9. Poltergeist (1982)
It was the combined efforts of two moviemaking greats – director Tobe Hooper, known for pure, blood-curdling horror, and co-writer/producer Steven Spielberg, the king of emotional, fantasy blockbusters - that created something truly rare in Poltergeist This was a horror movie about family, that was great to watch with family.
This is why Hooper and Spielberg's absence in 1986’s Poltergeist II: The Other Side is felt so deeply, as it plods through reused plot elements, implausibly putting the returning Freeling family through another spectral haunting in a new house, which again targets their youngest daughter Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke).
While reviews were negative, Poltergeist II made enough money to complete the trilogy with Poltergeist III (1988), which trudged through the horror with even less enthusiasm than II. The movie was also tainted by the tragic passing of Heather O’Rourke at just 12 years of age four months before its release.
The most recent Poltergeist effort was Gil Kenan’s 2015 remake, which was competent enough but was criticised for its beat-by-beat approach to remaking the original while relying on generic horror tropes and imagery, like that clown poster you’d see everywhere. It took the Hooper/Spielberg magic to make Poltergeist work, and no one else since has found that careful balance of horror and heart.