James Rolfe: It's Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness"! When it comes to movies about ghosts nothing holds up to "Poltergeist". It's co-written and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper. You can really sense both of their styles going on here. With Spielberg you can tell it has that topnotch production value, and as for Tobe Hooper it doesn't have that low budget sensibility as "The (Texas) Chainsaw Massacre" but it has the shock value and it's very disturbing.
(The clown doll grabs Robbie Freeling from behind)
James: The plot centers around a regular everyday family who's been haunted by spirits that are pissed off because the house was built on top of a burial ground. The spirits, for whatever reason, target 5 year old Carol.
Carol Anne Freeling: They're here…
James: The communicate with her through the TV and eventually take her into their dimension. The rest of the movie the mom and dad are trying to get her back. It's a lot like the "Twilight Zone" episode "Little Girl Lost". In this episode a girl ends up trapped in another dimension. Her family tries everything they can to get her back and through the process they have to learn all about dimensional portals. Lots of metaphysical talk going on and it really gets under your skin. So does "Poltergeist". It's not just about ghosts, it's about theories concerning the powers of the dead. Where do the dead go? What separates their world from ours? It's some really creepy stuff.
Tangina: I don't know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you.
James: It also has its share of less subtle moments. Anyone who makes a top ten list of most horrifying movie moments, I wouldn't be surprised if more than one makes the list. There's the old scary tree, there's the clown, and a guy ripping his own face off. Horror movies don't get much more gross than that. There's a scene involving skeletons coming up out of a pool. Supposedly they used real skeletons from a medical supply because it was cheaper than having to make fake plastic ones. Knowing that makes it a whole lot creepier.
Two sequels were made, but unfortunately many of the cast members died during a very short timespan, including Heather O'Rourke at the age of 12. This is why many people call it 'The Poltergeist Curse'.
When it comes to horror movies "Poltergeist" is one of the most famous. It has the Spielberg name attached to it and it had a big budget. That almost gives the false impression that it's not as terrifying as the more underground horror movies, but I can honestly say it's one of the most memorable, disturbing and bone-chilling that the genre has to offer.