This is exactly the horror movie I needed right now. It is filled with creepy moments, good jolts of fear, and a real sense of heart and humor. Poltergeist is a great horror film to recommend to people who don’t like horror films.

The film opens with an average family. It fills the early scenes with very real and lived in moments, from the kids bickering at the kitchen table to the dad tying his tie while on the phone and accidentally tying the phone cord along with his tie. These characters feel real and lived in. This movie is filled with small moments and subtle details that really give this family an honesty that modern movies don’t allow their characters. One night though, things start happening. The young daughter hears voices coming from the static on the tv. Some classic 80’s style special effects emerge and wake the rest of the family. She utters her classic line, “They’re here.” Then what seems to be an earthquake shakes their house.

The next day, in one delightful shot, the mom Diane, played by JoBeth Williams, straightens up the chairs around the table. She turns to grab something, and when she turns around the tables are on top of the table. Great shot. She then giddily experiments with the strange phenomena. She excitedly drags her husband, Steven, played by Craig T Nelson, into the kitchen to see what’s going on. They are excited and think it’s really cool. They aren’t horrified. They don’t treat it as the footsteps of doom as they would in modern movies. They react the way real people who. Sort of dumbfounded and a little goofy about the whole thing. This surprising reaction sets the movie apart from the rest of its ilk, while also being a lot more fun to watch.

Things go wrong that night however as the unseen forces at work take their young daughter away with them. It’s a really effective set piece that builds the tension and the horror. Again though, when Steven and Diane seek out a paranormal investigator, the movie takes a comic, yet believably comic turn. These investigators have very human very real reactions. It’s a fantastic sequence as the family shows off their haunted house.

The film builds and releases tension beautifully. It combines humor with character and horror with story. It’s a really delightful movie. It’s perfect for anyone’s halloween viewing because it has the tension and the scares, but has a lot more going on than just that. There’s a lot of entertainment value in this movie. It’s absolutely worth checking out. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

I am deeply enamored of this movie. I’ve always liked it. It’s always been a soldi scary movie, but it has come at the right time this month. I’ve had some really intensely creepy movies recently. This is the perfect break. It is scary. It has one of the most horrifying clowns in movie history. Seriously, why would anyone buy their kid a toy clown? But it is not so recently terrifying as some of the movies I’ve seen recently. If I was to come up with a scale of intensity, this is at like a 6 out of 10. Spooky? Yes. Make you pee your pants and sleep with the lights on? No, but that’s exactly what I want and need right now. It’s definitely my cup of tea. A-

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