The unknown will be revealed. The visible will be seen.
As horror fans, we’ve all spent too much time debating who actually directed 1982’s Poltergeist. Was it Tobe Hooper, who is officially credited as director? Or was it Steven Spielberg, who was credited as producer but sure seems to have had a hand in the film’s directing? On that subject, I ask a more important question: does it really matter?
No matter who directed the bulk of Poltergeist, the fact of the matter is that it’s one of the best horror films ever made, introducing us to a truly likable family and then subjecting them to iconic and enduring sequences of terror. Many films over the years have tried to do what Poltergeist did 36 years ago… most have failed.
Yes, Poltergeist turned 36 today, having been originally released on June 4, 1982. In celebration of the anniversary, writer Shane Bitterling shared the film’s original teaser trailer over on Twitter, which we figured we’d share with you guys. The teaser mostly used still images from the film, alongside interview snippets with paranormal experts.
Bitterling recalls, “This is the first trailer I saw for [Poltergeist] and one of my favorites ever. The “real” paranormal experts scared the poo out of me and solidified that I would never see the movie. That lasted until June 4th.“
The unique teaser advertised that Poltergeist was “the first real ghost story,” and goddamn was it effective. It managed to spoil nothing about the movie while ensuring anyone who saw it simply *had* to buy a ticket, teasing the horror that awaited inside that darkened theater without actually providing any real peeks at it.
It worked. Poltergeist was a smash hit. Today, it’s an all-time great.