They're here.

"Now clear your minds. It knows what scares you."

Tangina Barrons

Poltergeist

Release Date: June 4, 1982

Poltergeist is a tale of terror that could happen to you.

In the mystic, metaphysical realm of the poltergeist, nothing remains the same. The real becomes the surreal; the familiar is offset by the unfamiliar. It is a nightmare founded in fact.

In Poltergeist, produced by Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall and directed by Tobe Hooper from a screenplay by Spielberg, Michael Grais & Mark Victor, the nightmare begins in the home of Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams), an attractive suburban couple with three children (Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins and Heather O'Rourke) who suddenly find themselves at the center of a terrifying polter­geist phenomenon.

Almost overnight, the Freelings' quiet world of Sunday afternoon football games and PTA meetings is terrorized by violent and supernatural intrusions from a world beyond.

Although volumes have been written on the subject, poltergeists still remain an unexplainable phenomenon—a fact that captured the imagination of Steven Spielberg, whose previous films have captivated millions with their gripping reality and dazzling adventures. From the terror of Jaws and the awe of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, to the electrifying escapades of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spielberg has proven that he has his finger on the pulse of the movie going public, or as one well-respected critic wrote, "Steven Spielberg knows how to tell a story on screen."

"Poltergeist means noisy ghost, or in the vernacular, bratty ghost," Spielberg explains. "It is not to be taken lightly because in our movie, they are anything but bratty. They are violent and very volatile."

Director Tobe Hooper adds that Poltergeist can best be described as "a sensational roller coaster ride that is abso­lutely terrifying and exciting at the same time."

The summer of 1982 saw Poltergeist released one week ahead of another Spielberg fantasy, one that would capture the heart of the world in the form of a little lost being, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Says Spielberg of the two back-to-back productions that showed two sides of his personality, "Poltergeist is a scream, E.T. is a whisper."

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • CRAIG T. NELSON,
  • JOBETH WILLIAMS,
  • BEATRICE STRAIGHT,
  • DOMINIQUE DUNNE,
  • OLIVER ROBINS,
  • HEATHER O'ROURKE,
  • ZELDA RUBINSTEIN,
  • JAMES KAREN,
  • MARTIN CASELLA,
  • RICHARD LAWSON
DIRECTOR
  • TOBE HOOPER
SCREENWRITERS
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG AND MICHAEL GRAIS & MARK VICTOR, STORY BY STEVEN SPIELBERG
PRODUCERS
  • FRANK MARSHALL,
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • MATTHEW F. LEONETTI
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
  • JAMES H. SPENCER
VFX SUPERVISOR
  • RICHARD EDLUND
EDITOR
  • MICHAEL KAHN
COMPOSER
  • JERRY GOLDSMITH