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Poltergeist

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Poltergeist 25th Anniversary: Deluxe Edition (DVD)

A typical family in a quiet suburb of a normal California faces a frightening ordeal when its home is invaded by a Poltergeist. Late one night, 10-year-old Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O'Rourke) hears a voice coming from inside the television set ... At first, the spirits that invade the Freeling's home seem like playful children. But then they turn angry. And when Carol Anne is pulled from this world into another, Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams--In the Land of Women) turn to an exorcist (Zelda Rubinstein) in this horror classic from director Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre films) and producer and screenwriter Steven Spielberg.

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Special Features

They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeist Revealed

Product Details

  • Actors: JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein, Dominique Dunne
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Writers: Steven Spielberg, Mark Victor, Michael Grais
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 4.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V4UFZK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Poltergeist" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I've been a fan of this film for over 20 years. My parents had the VHS and before that it was taped from TV. I own the 25th Anniversary edition, which I had not yet watched. I know Blu-Rays often are criticized for the lack of extras, but I must specifically comment here on the PQ and AQ.

I absolutely love this film, for its storyline, characters and visual accomplishments achieved for its time period. I did not expect a quality transfer such as this one, when I popped the disc in. I purchased this at Target yesterday which had it at a price comparable to Amazon's, after tax, and with a temporary price reduction.

I use a 42" Panasonic Plasma, Onkyo 605 receiver, Panasonic BD30K Blu player and Paradigm Speakers, on this particular set up.

The picture is amazing! There are some areas where there is a bit of noise in the sky shots over "Cuesta Verde", the housing development. However, other than that, for a film that is 26 years old, the picture and sound are stunning. The colors really pop in this edition, and the sound during the paranormal phenomena is spectacular. Blacks and detail are very rich and the sound is thunderous when it should be, but even throughout the film, as it needs to be.

The Digi-Book packaging is a neat little perk, as it adds some history, production notes and intewresting little tidbits. Although these can be found on the net, as well, for the same price and even cheaper than some other Blu-Rays, the packaging adds an extra incremental value.

If you love this movie, the transfer is absolutely worth picking this up! If you just like it, give it a rent. I have 100's of HD DVD's and Blu-Rays, and this is one of the best transfers I've seen, of those films I have viewed. PQ: 4/5 AQ: 4/5.
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Format: DVD
Now that DVDs are way down in price, I've ended up with literally thousands--I think. I have a tendency to resist the earlier releases, the ones that are obviously "cheapies" with no special features--I know that better editions are just around the bend for most films! But I recently had to make an exception for "Poltergeist". Now I had originally seen this film in a theater on its release. I have always considered it one of the best in its genre. I've seen it a couple of times since, but probably not at all in the last ten years (and for the record--all the sequels were terrible).

What amazed me was that I still thought it was a terrific movie! Now, some people will think a couple of the effects are cheesy--and for today's standards, maybe they are. But they are so well integrated into the film that I don't think the modern viewer will mind. And I believe films are historical documents--I hate that George Lucas, for example, has corrupted his films with constant CGI updates. It's as sacrilegious as colorization was!

"Poltergeist" succeeds as a great film due, in large part, to it's unrelenting suspense--but, in equal measure, it relies on us to care about the family involved. I think the movie endures because it has heart and characters to actually root for. Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams are great (and believable) as the parents affected. Their love for each other and their family, and their willingness to sacrifice anything for the safety of their kids is well presented and acted. Williams, in particular, has never been better. At first, she is your typical suburban Mom--but as strange things start happening, you see her confusion, her delight, her fear, her horror, her desperation and her heroic side. It's a very nice underrated performance.
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Format: DVD
Every since "Poltergeist" was released there has been debate about who influenced the final result more, Director Tobe Hooper or Producer Steven Spielberg. I personally think the answer can be discovered by comparing Poltergeist to their previous works: I ask you, is it closer in style to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?

All that aside, "Poltergeist" is a rippin' good ghost story. Craig T. Nelson and Jobeth Williams play the parents of a family that unfortunately lives in one wicked suburbia haunted house. The movie develops slowly, giving us time to care about this family. Mr. Nelson and Ms. Williams are dream parents - cool, funny, smart and devoted to the family and each other.

The kids are pretty typical movie kids and their performances don't detract.

Initially, there are just a few unusual and creepy goings-on. Chairs move by themselves. The youngest daughter, played by young Heather O'Rourke, makes out voices that come through the television late at night after everyone else has gone to sleep.

At about the midway point of the film the owners of the "voices" start some serious shenanigans in the house and in the confusion, take little Carol Anne hostage. You're on the edge of your seat the rest of the movie.

Some academic ghost-buster types move in and set up cameras and recorders. Next thing you know, weird things are happening to them as well.

Made before the CGI age, "Poltergeist" nonetheless has some impressive special effects. The story tries to get under your skin. It doesn't just pick one thing to be scared of. There is no 25 foot shark or machete-wielding madman. Instead it succeeds over and over again at creeping you out at everyday objects.
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