(1982)4.5Brendon HanleyThough directed by Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist is most often thought of as a Steven Spielberg movie, with all of the hallmarks of a Spielberg film: impressive effects, snappy pacing, and a child-like sense of wonder and horror. At the time, the director was juggling the haunted-house project with the more personal E.T., and cult horror director Hooper was called in to helm. Legend has it that Spielberg had his fingers in just about every decision, and even directed some of the scenes himself, leaving the job's technical aspects to Hooper. Spielberg would eventually be credited as co-producer and co-screenwriter. Poltergeist is clearly more akin to Spielberg's E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind than to Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Eaten Alive. It's a very engaging film, thanks to Jo Beth Williams's solid performance and the slick, chilling effects by Industrial Light and Magic.