Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (Hooper 1982)

The fifth installment in our possession and haunting mini-series. One of the most iconic haunting films ever, with arguably the single most iconic scene in a haunting film: Tobe Hooper‘s Poltergeist. We emphasize that Poltergeist was more progressive and less sexist than the other films from these sub-genres we’ve watched that followed it more than 30 years later. Check out our episodes on haunting and possession films.

There is lots more, please listen, review, subscribe and tell your friendly neighborhood poltergeists!


Poltergeist (Hooper 1982) – please watch the film before listening!
Insidious (Wan 2013)
The Possession (Bornedal 2012)
The Conjuring (Wan 2013)

TOPIC INDEX – (Hooper 1982) (times are approximate) 

0:35 – Introductions
7:30 – Movie discussion begins
8:00 – Carol Ann
10:30 – context for the film
12:45 – sociology moment: Goffman on hegemonic masculinity
17:45 – geography of the haunting
21:30 – Poltergeist as counter hegemonic
33:10 – symbolic details
35:00 – the origins of tropes especially gender,
40:00 – birth iconography
50:30 – appropriate motherhood
58:00 – Reagan and masculinity
1:09:30 – Carol Ann on the floor
1:18:00 – religion and rationality
1:27:30 – breaking tropes
1:33:00 – cemetary vs burial ground
1:38:50 – Grading the film using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility

Related Episodes
The Conjuring (Wan 2013)
Insidious 2 (Wan 2013)
The Possession (Bornedal 2012)
Last House on the Left (Craven 1972)
Relic (James 2020)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 84

horror, podcast, sociology, moving, suburbs, haunting, possession, poltergeist, gender, women, rural, suburban, urban, geography of horror, misdirection, abuse, domestic violence, hegemonic masculinity, Goffman, first nations, indigenous peoples, punching up, television, football, cannabis, Reagan, less is more, birth, bodies, motherhood, smoking, cannabis, alcohol, drinking, moral campaign, war on drugs, religion, christianity, wardrobe, costume, creature design, special effects, IT clown effect,