Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images
‘THEY’RE HERE’: The Freeling family discovers their new house is filled with malevolent ghosts in the 1982 horror classic, Poltergeist, screening with Casper on Oct. 18, at Sunset Drive-In in SLO.

Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Lifeforce) directs this supernatural horror story written by Steven Spielberg about a family that moves to a new home in the planned community of Cuesta Verde and soon discovers it’s occupied by malevolent entities. Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) is a successful real estate agent, and he and his wife, Diane (JoBeth Williams), look after their three kids: 16-year-old Dana (Dominique Dunne), 8-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and 5-year-old Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke)—the latter seems particularly attuned to the ghostly infestation.

When strange things begin happening around the house, the family enlists parapsychologist Martha Lesh (Beatrice Straight) and her team to investigate, who in turn brings in Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein), a spiritual medium, to rid the house of its poltergeists. Things do not go as planned.

The special effects are awesome, and even though it has a PG rating, it may upset some kids due to some gruesome moments. The film also has a weird real-life curse. Two of the Freeling kids died young—Dunne, who was 22, was murdered by her boyfriend just a few months after the film’s release, and O’Rourke died at age 12 of a misdiagnosed intestinal disorder. Boo! (114 min.)

—Glen Starkey

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