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Film Review: “Poltergeist” by Blade Brown

A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.

Remaking a movie is always challenging. But for some reason, its been way harder on horror than other genres. Iconic films like Al Pacino’s Scarface, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, James Cameron’s True Lies and Michael Mann’s Heat were all remakes that surpass the original. But when it comes to horror movies, its a rarity to get a film half as good as the original, let alone better. While Poltergeist isn’t the worse remake I’ve seen, its still closer to the bottom of the list than the top.

The movie follows the Bowen family (they were the Freeling family in the 1982 original) as they move into a new home with their three kids after the head of the household Eric (Sam Rockwell) is recently laid off. Once moved in, weird things instantly begin to happen. While there are a few surprises as far as the scares go, its mostly a spot on remake as far as following the original’s blueprint. Ironically, I’d prefer a fresh take on a remake instead of the filmmakers following in the footsteps of the previous film. If I wanted to watch the same movie, I’d just pop in the Steven Spielberg produced classic.

The cast is serviceable. The plot is essentially the same. The special effects are good, but the original film’s effects for the time were pretty good themselves. Jared Harris (Mad Men) is a breath of fresh air as the medium brought in to cleanse the house, but in a limited role he can only do so much. Lastly, the scene that most people identify with the first film comes off extremely dry in this movie. This child’s version of “They’re Here” doesn’t do anything to add to the suspense of the movie.

While its not a terrible movie, its far from a good one. Much the the Carrie remake from a few years ago, this is a case of a classic movie that doesn’t need updated, getting remade for no reason other than to make a quick profit. Shame on you, Hollywood. Shame on you.


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brandonw • June 15, 2015

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