Poltergeist review

Gil Kenan
Sam Rockwell
Rosemarie DeWitt
Kennedi Clements
Kyle Catlett
Jared Harris
Rated: PG-13

The 2015 remake of the 1982 film “Poltergeist,” doesn’t stray too far from its original roots. Like the first film, “Poltergeist” follows a family with a father, Eric (Rockwell), a mother, Amy (DeWitt) and a couple of kids. The family is under a financial strain, however, they do move into a new house hoping that their fortunes will change.

Long story short, they don’t. After getting settled in their new home, the family starts coming across strange occurrences, each growing more frightening than the last. It’s made worse when the parents learn that their house was actually constructed on a burial ground.

Horror movie remakes are a dime a dozen now days, and nine out of 10 times, they usually don’t hold up to the original. Unfortunately, “Poltergeist” is more the rule than the exception in this case. The film does have some differences, mostly being with the technological aspects. The famous TV scene is with an HD screen this time around, for example, however, for the most part it stays the same.

Some things that were changed didn’t exactly work out very well, either. The whole climax of the picture is a good example since, compared to the original, it was a complete mess.

I am a big fan of Sam Rockwell, yet in “Poltergeist,” neither he or the other performers in can save the overall film. Most of the time, the family unit seemed to just be going through the motions and its nothing we haven’t seen before at this point.

“Poltergeist’s” biggest problem is that it simply isn’t very scary and doesn’t offer a good creepy atmosphere, either. Unlike 2013’s “The Conjuring,” “Poltergeist” simply either reuses most of what the original film already did without the good creepy tone, or relied on jump scares.

A movie, especially a remake like “Poltergeist,” has to do some things that are innovative, especially in a market with movies like “The Conjuring,” the “Insidious” franchise and other experimental horror flicks, otherwise, it will simply fall by the wayside.

That’s pretty much what this movie does, too. It’s by all means forgettable and can be skipped. 1 out of 5.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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