Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Zelda Rubinstein
Release Date: September 20, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Suburbanites Steve (Nelson) and Diane (Williams) suddenly experience paranormal activity in their home. What starts off as minor excitement quickly turns into nasty ghostly encounters. The disappearance of their daughter Carol Anne (O’Rourke) forces the Freelings to bring in parapsychologists and a professional exorcist to exorcise their home. Directed by Tobe Hooper and featuring Oscar Nominated Visual Effects by Richard Edlund, Michael Wood and Bruce Nicholson, Poltergeist is one of the most entertaining horror films of its time.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The horror classic ‘Poltergeist’ tells the chilling tale of a happy suburban family who find their pleasant lives uprooted when a mysterious presence begins taunting them. What they initially believe to just be odd occurrences quickly escalates into signs of a true haunting. But when their young daughter mysteriously vanishes within their home they discover that they can somehow speak to her through their television making things all the more unexplainable. Desperate to find and save their daughter by any means necessary the family hires a team of specialists to investigate the curious situation, but none of them are prepared for what they will encounter in the process.
Originally released in 1982 ‘Poltergeist’ was directed by Tobe Hooper (and Steven Spielberg) from a screenplay by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor, from a story by Spielberg. The film’s cast includes JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Zelda Rubinstein, Beatrice Straight and Heather O’Rourke who nearly all do a solid job in their respective roles and help to make this one a timeless classic that’s still beloved by horror fans everywhere to this day, four decades after its initial release.
‘Poltergeist’ is a creepy, well-constructed and enthralling tale of terror and family that terrified audiences everywhere when first released and still manages to elicit plenty of chills and unease to this day. You can certainly feel the influence of legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg throughout this one, so much so that it wasn’t a massive surprise when it was revealed that he directed much of the film himself albeit Tobe Hooper receiving the sole credit. While some of the effects may be slightly dated when compared to all that has progressed in that area over the past forty years, it still looks pretty stellar for its time and that face melting scene is still a shocker to see in a PG rated film even by today’s standards. It shouldn’t be all too surprising that many still thoroughly love this film (and I’m certainly one of them) and it’s a real treat to see it receive such an impressive upgrade here on 4K Ultra HD which should have fans cheering.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings home the original ‘Poltergeist’ for the first time ever on 4K Ultra HD featuring a remarkable new 4K Ultra HD presentation with HDR-10 that looks nothing short of phenomenal. The marvelous new 4K video presentation is also nicely complemented by a fully capable 5.1 DTS-HD soundtrack and a handful of previously released extras and while some fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by the absence of any new bonus content featured on the new release, the thoroughly impressive new 4K presentation in itself will surely be more than enough reason for many dedicated fans to cough up the money for the new release. If you’re a fan of this horror gem and are considering a purchase, then this new 4K Ultra HD release is definitely highly recommended and well worth double dipping for those who might already own it on another format or three.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Poltergeist’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with HDR-10 presented in its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks truly outstanding across the board and delivers a clean, sharp and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish that’s absent of any unexpected faults or troubles to be uncovered throughout. It offers a filmic presentation that’s faithful to the source while also a dramatic improvement in almost every way. Everything from the outdoor settings to character features, clothing specifics and anything else appearing onscreen looks remarkably sharp and detailed. The HDR-10 addition only improves upon most of it and offers a gorgeous and faithful color palette that captures bright colors and clothing details as well as landscapes and room interiors perfectly, all of which is further complemented by rich, deep blacks. Overall, this is a phenomenal Ultra High Definition video presentation that looks better than I ever expected this film to and it should absolutely thrill the fans.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is an enjoyable complement to the onscreen perfection and while it may not be the same kind of revelation it does provide a crisp, clean and well balanced audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send some of the music and supernatural effects, along with some other tidbits throughout the various speakers while still making sure that any dialogue, effects or other simultaneously occurring audio elements remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that doesn’t get carried away with itself, yet complements the experience quite frequently throughout.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Poltergeist’ features a few previously released extras, all of which can be found on the included Blu-ray disc. Included on the release is the 2 part Documentary/Featurette ‘They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists’ which includes ‘Part 1 – Science of the Spirits’ (running approximately 15 minutes in length) and ‘Part 2 – Communing with the Dead’ (running approximately 15 minutes). Also included on the release are the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘The Making of Poltergeist’ (approximately 7 minutes) and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Remastered Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Poltergeist’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD & Digital from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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