Poltergeist (1982)

Although Steven Spielberg is credited as the co-writer and producer of this 1982 frightfest, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he wasn’t just sitting behind a desk. His directorial influence is evident everywhere, from the cosy suburban milieu to the Close Encounters-like shafts of ghostly light that permeate so many scenes. Spielberg claimed that the named director, Texas Chain Saw maverick Tobe Hooper, wasn’t ‘a take-charge sort of guy’ – though he has always staunchly defended Hooper’s creative contribution. Whatever the reality, the film is memorably scary, at times feeling almost like a checklist of horror iconography: spooky kids, creepy clowns, skeletons, ghosts, gore, Indian burial grounds. Shot in pre-CG times, one can only wonder how much invisible string they used for all the flying furniture. DA
Dir Tobe Hooper (JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Craig T Nelson)

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