Poltergeist script
Poltergeist (1982)
Synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke) -- when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

FADE IN:

1 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 1

EXTREME CLOSE-UP - TELEVISION SCREEN

The National Anthem resounds over the precision maneuvers of

the Navy’s Blue Angels. When Old Glory fills the frame the

.

local announcer identifies the station, signifies the

megahertz and signs off for the morning. Transmission ends

and a BLAST of disturbing static rules the airwaves. It is

2:
30am on a Sunday morning.

CAMERA SLOWLY WITHDRAWS

.

The TV set appears. A fireplace is off to the right, trophies

of outstanding achievement in annual home sales on the

mantel; STEVEN FREELING asleep in his convertible chair, an

open briefcase on his lap, real estate maps and lease

contracts spread out on the floor by his stocking feet.

CAMERA CONTINUES TO WITHDRAW until we are moving out of the

living room of this suburban two-story home and up the

stairs.

2 INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT 2

.

CAMERA MOVES along the hallway, past the guest bath and over

to a partially open door. We explore this room, if only for

an instant, to catch DIANE FREELING, 32, tossing in her

sleep, a tangle of hair covering her face.

3 INT. DANA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 3

CAMERA moves away and slithers into another bedroom. DIANA

FREELING is sixteen, very beautiful, and snoring unevenly.

She is surrounded by potato chips and homework.

.

.

4 INT. CHILDREN’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 4

The SOUND OF TELEVISION STATIC leaks as the CAMERA moves into

the last bedroom. ROBBIE FREELING is just a seven-year-old

.

lump under the covers. With the sheets tucked around him, he

looks like a ghost and where his head should be there is a

Dodgers baseball cap. The closet light is on and the closet

opened only a crack to let in the safe night light as we pass

beyond Robbie to CAROL ANNE FREELING. The STATIC SOUNDS from

the O.S. TV seem to arouse this pert six-years-old from a

sound and regular sleep. Her eyes snap open. She listens, .

flicks some sleep from her eyes, and rises out of bed.

.

2.

CAMERA TRACKS AHEAD OF HER as if drawing her OUTSIDE the

safety of her bedroom and roommate brother.

5 INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 5

The STATIC crackles louder and a BLUE GLOW dawns across Carol

Anne. She could be sleepwalking. Her eyes are riveted and her

breathing quickens. The STATIC BOOMS now and Carol Anne stops

at the TV set in front of her sleeping dad. She stares into

the white snow, trying to see beyond the color dots. Carol

Anne opens her mouth until we are certain she is going to

SCREAM. Then

CAROL ANNE:

Hello! Hell-ooo! What do you want!

Hello! Who are you! Hell-ooooo!

ANGLE - STEVEN FREELING

His eyes open.

6 INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT 6

Diane starts and sits up quickly.

CAROL ANNE (O.S.)

Who are you!! Hey!

7 INT. DANA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 7

She is already swinging her legs out of bed and moving into

the hallway.

CAROL ANNE (O.S.)

I can’t hear you!!

8 INT. CHILDREN’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 8

Robbie looks over to see Carol Anne’s bed empty.

9 INT. LIVING ROOM - HIGH ANGLE - NIGHT 9

The entire family gathers and watches their youngest child

yelling through the static at 2:35 in the morning.

CAROL ANNE:

What do you look like! Hello! Can I

see you?

3.

10 EXT. CUESTA VERDE ESTATES OVERLOOK - DAY 10

Anyone outside of Manhattan is familiar with this setting.

Sunday in suburbia. A neighbor mows his lawn, another washes

his car, and a group of kids play soccer in the street. The

middle America World War II bought and paid for.

10-A EXT. FREELING FRONT YARD 10-A

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Steven Spielberg

Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI is an American director, producer, screenwriter, and editor. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as being viewed as one of ... more…

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