Sunday, October 18, 2015

Poltergeist (2015) – The Remake We Didn't Need

Runtime: 93 minutes
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Rating: PG-13
Director: Gil Kenan

Eric and Amy are a married couple looking for a new house because Eric recently lost his job and they need to downsize. After finding a home in a new development, they move in their teenage daughter Kendra, younger son Griffin, and youngest daughter Madison. Though things seem fine at first, it doesn't take too long before odd things occur. Most of it seems directed at Griffin, including some odd clown dolls he finds hidden in his room.

Things come to a head when the couple decide to leave Kendra in charge of the kids for the night. Something unseen lures her into the garage, a tree outside comes to life and pulls Griffin out of the house, and poor Madison finds her new friends pulling her into the television. Though the parents at first try to find other excuses for what happened, they eventually turn to a doctor from the local college, her former partner, and her team to help them stop the poltergeist activity and bring Madison back home again.

A few days before watching the Poltergeist remake, I came across an article published late last year. The author wondered how they would possibly do the movie without the classic static in the television scene. You can rest assured that the scene definitely appears in this movie. Unfortunately, it really comes across as a remake that we didn't really need.

I checked out the forums before posting my review and read someone who stated it was completely unlike the original film. Hm, a movie about a little girl sucked into a ghostly portal through her television and paranormal activity happening in the house? Sure sounds like the original to me. On the other hand, someone else pointed out that it was more in the vein of Cabin in the Woods than the original Poltergeist, which might explain why I didn't like it, given that I wasn't a big fan of Cabin in the Woods either.

The Poltergeist remake seems like just another attempt to cash in and get fans of old school horror movies into theaters. There wasn't really anything new or exciting, and it didn't bring anything different to the table. A lot of people praised Sam Rockwell (Eric) for his role in the movie, which I didn't get either. He's a great comedic actor, and I can't look at him without thinking of Galaxy Quest, but he didn't do anything more with the role than anyone else would have. He's actually so generic that I can barely remember anything he did in the movie.

The opening plot of the movie didn't really make sense either. He lost his job, they have almost no money, but they somehow get the cash together to buy a new house? It might make sense if they rented a house, but they clearly buy this one. Cut to one scene later, and he has multiple credit cards turned down at the hardware store because they don't have any money left. If money is that tight, it seems like shopping for a new home should be the last thing on their minds.

The only really creepy/scary moments in the movie come from the damn clown doll. Then again, throw any clown doll at me and I'll probably run for the hills. The tree, which scared the crap out of me as a kid, was slightly scary here but nothing like in the original. Poltergeist just seems like one of those movies Hollywood should have left alone.

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