Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Movie review: Poltergeist (2015)

Much like the 1982 original, this remake follows the Bowen family as they move into a new home which they quickly discover comes complete with dangerous spirits. When the spirits take their youngest daughter Madison, the Bowen's desperately recruit help.

Sam Rockwell (Eric), Rosemarie DeWitt (Amy), Saxon Sharbino (Kendra), Kyle Catlett (Griffin), Kennedi Clements (Madison), Jared Harris (Carrigan), Jane Adams (Dr. Brooke Powell), Susan Heyward (Sophie), Nicholas Braun (Boyd).

This version of Poltergeist does a pretty good job of following the original film. After moving into a new home the Bowen family quickly begins to see some strange things happening. When their youngest daughter Madison engages the entities, she is abducted and the family quickly scrambles for help enlisting first a science department and then Carrigan, a TV reality show host. The story moves along at a good pace and there are some nice BOO moments. Updating the film with more modern CGI was a nice move.

Sadly acting and direction is where this one fell short. Rockwell felt scattered in a role that had him moving between being a lousy husband and a great one. DeWitt felt somewhat unemotional in a role that really needed some deep emotion. Sharbino fit her part but her character was slightly more than window dressing. Catlett delivered pretty well but also fell a bit short on emotion. Clements did okay, while Harris and the rest of the cast were a bit dry.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were pretty good and technical work compared to the original improved nicely. CGI fit the film well and was enjoyable with good creepy scenes and BOO moments. Dialogue was okay but with better direction, could have added more to the film and storyline. Sound and soundtrack were pretty good.

The original Poltergeist film was a nice, spooky story focused on the supernatural. This version seems to focus more on updated technical work and acting, and as a result loses some of the scare value of the original. While this is worth a watch, it is simply a mediocre entry in the supernatural horror genre and a poor representation of the original.

With some mild sexuality, and plenty of supernatural creatures and events, this should be fine for teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 6.8.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Supernatural Horror, Thriller, Classic Remakes

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

1 comment:

Zach Murphy said...

I agree that this remake was at least worth a watch. There are definitely a couple good moments in it, but overall it's pretty forgettable.

Nice review.

- Zach (

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