->''They're Here...''

''Poltergeist'' (1982) is a horror movie directed by Creator/TobeHooper and co-written and produced by Creator/StevenSpielberg, chronicling the terrifying paranormal events that surround the Freelings, an ordinary suburban family, whose home is invaded by spirits that show a special interest in their five-year-old daughter, Carol Anne.

It was followed by two sequels: ''Film/PoltergeistIITheOtherSide'' (1986) and ''Film/PoltergeistIII'' (1988).

The franchise is often said to be cursed, because several people associated with it, including stars Dominique Dunne and [[Creator/HeatherORourke Heather O'Rourke]], died prematurely. "The Poltergeist Curse" has been the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story. The first film is also known for persistent rumors that Spielberg directed most of the movie.

This film was ranked as #80 on Bravo's ''Series/OneHundredScariestMovieMoments'' and the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever made.

A remake, co-financed between [[Creator/MetroGoldwynMayer MGM]] and Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox, was released May 22 2015, with Creator/SamRaimi as producer and [[WesternAnimation/MonsterHouse Gil Kenan]] as director.

If you are looking for a trope about mischievous ghost vandals, you can see it under the "Main" tab.
!! These movies contains examples of:

* BigBad: Reverend Henry Kane / [[spoiler: The Beast]].
* BigWhy: Steve grabs his land-developer boss and screams at him for having relocated the headstones of the cemetery on which his haunted house was built, while ''leaving the bodies''. His rant of accusation ends with a furious double example of this trope.
* CreepyChild: Carol Anne has her moments.
* ForgottenTrope: In the 80's, analog television sets would produce a screen of static when not tuned to a specific channel. Nowadays, not so much. (Although many younger people are likely familiar with static [[PopCulturalOsmosis purely because of shows and movies continuing to show static on nonfunctioning televisions long after they stopped working that way]].)
** Also in the 80s and earlier, networks would stop broadcasting late at night. Younger generations have grown up with 24 hour television, so they won't catch the significance of the television turning to static, then commonly known as [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything "dead air"]]...
** Nowadays, hotel televisions are typically tied in place with cables to prevent theft, so the final shot of the father evicting a TV from their hotel room is also dated.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Carol Anne has long golden hair and she is very kind and innocent with a pure heart.
* HeliumSpeech: Tangina, all the time.
* InnocentBlueEyes: Carol Anne has these.
* IronicNurseryTune: The opening theme.
* ISeeDeadPeople: Carol Anne can see ghosts and communicate with them from the TV set.
** ''God Is In His Holy Temple'' in the second film. [[NightmareFuel Brrrr.]]
* LastNoteNightmare: The opening theme starts out with children singing... And then, at the end, disturbing laughter is heard.
* LongHairIsFeminine: Carol Anne's long blonde hair (and blue eyes) are iconic.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: The demon who is the main antagonist is first referred to as only "The Beast".
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: The "angry at the living" type.
** {{Poltergeist}}: ...manifesting like this.
* RapunzelHair: Carol Anne's hair reached at least down to her waist, sometimes even longer.
* RedHerring: The Indian burial ground has nothing to do with anything.
* SayMyName: CAROL ANNE! CAROL ANNE! [[RuleOfThree CAROL ANNE!]] Especially in the third movie.
* SoundtrackDissonance

* AnonymousAuthor: A notorious Hollywood subject. The identity of the one true director of this film is one of the great Hollywood [[UrbanLegends either-legends]] or [[OpenSecret barely-hidden-truths]], depending on whom you ask and what you read. Many sources, in particular Zelda Rubinstein, have openly stated that Hooper was actually little more than a stand-in on the set, and the film was, for all intents and purposes, directed by Creator/StevenSpielberg. Creator/HarlanEllison has denounced that story as "a rumor that time has proved to be utterly false and destructive to Hooper's reputation." [[http://www.poltergeist.poltergeistiii.com/really.html Here is probably the best summary and explanation of the whole issue.]]
* BloodyHorror:
** There's the scene where Marty hallucinates ripping his face off in the bathroom, and dripping blood into the sink.
** There's another scene nearing the end of the film, after rescuing the daughter the mother and the daughter come out of the ghost's world, and fall into a bathtub full of blood.
* CollapsingLair: The ghosts fail to take any of the family back to the other side, so they settle for taking the house instead.
* CoolGate: The ghosts creates one in Carol Anne's closet, with the exit in the living room ceiling.
* CreepyDoll: The clown doll was a bit unsettling ''before'' it starts grabbing kids, too.
* DeadpanSnarker: Steven has his moments.
* DissonantSerenity: After Carol Anne is taken, Steven becomes emotionally catatonic, speaking entirely in monotone. in a kind of HeroicBSOD.
* TheDollEpisode: The clown doll again.
* DownTheRabbitHole: Carol Anne's sojourn to the other side.
* DrugsAreGood: Diane and Steven are shown smoking a marijuana cigarette together and having a great time.
* EvilIsVisceral: Carol Anne's closet turning into a squidgy, pink, mucous throat-esophagus sort of thing with a tentacle reaching out to grab her and pull her in.
** FreudWasRight: Look familiar?
* ExtremeMeleeRevenge: The clown comes to life, sneaks up on Robbie and attempts to suffocate him. Robbie overcomes the clown, throws it on the bed, and tears it apart, screaming, "I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!"
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: There are some hints during the film, stronger during the second half, that Dana goes on dates with guys and has sex with them, without her parents knowing: Just the day after they [[spoiler: recover Carol Anne from the other side of the closet]], Diane tells Dana that later, they'll go to a hotel, when she tells which one, Dana just goes like "oh, yes", and giving some fun smile, looking like she's daydreaming, letting us know that she knows it and that something special for her happened there and Diane saying "what is it?", or something like that. Then Dana changes subject and leaves and we don't know anything of her until the very end of the movie, when she gets out of the car screaming "WHAT'S GOING ON??!!". Look for her neck, to the left and to the right of it, you can see lovebites.
* GoIntoTheLight: DON'T go into the light! GO into the light! Make up your mind, Tangina!
* HappilyMarried: Diane and Steven which carries into the second movie.
* HearingVoices: Carol Anne first hears the ghosts whispering to her through television static in the television set.
* ImaginaryFriend: ...Nope. The Freelings wished it was, though.
* IndianBurialGround: Averted, but Cuesta Verde ''was'' built on top of an improperly relocated Christian cemetery (the bodies were still there).
-->'''Steve:''' You son of a bitch! You moved the headstones but you ''left the bodies'', didn't you? You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones! ''YOU ONLY MOVED THE HEADSTONES!! '''WHY?! WHY??!!'''''
* InstantThunder: Averted, the time between the lightning and thunder showed that the storm was getting closer.
* LightIsNotGood: The light is good; it's just not good for things that don't need to go there, like the living.
* LockedIntoStrangeness: After rescuing Carol Anne from the Other Side, Diane develops a white streak of hair at each temple. She is reluctant to dye the streaks back, speculating to her older daughter that they look "punk".
* MamaBear: Diane is willing to go through absolute hell to keep her children safe.
-->'''Diane:''' NO! NOT MY BABIES!!!'''''
* MoodWhiplash: From a horrific scene of exploding raw steak, maggoty chicken and Marty ''tearing his own face off'' ([[spoiler: He's hallucinating]], we segue into a near-mystical manifestation of gracefully-glowing light. [[spoiler: Justified when it's revealed that there's an insanely-malign ghost sharing the house with a bunch of inoffensive/trapped ones.]]
* MonsterClown: The evil clown doll, [[spoiler: One of the ghosts' distractions in order to kidnap Carol Anne.]]
* NoTellMotel: The motel the family heads to at the end of the film has a reputation for this, according to Diane's eldest daughter. (Hopefully, said daughter will be able to avoid Diane's fate of [[GenerationXerox becoming a mom at age 16]].)
* {{Novelization}}: By James Kahn.
* OffscreenRealityWarp: The ghosts demonstrate their "Mad Skillz" at chair stacking during a brief period when the camera is not on them.
* OrpheanRescue: For Carol Anne.
* PeekABooCorpse: Steve has a few things to say to his realtor about his new neighbors.
* ShoutOut: While Diane and Steven are in bed, we see they are watching the film "A Guy Named Joe." This is a movie from 1943 where a dead Air Force pilot comes back to Earth as a ghost to pass his knowledge onto an up and coming rookie. Strangely enough, Spielberg would go on to remake this film later in his career under the title "Always."
* SkunkStripe: See LockedIntoStrangeness, above.
* SnowyScreenOfDeath: The ghosts first communicate with Carol Anne through an untuned television set.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The first twenty minutes of this film are very light-hearted, like when Steve and his neighbor and dueling with their remotes. After Carol Ann utters "They're here." the film becomes considerably darker.
* TheSoulsaver: The psychic Tangina helps a group of [[spoiler: friendly yet lonely]] ghosts (lost souls) trapped in the astral plane go into the Light.
* TemptingFate: The family chooses to spent one more night in the house instead of at a hotel before they can move into the newer house. The mom then chooses to leave her children unattended in their room, where Carol Ann had previously been abducted. Sure, Tangina said it would be okay but would you take a chance with your children's lives?
* TearOffYourFace: The psychic's assistant, Marty hallucinates that he pulls off his own face.
* TrueBlueFemininity: Carol Anne's nightgown is blue and very feminine.
* VertigoEffect: Helloooo, stretchy hallway of doom...
* WholePlotReference: To "Little Girl Lost", an episode of ''Series/TheTwilightZone''.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Carol Anne's very feminine frilly blue nightgown trimmed with satin ribbons.
* WhenTreesAttack: It nearly eats Carol Anne's brother.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: "This house is clean." [[spoiler: Nope - it's regrouping... and it's PISSED...]]