Spielberg was raised. (Because it came out the same summer as Spielberg's E.T., it was tempting to see both movies as representing Spielberg's ambivalent feelings about childhood in suburbia. One was a fantasy, the other a nightmare.) Spielberg also cowrote the screenplay, which taps into primal, childlike fears of monsters under the bed, monsters in the closet, sinister clown faces, and all manner of things that go bump in the night. At first, some of the odd happenings in the house are kind of funny and amusing, but they grow gradually creepier until the film climaxes in a terrifying special-effects extravaganza when 5-year-old Carole Anne (Heather O'Rourke) is kidnapped by the spooks and held hostage in another dimension. Though not nearly as frightening as Hooper's magnum opus, or the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, which came along two years later, Poltergeist is one of the smartest and most entertaining horror pictures of its time. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 5 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition provides an excellent transfer of one of the best films in its genre. As for the extras, well, they seem to be designed for folks who think the genre is documentary ... you won't learn anything about the making of the film, but you'll see an updated version of the investigators of the paranormal portrayed in it. Too bad Tangina's not here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blade on June 29 2004
Format: DVD
When two of the greatest directors, horror master Tobe Hooper (creator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" & "Salem's Lot") and filming genius, Steven Spielberg (creator of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" & "Schindler's List") came together, the blockbuster smash-hit, "Poltergeist" was born and blew audiences away worldwide! A classic combo of epic proportions that brought us one of the most horrifying, imaginative, and powerful films ever put on the BIG SCREEN!
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!
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Format: DVD
Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Jobeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Zelda Rubenstein.
Running Time: 114 minutes.
Rated PG for ghastly scary scenes and some language.
The anticipation for "Poltergiest" was imminent. With "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" director Tobe Hooper teaming with the likes of Steven Spielberg (who has directed such classics as "Jaws" and "Jurassic Park") and Frank Marshall, it was bound to be a supernatural classic. The team did not disappoint. This film is one of the most stylish, devilishly entertaining horror films of the past quarter century, using superb special effects, fine performances, and an elegantly humorous screenplay as a springboard to portray the terror of restless spirits.
The opening scene of "Poltergiest" is the most famous, presenting the cute six-year old girl Carol Ann in front of a disoriented television screen. As the girl turns back to her family, who has fallen asleep watching a television program, she proclaims "They're here!", creating the foundation for a tense, roller-coaster ride full of ghoulish thrills and chills. When the family realizes that their house has been inhabited by fiendish spirits who wish to use their daughter as tool to reach the next world, parents Steven and Diane (played extremely well by "Coach"'s Craig T. Nelson and the charming Jobeth Williams) must put their faith back in love and use sheer determination to save their family from the evil ghosts.
Some of the most memorable and witty scenes involve the quirky haunted house specialist (played by Rubenstein), which she guides the Freeling parents into a world of unspeakable horrors as they attempt to rescue their daughter.
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Format: DVD
POLTERGEIST is a film conceived, co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. A clause in Spielberg's contract with Universal for E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL forbade him from directing POLTERGEIST and E.T. simultaneously. Spielberg hired up-and-coming horror film director Tobe Hooper, whose biggest credit to date was the classic horror film THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, to helm the picture.
Up to this point, Hooper had only directed three other features: EGGSHELLS, an independent film that proceeded CHAINSAW, EATEN ALIVE, another backwoods horror film in the vein of CHAINSAW, and THE FUNHOUSE, which was his first studio-backed film. CHAINSAW, his only really notable film at the time, was a notorious success (and a phenomenal film despite its reputation from people who go by the garish title only). It is great praise that on the strength of this film alone, Steven Spielberg, Hollywood's golden boy by this point (having JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK under his belt) would give Hooper's film (guarded) praise "It's a real cult film, I know, but one of the most truly visceral movies ever made. Essentially it starts inside the stomach and ends in the heart. As a filmmaker who likes to see everything, I loved it".
POLTERGEIST is set in what would become a hallmark of Spielberg films: suburbia. In the film, The Freelings, a young couple and their three children are terrorized by spectral entities that exist within the spirit world, yet manifest themselves in their home (most notably through the conduit of the television). The spirits make contact with the family's youngest child, Carol Anne, and soon, in one of the film's most (out of many) harrowing sequences, abduct her away (through the bedroom closet) into the spirit realm.
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