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A storm erupts, a spooky looking tree, bending utensils, floating corpse people and Carol Anne are swept into a paranormal world. There is a dark side that gets discovered and Carol Anne makes contact with an evil sprit. A middle class family has to try and keep it together and save their daughter. What is there to fear? Its the fear of the unknown and after watching this movie you will wonder a lot about the unknown. If a haunting was going to happen, I think this is how it would happen.
A normal happy family that lives in a house that ends up being haunted. I know we have heard this a million times before, but this movie is great even as an adult it still scares me. It starts out really amusing for the Freeling Family, the ghosts seem to be harmless and they just want to play I guess… The ghosts start to change. They become mean and start playing tricks; they want what they came for, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke). Carol Anne has started to talk to the ghost or sprits through the TV giving you the feeling that something may be watching you through your TV. The TV screen with no picture, but there is some form of supernatural communication between the evil sprits and Carol Anne.
The big scary tree in the yard seems to come to life (we all know that when we were kids there was a tree that was spooky looking).Then it happens, they take Carol Anne through a portal in her closet. She ends up in another world on the other side (here again makes you think of the nightmares when you were a kid that there was something in your closet, just maybe it was a portal to the other side).
Carol Anne’s parents Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams) have to face some harsh reality that there is something out there and that their daughter has disappeared or has been kidnapped from her own closet. They are going to have to call in a group of para normal investigators to try and get their daughter back. Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight) is the lead member of the team along with the clairvoyant Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein).
Tangina assists with paranormal phenomena, being able to calm the fears of Carol Anne’s parents but also finding the portal that maybe the key to saving their daughter. There is a creepy feeling throughout the movie. The tension really starts to build when they are trying to keep Carol Anne from the light. I found myself saying don’t go to the light. The ending is great you will think its over at one minute then you realize you’re wrong, It is the final twist in a great movie.
Its amazing that the main characters in the movie are children, Heather O’Rourke played Carol Anne at 5 years old and she was fabulous. Then, 8 year old Robbie played by Oliver Robins was a delight to watch and the eldest of the child stars is 18 year old Dominique Dunne as Dana. Its a shame that O’Rourke and Dunne both passed away at such a young age. There are a lot of stories that it was part of a curse set on the people who made the film.
The special effects and the music are structured and they keep you drawn to the movie. Great roles were cast perfectly. The music throws in the perfect twist to keep you on the end of your seat. As for the special effects, you would not think it was the 80s; they still work. Its either the script, the music or the special effects…it does not matter this movie is a classic horror film, they didn’t have to use blood and gore to make their point.
JoBeth Williams is Diane Freeling, the loving wife and concerned parent trying to keep her family together and safe from the unknown.
Craig T. Nelson is Steve Freeling, the father and he is on the brink of losing his mind.
Heather O’Rourke is Carol Anne Freeling, the star of the film, who played her role memorably.
Zelda Rubinstein is the clairvoyant Tangina Barrons, with a wonderfully distinctive voice and laugh… leader of the paranormal team and the discoverer of the portal to the other side.
In 1982 by the Academy Awards Poltergeist was Nominated for an Oscar in 3 categories: Best Effects – Sound Effects Editing, Best Effects – Visual Effects, and Best Music – Original Score.
In 1983 the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror awarded Poltergeist with the Saturn Award in 3 categories; Best Horror Film, Best Make-up, and Best Supporting Actress.
The movie was also Nominated for 3 other categories but did not win they were: Best Actress, Best Director and Best Music.
In 1983 Poltergeist won the BAFTA film Award for Best Special Visual Effects.
Heather O’Rourke was also nominated for The Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.