Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Steven Spielberg.
The film focuses on a suburban family whose home is invaded by malevolent ghosts that abduct their daughter. As Spielberg was contractually unable to direct another film while he made E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Hooper was selected based on his work on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Funhouse. Spielberg conceived Poltergeist as a horror sequel to his 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind titled Night Skies; however, Hooper was less interested in the sci-fi elements and suggested they collaborate on a ghost story.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982, Poltergeist was a major critical and commercial success, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 1982. Years since its release, the film has been recognized as a horror classic. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, named by the Chicago Film Critics Association as the 20th-scariest film ever made, and the scene of the clown doll attack was ranked as No. 80 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The film also appeared at No. 84 on American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Thrills, a list of America’s most heart-pounding movies.