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Still of JoBeth Williams in PoltergeistStill of Steven Spielberg, Craig T. Nelson and James Karen in PoltergeistStill of Craig T. Nelson in PoltergeistStill of Oliver Robins in PoltergeistStill of JoBeth Williams in PoltergeistStill of Heather O'Rourke in Poltergeist


A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 7.4/10 (47,032 voted)

Tobe Hooper

Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson

A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they "kidnap" the youngest daughter.

Writers: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais


Craig T. Nelson

Steve Freeling

JoBeth Williams

Diane Freeling

(as Jobeth Williams)

Beatrice Straight

Dr. Lesh

Dominique Dunne

Dana Freeling

Oliver Robins

Robbie Freeling

Heather O'Rourke

Carol Anne Freeling

Michael McManus

Ben Tuthill

Virginia Kiser

Mrs. Tuthill

Martin Casella


(as Marty Casella)

Richard Lawson


Zelda Rubinstein


Lou Perryman


(as Lou Perry)

Clair E. Leucart

Bulldozer Driver

(as Clair Leucart)

James Karen

Mr. Teague

Dirk Blocker

Jeff Shaw

It knows what scares you.

Release Date: 4 June 1982

Filming Locations: 4267 Roxbury Street, Forest Hills, Simi Valley, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $10,700,000


Opening Weekend: $6,896,612
(6 June 1982)
(890 Screens)

Gross: $76,606,280

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Footage from this movie was used in a 2008 DirecTV commercial.


At the end of the film, Steven backs out of the driveway in the station wagon without lights on and crashes into Mr. Teague's truck, yet in the next shot, still pushing the truck out of the way, the wagon's lights are suddenly on.


[first lines]

Carol Anne:
Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes. Yes. I don't know. I don't know.

User Review

Better than a 7.1

Rating: 10/10

Horror films often do not get their do, and the 7.1 rating for Poltergeist
shows that this trend will most likely continue. Clearly an influential film
by Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist reached for, and achieved,
everything that the earlier Amityville Horror failed to be; namely, scary,
credible, and well acted.

Poltergeist, in a nutshell, is a story of suburban California family that
discovers the darker side of the American Dream when their youngest
daughter, Carol Ann, makes contact with evil spirits through the family
television set. "They're here", never fails to send chills down my spine as
I recall seeing this film for the first time as a teenager.

Perhaps 10 to 15 more years will finally lend the credibility to this film
to finally place it among the classics in modern horror cinema.