Even though Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist, Steven Spielberg was still responsible for the movie's creative decisions as evidenced in the style of the film.
A Guy Named Joe (1943), a movie about an aviator who came back to Earth as an apparition, was being broadcasted on the television in the parents' bedroom. (0:14:07)
It is a little-known fact that it was actually Steven Spielberg's hands that tore the flesh off the investigator's face in the bathroom. (1:02:32)
Diane Freeling's line "Mmmm..smell that mimosa" was taken straight from The Uninvited (1944). In that movie the fragrance of a mimosa signaled the arrival of a spirit. (1:34:26)
Dr. Fantasy in "Welcome Dr. Fantasy and Friends" on the Holiday Inn's sign, is producer Frank Marshall's nickname. (1:49:32)
The scene where the ghosts stacked the chairs on the kitchen table was filmed in one take with no cuts. As the camera followed Diane Freeling to the kitchen sink, the crew members rushed to the table, put an already assembled pyramid of chairs on the table, and then took away the individual chairs. (0:29:30)
"The house which gets sucked into a black hole at the end was actually a model about 4 feet across. The model took several weeks to complete. The scene was shot as follows: camera placed directly above model, which was mounted over an industrial strength vacuum generator (the front door was facing directly up, straight at the camera). The model also had about 100 wires attached to various points of the structure. These wires went down through the back of the house, and down through the vacuum collection sack. The camera was turned on, and took 15 seconds to wind up to the required 300 frames per second. When ready, the cameraman gave the cue. The vacuum was turned on, the wires were yanked suddenly, and several SFX guys blasted the house with pump-action shotguns. The entire scene was over in about two seconds, and they had to wait until the film was developed before they knew if they would have to do it again. When played back at 24 fps, would take approximately 12 seconds for the house to collapse. Luckily, they got it right on the first go. The finished scene was sent to Steven Spielberg, who was on location shooting E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He gave it to a projectionist, who assumed it was just the "dailies" from ET. The scene came on, and the projectionist said "Holy sh*t! What was that?" Spielberg had the remains of the model encased in perspex, and it is now sitting on his piano. The model itself was worth well over $25,000. (1:48:22)
This quoted information was taken from the IMDb website.
In the horror film, The Outing, a male teen said, "They're here" in a similar tone as Carol Anne Freeling.
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