Poltergeist

MOVIE REVIEW: Poltergeist (2015)

They're Here...

And if you're a fan of the original, it's going to piss you off

By Amy Mead

Poltergeist poster

Directed by Gil Kenan

Starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie Dewitt, Kennedi Clemens, Jared Harris, Jane Adams and Saxon Sharbino

The Bowens are a family of five, consisting of Mom (Amy), Dad (Eric), and three kids (Kendra, Griffin, and Madison). They move into a new suburban home due to some financial woes and the children do not seem pleased about it. Meanwhile, Eric and Amy appear as though they are under a great deal of stress.

Almost immediately strange things begin happening within their new home. Strange noises in the walls, the electricity keeps flickering, cell phones are burning out, and there are "people" appearing in the TV talking to the youngest member of the family, little Madison. The whole family wakes up and Madison announces that "They" are here and the family soon discovers that the cemetery was "moved" when their subdivision was built, which of course, it wasn't. Their house does indeed rest upon the unmoved bodies, but they don't know that. Yet.

Shortly after moving into their new home, Eric and Amy attend a dinner party one night, leaving the three children at home, and in short order, Madison is lured to her bedroom closet and taken by unseen entities, clown dolls are coming to life, and trees are attacking poor Griffin, while a viscous goo seeps out of the floor, sprouting hands and attacking Kendra. It seems as though the attacks were a diversion by the spirits so that they would be able to get to Madison alone and lead her into the spirit world with them. Eric and Amy return home to find Madison missing and, after hearing her voice emanating from within the television, the family are forced to seek help from paranormal experts to find out if there is a way to get Madison back to her family where she belongs.

If you've seen the original, you pretty much know the rest, and how it all shakes out for the most part...

Poltergeist 2015 is an extremely watered down version of the beloved Tobe Hooper classic from 1982, that had almost no scares, thrill, or apprehension to it whatsoever. The scares are weak and seriously lacking in tension. It's almost as if the producers were holding so fast to that precious PG-13 rating that they forgot there was supposed to be a certain element of fear involved, making for a far less dramatic impact. I felt like there was no art behind it, they were just here for the cash cow that remakes invariably seem to be.

The acting is pretty much the only thing that wasn't a complete let down in Poltergeist 2015. There were some damn good performances, particularly from the younger cast members, ALMOST making it worth a one time watch. ALMOST.

I am not usually a remake snob and am generally willing to give almost anything a chance...This is one where I wished I hadn't watched it at all, let alone for $7.99 on VOD. But watch it I did, and I fucking HATED it. I should have known better, but for whatever reason (I think it must have been due to Sam Raimi's involvement), I had to see how big of a trainwreck it was. And holy shit, was it ever. I still want my time and money back and it's been a week.

There was nothing about this film that resonated with me in any way, shape, or form. Even going in expecting next to nothing, I was still a bit disappointed. One of the reasons I don't bitch too much about the endless stream of remakes is because I believe that they have the potential to gain the original films new followers. This version was so extremely unentertaining that I just don't see that happening.

Give me the brilliant Tobe Hooper version over this pointless, steaming pile of crap any day of the week. It's the only one worth watching.

I give this one 3/10 and that's only because I crush on Sam Rockwell and I am in a good mood.

Posted by Alan Smithee

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