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Poltergeist (reissue)


Stars: Jobeth Williams, Craig T Nelson, Heather O'Rourke, Dominique Dunne, Beatrice Straight, Oliver Robins, Michael McManus, Zelda Rubinstein, James Karen, Dirk Blocker

Director: Tobe Hooper

It's a bit of a shame that the BBC chose to show this one just before the nationwide release of its 4K restoration print, but this Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg scarer is still well worth catching on the big screen.

If this one doesn't scare you, in fact, the odds are that nothing ever will.

Somewhere in the middle of a night of terror for a suburban American family, their cute little daughter (O'Rourke) has been sucked into the TV, which has been left on by dozing (and dozy) Dad (Nelson).

This is only the beginning of the most sensational ghost story since the original version of The Haunting. If your nerves can stand the pounding that director Hooper and writer-producer Spielberg give them in the last hour of this, they're up to anything.

And Williams as Mom, braving monsters, corpses, poltergeists and even the jaws of hell with shrieks of 'Take your hands off my babies!' will tear you right apart.

The film is one superbly engineered shock after another; from writhing wraiths to gaping ghouls and sinister spectres, the story is an orgy of horrific action that never lets up for a moment - truly frightening, even if it ends with a delightful chilly smile. The moral: never leave your TV on at night!

David Quinlan

USA 1982. UK Distributor: Park Circus (originally Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Metrocolor.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 17 Oct 2022