-->''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. ''Poltergeist II: The Other Side'' attempted to explain in greater detail why Carol Anne was targeted, and introduces the sinister Reverend Kane. ''Poltergeist III'' shows the malevolent spirits following Carol Anne to the high-rise apartment building where she has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle.

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 ''[[OneHundredScariestMovieMoments 100 Scariest Movie Moments]]'' 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, is in the works and is set to be released in Summer 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]].
* 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.
* HeliumSpeech: Tangina, all the time.
* InnocentBlueEyes: Carol Anne has these.
* IronicNurseryTune: The opening theme.
** ''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.
* RedHerring: The Indian burial ground has nothing to do with anything.
* 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. [[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 one of the characters 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 entity 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
* 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!"
* 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.
* ImaginaryFriend: ...Nope. The Freelings wished it was, though.
* IndianBurialGround: Averted, but Cuesta Verde ''was'' built on top of an improperly relocated 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 a guy ''tearing his own face off'', 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.
* 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 JamesKahn.
* OffscreenRealityWarp: The spirits 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 spirits 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 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 hallucinates that he pulls off his own face.
* VertigoEffect: Helloooo, stretchy hallway of doom...
* 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...]]

[[folder:Poltergeist II]]
* ActionInsuranceGag: The father is trying to explain to the insurance company how his house (which vanished in the first film) has completely disappeared without a trace.
* AdultFear: Carol Anne gets separated from her mom at the store, at which point [[SinisterMinister Reverend Kane]] approaches her...
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler:Kane and his cult sealed themselves into a cave because he was predicting the end of the world. The date for the supposed apocalypse came and went, but Kane didn't let them leave. Judging by the placement of all the skeletons in the cave, they were trapped down there until they ''starved to death.'']]
* BracesOfOrthodonticOverkill: Well, they were fine until the wires tried to eat him.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Dana is not in the second film because [[RealLifeWritesThePlot the actress playing her was dead]] and no explanation is given for where she is. The original script had a line mentioning that she was away at college but the scene never made it to the final film.
* CoolOldLady: Diane's mother.
* DaylightHorror: Kane's first appearance. And his second, if you don't count the rain.
* DeadpanSnarker: Steven again.
* EmpathicEnvironment: Instant rain, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WdoyVjYvIw just add Kane]]!
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: The power of the Freelings was their love, and Kane hated them for it. He is expelled from Steven immediately when Diane says "I love you." It's probably not an emotion he felt in life.
* IronicEcho: "We want the angel"
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Taylor.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Julian Beck was one of the most loving people on Earth. One of the saddest things about ''Poltergeist II'' was that Beck was literally dying of cancer during the filming, and it shows.
* {{Novelization}}: By JamesKahn.
* OrificeInvasion: The second movie shows why you never swallow the tequila worm.
** OrificeEvacuation: Eventually, it wants out.
* {{Retcon}}: The second movie reveals that the angry ghosts weren't from the desecrated cemetery under the Freelings' house, but rather from a cavern, containing the remains of an ancient religious cult, located UNDER the desecrated cemetery under the Freelings' house.
** This troper had figured that the souls from the cemetery were indeed present and pissed, because the grave goods that came through the ceiling were of recent origin. It's the ''monster'' ghost, Kane, whose backstory the second film filled in. So, no {{Retcon}}, just expanded history.
* SinisterMinister: Reverend Kane. [[spoiler: He is the Beast]]
* VampireInvitation: Reverend Kane repeatedly tries to convince the family to let him in because of this.

[[folder:Poltergeist III]]
* Main/IdiotBall: Dr. Seaton clearly saw poltergeist activity in the scene where a coffee cup is flung through a one-way mirror, but he continued to insist that everything was a result of Carol Anne's manipulation. This leads to a plot line where definite poltergeist activity is happening all over the place but blame continues to be put on 'manipulative' Carol Anne for being the cause of all the problems. After Dr. Seaton proposes this theory, it seems to be aunt Pat who believes it most in her attempts to place blame:
-->'''Pat:''' Your daughter's upstairs, a shivering, emotional wreck. Then you run out on me to chase after that evil little brat again. Don't you understand? Don't you see what [[Carol Anne]]'s doing? It's just like Dr. Seaton said.\\
'''Bruce:''' Nothing Seaton said explains what happened tonight.
* ImColdSoCold: Lara Flynn Boyle's shower scene.
* Main/ParentalSubstitute: In this film, Carol Anne had been sent by her family to live with her aunt and uncle in a different part of the country. Her aunt, being her mom's sister, is a bit colder towards her in comparison to her uncle, who in spite of only being related to Carol Anne by marriage ironically fills this role better of the two parental substitutes.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Bruce, Carol Anne, and Donna all come back safe from the Other Side, but what happened to Scott?
** According to the actor who played Scott (Kip Wentz), he wasn't contacted by the director when reshoots were done (this was the second ending, filmed a month after Heather O'Rourke passed away) and he didn't find out that a new ending was shot until shortly before the film opened.