The Front Row View: Poltergeist

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.


“They’re here!” Tobe Hooper’s 1982 Poltergeist is a rollercoaster of a spook show that presents the Freeling family, a group of nice folks in a California suburb menaced by nasty, mischievous ghosts. Just about every childhood terror is brought out and delivered via top-grade special effects—evil clown dolls, terror of things under the bed, the gnarled, sinister-looking tree outside of our bedroom windows. They’re all here all along with warm and appealing performances from Craig T. Nelson and Jobeth Williams as the beleaguered parents of the clan. Zelda Rubinstein makes a big impression as the delightfully weird psychic Tangina. Hooper is the nominal director, but credited producer-writer Steven Spielberg has been rumored to have taken over considerably on the set. “This house is clean!” Yeah, sure it is.


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