Poltergeist (2015)

July 5, 2015 - 6:34pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Fox 2000 Pictures, Ghost House Pictures, ghosts, Gil Kenan, haunting, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, Mandate Pictures, MGM, poltergeist, poltergeists, remake, Rosemarie DeWitt, Roy Lee, Sam Raimi, Sam Rockwell, Saxon Sharbino, spirits, Vadim Perelman

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Gil Kenan
Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Rockwell, Kyle Catlett, Jared Harris, Saxon Sharbino, Jane Adams

A Poltergeist reboot had been in development for a number of years, even starting out as kind of a quasi-sequel at one point. It eventually became just a straight forward remake and it's clear what the studio was going for by hiring Gil Kenan (Monster House, City of Ember) to direct--obviously hoping to cash-in and bring the franchise back to life for a new generation of younger viewers. This is where they failed, because while they were hoping to deliver a new blockbuster hit for the whole family, they forgot to make a good movie in the process.

The story focuses on Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt as a couple "struggling" parents that relocate to a new home with the kids after poor old Sam gets fired from his previous job. Immediately after moving in the youngest daughter Madison begins talking to various inanimate objects (oh to be a kid again!). Unbeknownst to the family, she's actually communicating with the restless spirits that inhabit the home and it's not long before they kidnap the girl and bring her to the other side.

This leads the helpless parents to seek aid from local paranormal researchers that set up equipment around the house.  After failing to understand what they're dealing with, the researchers then get paranormal specialist/TV personality Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who reveals that they're dealing with poltergeists that need their daughter to help them pass over. Much like the original, the family isn't having any of it and come up with a plan to get their little girl back.

As  you can probably tell from my description, the story hasn't changed much over the years and unfortunately neither has the scares. In fact, despite being a bit dated, the original is still the far scarier pic between the two. Actually there are a couple moments here that would've been somewhat "scary" had the scenes not already been revealed in the trailer. Aside from that we've got poorly recreated renditions of iconic scenes (like the tree and clown attack), all CG'd and modernized for our viewing pleasure! And don't expect to see the awesome face-tearing scene, because that wouldn't exactly fly with this family-friendly fare.

Negative aside, there are a few aspects that were good--the pacing wasn't bad and kept me somewhat entertained and some of the CG actually looked decent. I also liked how the brother's character was a little more fleshed out here, as opposed to the original. Sadly the terrible script and questionable acting (on top of the negatives already pointed out) outweigh the good. In a remake standpoint this is bad in many ways and I'd slap it with a lower rating, but as a standalone family-friendly genre flick it's decent (to an extent). Unfortunately, it's not necessarily families that are flocking to see this.

Next to being more family oriented (and not scary at all), this Poltergeist remake proved to be yet another pointless cash-in from the studio (as expected). If you're a young kid or new to the genre you may dig this, but I wouldn't bother otherwise.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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