Poltergeist. It’s easily one of the most celebrated horror films of all-time, and generally regarded as a shining example of just how awesome a non R-rated fright flick can truly be.
However, there is a question concerning Poltergeist that has never been answered 100%, and has long been the cause of endless debate among fans: who really directed the film?
While Tobe Hooper – already a certified genre legend for helming The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – is the credited director, there has long been good reason to believe that it was in fact producer Steven Spielberg that did most, if not all, of the directing.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever get a concrete answer to this question, if only because those involved probably don’t want to contradict Spielberg, who has always publicly maintained that Hooper directed the film.
Still, a rare making of featurette – first noticed by the fine folks over at Bloody Disgusting – offers an inside look at the creation of several key scenes, and the man seemingly in charge of all of them is Spielberg.
Hooper makes an appearance, but it’s brief and fairly cursory. Check the full clip out below, which has only ever been officially released on the MGM laserdisc.
Does the above footage prove that Spielberg was the “real” director of Poltergeist? Not conclusively, but it sure does appear like he’s calling the shots a good 90% of the time. Either way though, Poltergeist is, was, and will forever be, awesome.