Many a director does Hitchcockian, or Fordian, or Bergmanian, or Scorseseian but the film that is the most ‘ian’ is Poltergeist. It’s just been on BBC 1 and is a reminder of a time when the mainstream was mind over matter. It's a subject I could devote a separate blog on; the days of the mainstream as a medium for content.
Tobe Hooper; who is himself a talented director, makes Poltergeist the most Spielberg film that was not directed by Spielberg. Production credits go to Spielberg but I sense something more. It contains as many frightening moments as idyllic family scenes, as many shocks as quiet family moments; in this sense it is ultimate Spielberg.
Featuring signature shots and iconic images it is a classic eighties mainstream movie that became part of the consciousness and is as good a Spielberg movie as any. It has all the touches we associate with SS and camera moves, moments and details can be seen in his work. ET and Close Encounters are touchstones as is Jaws.
It is the kind of multiplex movie that would in today’s market be a ‘here today gone tomorrow’ shocker but it is a family film with memorable and powerful flourishes.
A reminder of the days when going to see a blockbuster was a trip to see a film that you would be able to enjoy two decades later.
Hooper or Spielberg did a great job on this ghost story that is equal parts suspense, Hammer, Ghostbusters and Brady Bunch.