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Album Cover Art
1997 Rhino
2010 FSM
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

2010 Album Produced by:
Mike Matessino
Bruce Botnick
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Rhino Movie Music
(March 4th, 1997)

Film Score Monthly
(December 9th, 2010)
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The 1997 Rhino album was a regular U.S. release, but has long been out of print. The 2010 FSM album is limited to 10,000 copies and available for $25 through soundtrack specialty outlets.
Nominated for an Academy Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate engaging and intelligent horror scores that slowly and brilliantly transform attractive harmony into frightfully atonal terror.

Avoid it... if the famous "Carol Anne's Theme" is too sweet for your palette and the secondary religious motifs in the score are too infrequently utilized to salvage the entirety for your non-horror preferences.
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WRITTEN 3/15/97, REVISED 12/31/10
Poltergeist: (Jerry Goldsmith) So active was Steven Spielberg's imagination in the early 1980's that he couldn't contain himself and release E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Poltergeist successively. In the process of directing the former and dominating the latter in 1982, he created more controversy with the concurrent projects than necessary. The famed director and producer both created the concept of Poltergeist and managed each of its production elements from start to end. A completely normal family in a suburban house becomes the progressive target of poltergeists associated with the spirits of those in the cemetery that was supposed to have been relocated to accommodate the sub-development. The spirits' revenge eventually includes the kidnapping of the family's youngest daughter and, after her successful rescue, the house is literally sucked into a void and chaos breaks out in the whole neighborhood. For expediency, Spielberg had horror veteran Tobe Hooper direct the film (despite being on set for practically all major shoots) and this decision proved problematic by the time Spielberg was writing public letters in the newspaper trying to convince a skeptical public that Hooper had any input into Poltergeist at all. No matter the extent of his involvement, Poltergeist was a Spielberg film through and through, and with his usual collaborating composer, John Williams, also tied up in early 1982 with E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg turned to Jerry Goldsmith for Poltergeist. The director had always been an enormous fan of Goldsmith, though the two would only work together directly on this and Twilight Zone: The Movie shortly thereafter. Goldsmith was a natural choice for the assignment, having won an Academy Award for his memorable horror genre style in The Omen and extending the same menacing tones to its sequels and Alien and Magic, among others. In the larger scope of Goldsmith's career, Poltergeist would mark the culmination of the composer's efforts in producing the most sinister music an orchestra can provide, and while he would revisit the genre very late in his career, he would never achieve the same monumental success. In Poltergeist, Goldsmith brilliantly created a war between the sweetest, most innocent lyricism and the darkest, most treacherous atonality possible. It's a lesson in contrasts so vivid that you can't help but admire its radical swings of mood and the primordial appeals that both ends of the sonic spectrum make to each listener.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.9 Stars
***** 987 5 Stars
**** 867 4 Stars
*** 473 3 Stars
** 182 2 Stars
* 131 1 Stars
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Great score.
Lsnake - March 19, 2009, at 6:53 a.m.
1 comment  (1611 views)
Average film, good soundtrack!   Expand >>
Mathias Sender - July 21, 2006, at 11:43 a.m.
3 comments  (4928 views)
Newest: March 13, 2009, at 10:18 Indiana Schwartz

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 68:10
• 1. The Star Spangled Banner*** (1:30)
• 2. The Calling/The Neighborhood (Main Title)** (4:07)
• 3. The Tree# (2:26)
• 4. The Clown*/They're Here*/Broken Glass#/The Hole#/TV People* (5:12)
• 5. Twisted Abduction** (6:56)
• 6. Contacting the Other Side* (5:10)
• 7. The Light (2:05)
• 8. Night Visitor/No Complaints** (9:07)
• 9. It Knows What Scares You* (7:37)
• 10. Rebirth (8:23)
• 11. Night of the Beast** (3:51)
• 12. Escape from Suburbia** (7:10)
• 13. Carol Anne's Theme (End Titles)** (4:19)
* previously unreleased (compared to the LP record)
** contains previously unreleased material (compared to the LP record)
*** public domain/previously unreleased (compared to the LP record)
# outtakes/previously unreleased (compared to the LP record)
2010 FSM Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 138:07

Notes Icon
The inserts of both albums contain notes about the film and score that are in great depth, including the standard statement from Spielberg.
Copyright © 1997-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Poltergeist are Copyright © 1997, 2010, Rhino Movie Music, Film Score Monthly and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/15/97 and last updated 12/31/10.
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