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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Poltergeist - review (1982) 31 Days of Horror #16

Premise:  When their youngest daughter starts talking to the static on the television set it is just the beginning of a slew of menacing events.

Review:  From the moment the little girl (Heather Rourke) turns and says, "they're heeeerrre." I am sucked in.  In my not so humble opinion, this is the quintessential haunted house film.  It is full of classic scenes, great performances, a story that doesn't grow old and plenty of horrifying moments.  The reason it works so well is it takes aim at so many of the nightmares we all shared.  For kids there are spooky toys, that ominous tree outside the bedroom window and that closet that just isn't right.  For adults there is the violation of your personal space, feeling powerless and the fear of losing your children.  We can identify with these things, they hit familiar nerves.  Then you add some old school special effects, an interesting story, a likeable family and you have a horror film that just works.

This is the rare occasion that I think tinkering with the film would be beneficial.  It does not need any cgi effects, just some modifications to some scenes... namely they face peeling scene.  Effects that may have been state of the art thirty years ago are now the only parts of the film that detract from a real good time.  Still, I can look past them and fear if someone did try to redo some effects they would go overboard and ruin the film. Like when you tell the barber to just clean it up and by the time he is finished your Samson like locks are on the floor and you look like Pee Wee Herman.

If you have never seen this film, do so.  It is a ton of fun and scary.  If you do not see it for the reasons above, then just so you can be cast under the spell of Craig T Nelson.


Scariness:             4.0 out of 5    Dark, scary environments, but bad choices downgrade Freddie to a generic horror villain.

Gore/Violence:     2.0 out of 5    The gory special effect doesn't work, but it still does exist.

Story:                    4.0 out of 5    A family in danger and parents that won't give up.  Classic.

Overall rating (as a film, not just a horror film):  9 out of 10

Check out the rest of the reviews for FilmSnork's 31 Days of Horror here. 

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