Poltergeist Movies in Order

All Poltergeist Movies in Order of Release (Scariest Movies)

As you explore the realm of supernatural horror, the Poltergeist franchise stands out for its iconic depiction of eerie hauntings and spectral turmoil. The original Poltergeist movie, released in 1982, quickly cemented itself as a classic within the horror genre, blending suburban normalcy with otherworldly terror. The series follows the Freeling family as they grapple with malevolent spirits that are particularly fixated on their youngest daughter, Carol Anne and watch all the Poltergeist movies in order to get even better experience.

Over the years, subsequent films have expanded upon the chilling narrative, with sequels and a reboot offering new twists and turns in the spectral saga. Understanding the chronological journey of the Poltergeist films enhances your grasp of their thematic progression and character development. The storyline unfolds beginning with the harrowing experiences of the first film, followed by deeper explorations into the spirit world in the sequels. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Poltergeist storyline or just want a nostalgic trip back to classic horror, watching the films in order will unravel the full, haunting narrative.

Engaging with the Poltergeist movies chronologically invites you to watch the evolution of special effects and storytelling in horror cinema from the early ’80s to modern times. Each sequel and the 2015 reboot reflect the changing landscape of the genre while maintaining the core essence that has captivated audiences for decades. Whether you’re a dedicated horror aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, the Poltergeist series promises a compelling and frightful cinematic experience.

Original Poltergeist Trilogy

The original trilogy of Poltergeist films, created in the 1980s, set a benchmark in the horror genre through its story of a family experiencing malevolent hauntings.

1. Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

The first film, Poltergeist, introduces you to the Freeling family whose tranquility is shattered when supernatural forces, interested in their daughter Carol Anne, take over their home. This 1982 classic, with its blend of psychological horror and special effects, was co-written by Steven Spielberg.

IMDb Rating 7.3/10


2. Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

In Poltergeist II: The Other Side, released four years later, the Freelings are grappling with the aftermath of their first encounter. However, they soon find that the spirits have not finished with them yet, leading to another struggle for survival against the otherworldly entities.

IMDb Rating 5.7/10


3. Poltergeist III (1988)

Poltergeist III (1988)

Poltergeist III saw Carol Anne sent to live with her aunt in a high-rise building, where the malevolent spirits followed, unraveling a new wave of terror. The chilling events of this sequel take place against the backdrop of the urban landscape, contrasting the suburban setting of the previous films.

IMDb Rating 4.7/10


4. Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist (2015)

Although not part of the original trilogy, the 2015 remake of Poltergeist reimagines the classic horror tale with modernized effects and a fresh perspective, providing a new entry point for viewers unfamiliar with the original films.

IMDb Rating 4.9/10


5. Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996–1999)

Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996–1999)

Branching out from the film series, Poltergeist: The Legacy is a TV show that explores the darker corners of the Poltergeist universe. The series, which aired from 1996 to 1999, features a secret society dedicated to fighting demonic forces and uncovering the mysteries that link back to the original hauntings of the Freeling family.

IMDb Rating 6.9/10


Behind The Scenes

In making the Poltergeist series, the behind-the-scenes stories are as intriguing as the movies themselves. With production challenges, inventive special effects, and a memorable soundtrack, there’s much to uncover about what went into creating this horror classic.


Poltergeist (1982) was a movie not without its share of production complexities. Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film experienced a smooth collaboration that combined Hooper’s horror direction with Spielberg’s storytelling finesse. Despite the peaceful façade, there were debates about who really held the directorial reins, creating an interesting dynamic offset.

Special Effects

Evocative and ahead of their time, the special effects used in Poltergeist set it apart in the early ’80s. Innovative techniques for that era were used, such as rotoscoping to create the ghostly apparitions and real-life skeletons to add authenticity to the horror. These choices not only heightened the terrifying ambience but also contributed to urban legends about the film being cursed.


The soundtrack of Poltergeist further amplified the chilling atmosphere of the film. Jerry Goldsmith’s score, filled with eerie melodies and sudden crescendos, played a pivotal role in building tension and fear. His composition “Carol Anne’s Theme” with its child-like simplicity contrasted by haunting choirs, remains iconic within the horror genre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Poltergeist movie is considered the most iconic?

The original Poltergeist (1982) is widely acknowledged as the most iconic film in the franchise. Its impact on the horror genre is notable, attracting audiences with its intense scares and innovative special effects.

Has there been a recent addition to the Poltergeist franchise?

As of now, the latest addition is the 2015 reboot of the original Poltergeist film. It attempted to introduce the classic supernatural tale to a new generation.

Are there any reported unusual incidents from the production of the Poltergeist films?

Yes, there have been several reported unusual incidents during and after the production of the Poltergeist films, including untimely deaths of some cast members, which contributed to rumors of a supposed “curse.”

How many films are in the Poltergeist series?

The Poltergeist franchise includes four movies. It started with the original in 1982, followed by two sequels in the 1980s, and finally, a remake that arrived in 2015.

How does the original Poltergeist film compare in terms of scariness with its sequels or remakes?

While subjective, many fans and critics consider the original film to be superior in terms of scariness. The sequels and the 2015 remake have not quite managed to replicate the intense atmosphere and shock value of the first movie.

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