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“Theyre here,” - seeming almost whimsical at first, playing stack-the- chair games in the Freelings kitchen. Then things turn darker. A storm erupts, a tree attacks and little Carol Anne Freeling is whisked into a spectral void. As her family confronts horrors galore and fights to bring the youngster back, something else is here too: a new benchmark in Hollywood ghost stories. Producers Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall and director Tobe Hooper head the elite scream team of this classic whose nerve-jangling effects include floating phantasms, the fiercest monster ever to pop out of a closet and an entire house collapsing into nothingness. Welcome to Home Sweet Haunted Home.
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I rented it from Prime Video and noticed it was really quiet, even at full volume on my laptop. Disappointed about that because the noises like screaming and the booms and all were very loud, but the talking was super quiet. I had to put on subtitles which where fast so I would be reading what hasn't been said yet!!
POLTERGEIST is one of these.
The transfer is great. I was 2 when it came out so I never got to see it as a big-screen experience and it is a revelation to see it as such: I liked this movie before and I LOVE it now. However, the transfer's not the problem...it's the master. I don't think they cleaned the film sufficiently when they struck the master because there's noticeable dirt and pinprick abrasions throughout the film: it's not terrible, or even plain bad...but if you are a videophile like me, it can be a bit unnerving. The worst part is the living room scene where they first speak to Carol Anne: there's a series of faded vertical scratches through the middle of the screen throughout the entire scene...I would have hoped they'd notice that and paint it out, but they didn't. Thankfully the scratches are thin and faint (and they don't show up again) so they're not unbearable, but they are irritating. The film is grainy, but in the good way (1980s film stock wasn't as sharp as it is today) although some grains seem a little larger than others at times...but I can't prove it.
As for special features, well, I think POLTERGEIST is never gonna have the special features it deserves due to the whole Spielberg/Hooper controversy, so I won't get my hopes up. Basically the picture reminds me of first generation DVDs of classic movies (the first Road Warrior DVD comes to mind)...much better than VHS, but it could be improved/cleaned up.
Colors, tones, blacks and all that other stuff seem to be fine. Aside from the maintenance issue, I don't see any other problems with this transfer and at $20 right now is a great find.