While paying homage to the 80s’ classic, still, this Poltergeist remake lacks originality to stand on its own scary terms.
The 1982 Poltergeist helped pave the way for modern horror films that we know and love today. Years after, this smartly filmed horror tale had many directors eagerly striping elements away to use in their own modern horror films. Movies like The Conjuring or Insidious have taken important scare techniques to incorporate into their eerie setting. Where does the remake fit into this you may ask?
It got stuck in a rut and added nothing new or scary from the original, which was the most disappointing. Sadly, there were too many half-baked horror set pieces and unfrightening moments because we have seen this all before. Nothing felt fresh or alive besides Sam Rockwell’s performance. Poltergeist 2015 is not a complete disaster and that is only thanks to Mr. Rockwell himself. Poltergeist 2015 contemporized the classic tale about the Bowen family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces. Cue the little girl putting her hands on the TV and saying “They're here …”
But when the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter, Madison (Kennedi Clements) captive, the Bowen’s must come together to rescue her before she disappears forever. After that, the rest is predicable. Director Gil Kenan (Monster House and City of Ember) throws no punches. We get the typical PG-13 scares and jitters coming at us, while, Kenan’s rapid pacing is unsettling.
There was a moment when Kenan had a few tricks up his sleeves with the smart placement of that terrifying clown. God I hate clowns. Ultimately, this poltergeist affair is forgettable and in my opinion just watch the original if you’re in the mood for a good old scare. Unfortunately, the phrase “They’re here …” doesn’t have the same affect that it did 33 years ago. In the end, this poltergeist came and squandered.
Poltergeist 2015 is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For intense frightening sequences, brief suggestive material, and some language.