For me, Poltergeist was one of those movies that used to compel me to sneak into my parent’s bedroom (in my very 80s, very awful, She-Ra pyjamas) to the ‘forbidden’ VHS cupboard just so that I could get a glimpse of that terrifying video cover – you know, that one with the shadows? I was a good girl, so it wasn’t until I was at least 13 that I finally plucked up the courage to seize the moment, defy my Mother, and put that video in the damn player! Curtains drawn, feet up on the sofa, eyes glued to the television, jumping at every ‘house-noise’, terrified that my mother would come home from work before I’d finished watching the movie – it was a tense time for all involved (so, just me then…)
From the playful to the horrific manifestations of your worst nightmares, Poltergeist has a ghost to suit every occasion. Directed by Tobe Hooper and written and co-produced by one Mr Steven Spielberg, this instant classic hit the silver screens back in 1982 and has been terrifying teens for the past three decades.
Set in Cuesta Verde, a very boring, middle-class, identical housing development in California (those sorts of places really creep me out), the story focuses on the Freeling family, a completely average, stereotypical family, nothing at all like the sort you would expect to have such nasty goings on at home (well…at least not in the 80s). Steve and Diane Freeling (Craig T. Nelson and Jobeth Williams) are happily married and financially comfortable, with three children to call their very own. Their eldest is teen Dana (Dominique Dunne), followed by pre-teen son Robbie (Oliver Robins) and finally we have little Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), who is just 10 years old.