|Riffed by||RiffTrax Presents|
|Riffers||Cole Stratton, Janet Varney|
|Date Released||April 15, 2010|
Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist film series. Set in a California suburb, the plot focuses on a family whose home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct the family's younger daughter. RiffTrax Presents released their riff in April 2010.
Plot Synopsis & SampleEdit
Steven and Diane Freeling live a quiet life in a California planned community called Cuesta Verde, where Steven is a successful real estate developer and Diane is a housewife who cares for their children Dana, Robbie, and Carol Anne. Carol Anne awakens one night and begins conversing with the family's television set, which is transmitting static following a sign-off. The following night, while the Freelings sleep, Carol Anne fixates on the television set as it transmits static again. Suddenly, an apparition blasts from the television screen and vanishes into the wall, triggering a violent earthquake in the process. As the shaking subsides, Carol Anne announces "They're here."
Bizarre events occur the following day: a drinking glass spontaneously breaks; silverware bends; and furniture moves of its own accord. The phenomena seem benign at first, but quickly begin to intensify. That night, a gnarled backyard tree comes alive and grabs Robbie through the bedroom window. While Diane and Steven rescue Robbie before the demon tree swallows him, Carol Anne is sucked through a portal in her closet. The Freelings realize she has been taken when they hear her voice emanating from a television set.
A group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine — Dr. Lesh, Ryan, and Marty — come to the Freeling house to investigate and determine that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist intrusion. They discover that the disturbances involve more than just one ghost. Steven also finds out in an exchange with his boss, Lewis Teague, that Cuesta Verde is built where a cemetery was once located.
After Dana and Robbie are sent away for their safety, Dr. Lesh and Ryan call in Tangina Barrons, a spiritual medium. Tangina states that the spirits inhabiting the house are lingering in a different "sphere of consciousness" and are not at rest. Attracted to Carol Anne's life force, these spirits are distracted from the real "light" that has come for them. Tangina then adds that among these ghosts, there is also a demon known as the "Beast", who has Carol Anne under restraint in an effort to manipulate the other spirits.
The assembled group discovers that the entrance to the other dimension is through the children's bedroom closet, while the exit is through the living room ceiling. As the group attempts to rescue Carol Anne, Diane passes through the entrance tied by a rope that has been threaded through both portals. Diane manages to retrieve Carol Anne, and they both drop to the floor from the ceiling, unconscious and covered in prenatal-like fluids. As they recover, Tangina proclaims afterward that the house is now "clean".
Shortly thereafter, the Freelings begin the process of moving elsewhere by packing up their belongings. During their last night in the house, Steven attends a meeting with Teague, while Dana goes on a date, leaving Diane, Robbie, and Carol Anne alone in the house. The "Beast" then ambushes Diane and the children, attempting a second kidnapping. Though at first trapped in the house, Diane and the children eventually escape to the outside only to discover coffins and rotting corpses erupting out from the ground in their yard and throughout the neighborhood. As Steven and Dana return home to the mayhem, Steven realizes that rather than relocating the cemetery for the development of Cuesta Verde, Teague merely had the headstones moved and the bodies left behind, desecrating the burial grounds. The Freelings flee Cuesta Verde while the house itself implodes into another dimension, to the astonishment of onlookers. The family checks into a hotel for the night, and Steven shoves the room's television outside onto the balcony.
Cast and CrewEdit
- Craig T. Nelson as Steven Freeling
- JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling
- Heather O'Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling
- Dominique Dunne as Dana Freeling
- Oliver Robins as Robbie Freeling
- Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons
- Beatrice Straight as Dr. Lesh
- Martin Casella as Marty
- Richard Lawson as Ryan
- James Karen as Mr. Teague