Last week’s release of the trailer for the Poltergeist reboot means that now’s as good a time as any to revisit the original, airing tonight on Turner Classic Movies at 6 p.m. Eastern. One of the most popular horror movies of the 1980s, Poltergeist reached massive audiences in part because of its PG rating, in part because it arrived during the first big era for cable TV and video stores, and in part because it was produced by proven hit-maker Steven Spielberg—and, as many have contended over the years, secretly directed by him as well, and not by the credited Tobe Hooper. (Certainly the staging, lighting, and wry humor in Poltergeist resemble Close Encounters and Jaws more than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Funhouse.) Whoever’s responsible, Poltergeist remains an effective thriller, introducing an adorable family in an opulent new suburb and then putting them through their paces as supernatural forces begin to encroach on their perfect home. It’ll be a hard film for any remake to top, no matter how many creepy clown dolls, gnarly trees, and staticky TV sets the new creative team throws on the screen.
February 13, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day