Directed by Gil Kenan
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino,
Kennedi Clements, Kyle Catlett, Jane Adams and Jared Harris
"A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive."
The original Poltergeist movie from 1982 is a classic and holds fond memories for many horror fans and kids of the 80s, myself included. You all know the story - 'Coach' and his family move into a new house and soon discover that it is haunted because it was built on an ancient Native American burial ground. A story so classic and well known that even The Simpsons parodied it in one of their Treehouse of Horror episodes. We all know the infamous behind the scenes rumors - who really directed it? Was is Steven Speilberg or was it Tobe Hooper?
So again, like so many times before we have to ask ourselves (and Hollywood) - why? Why remake a classic? What can you possibly do to make a classic better?
As it turns out, not much really....
Poltergeist 2015 was directed by Gil Kenan who previously directed Monster House and City Of Ember. It was produced by Sam Raimi and his Ghosthouse Pictures company. My overall thoughts on the film? Another pointless remake, not as bad as the Carrie remake (thank fuck!) but far from being anywhere near as good as Zack Snyder's Dawn Of The Dead or Fede Alvarez' Evil Dead.
The most noticeable difference between this and the original is the use of modern technology - drones, infra-red and other forms of tracking devices used for the surveillance of the house makes it look slightly more hi-tech and gives it a cool found footage feel for a few seconds here and there. Another big difference is replacing the original's 'house cleaner' Zelda Rubinstein with the host of a 'Ghost Hunters' type tv show and an Irish cheeky chappie by the name of Carrigan Burke played by Jared Harris. The film probably could've been a little bit scary except they do what all big budget horror films do nowadays - they showed most of the cool 'jump-scares' in the trailer making them totally ineffective when seen in the film. The only thing that really stood out for me was the cgi, while the fx in the original were great for it's time the remake's creators really used the advancement of modern cgi to their advantage to make the haunting of the house more epic and terrifying looking and the 'other side' looked amazing. It had a slightly different ending from the original as well which was ok but still doesn't justify why the film was even made in the first place, other than money of course. Unless Sam Raimi used the cash made from this to finance the new Ash Vs Evil Dead tv show, in that case it was money well spent!
It wasn't a bad movie, it just wasn't very original. If it took the original story and mixed it up a bit, added a little here and there then maybe I would've enjoyed it more. I'm sure younger horror fans, Tweens or Twi-hards or whatever those idiots are called or anyone who isn't that familiar with the original will probably love it but fans of the original will, like myself probably be bored throughout and afterwards say Why bother?