"This house is clean." I've never seen a horror film with this much warmth. Jobeth Williams' character is wonderfully developed, balancing her screaming scenes with equal measures of motherly strength and playful curiosity. Had me line and sinker until the first false ending. The film would have been better off without "The Beast" and the teenage daughter.
Malgré les années, Poltergeist est encore très regardable. Sa mise en abîme de l'American Way of Life, sa réalisation très apaisée, Spielbergienne, joue sur plusieurs niveaux de sens et utilise le fantastique comme critique sociale, de la banlieue, de la télévision... et même de la famille, si on y regarde bien. Bien fichu !
An odd creature this, combining Speilbergian sentimentality with modest horror tactics - a formula continued with Gremlins replacing shlock with slapstick. It holds attention despite uneven pacing, variable performance styles and certainly one false finale too many. A tightening of plot and reduction of length would have improved matters, although the occasional satiric barb on Americana pokes through in recompense.
For a horror movie, POLTERGEIST didn't feel too frightening to me. But I must admit that some scenes is really scared the shit out of me when I was watching it for first time - when I was 8 years old, maybe. In my opinion, POLTERGEIST is still a decent horror movie. Tobe Hooper's experience to create a horror and Steven Spielberg's experience to make an entertaining movie blends so well in this movie. Great movie!
At a recent screening in San Francisco, I was disappointed to find that the 70mm print was in such bad shape that "Poltergeist's" deep blue and black hues instead read as magenta. I was worried it would impact my enjoyment of finally seeing the film on the big screen, but such is the power of "Poltergeist" that five minutes later it didn't matter. The warmest, funniest, and most joyous horror film ever made.
It was the first (and probably really only) movie that scared the living shit out of me when I was a youngster. It put me through turmoil and made me hate toy clowns, closets, scary sounds and the darkness itself, but also made me pretty immune for anything called scary movies and special effects later on. Zelda Rubinstein is unique as a weird medium and late Heather O'Rourke is an angel of a kid as Carol Anne.
Lots to comment here about femininity and its historied association with the paranormal and/or spiritual, but I digress; you can write this off as cornball, but at its core this film is about how the past never stays the past, and what we forget and regard as detritus is never truly gone; it is always lurking in the peripheries of history, ready to erupt. Okay, ‘the Beast' character was shitty, but whatever.