release date: 22 May 2015 (Canada)
run time: 93 mins
considered: Horror, Thriller
director: Gil Kenan
starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Susan Heyward, Nicholas Braun, Karen Ivan, Patrick Garrow, Doug MacLeod, Eve Crawford, L.A. Lopes, Soma Bhatia
movie summary: A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.(www.imdb.com)
my thoughts: I was born the year the original Poltergeist movie came out. You don’t have to google it, I’ll tell you it came out in 1982. I have maybe seen that movie twice in life and the whole series once. To be quite honest with you I vaguely remember any of it, except that I know Family Guy makes fun of the movie in an episode and that Eddie Murphy does a piece about it during his stand up comedy routine. Anyone, anywhere, who watches movies will always remember Poltergeist because the daughter ends up in the TV set. That’s it, that’s all that movie will always be remembered for, or actually how strange things happened on set and main cast members died shortly after the movie release. I guess I remember more than I should have.
As Hollywood continues to run out of fresh ideas, sequels, and prequels, they always decide to remake movies that are actually not that old. I’d rather see a remake of movie from the 1930s instead of the 1980s. There are probably so many movies I’ve never heard of or seen because I don’t like watching old movies. Poltergeist didn’t need a remake but we got one anyways. I went in with little to no expectations, thinking this movie was going to be complete trash. They don’t make good horror movies anymore and don’t give me that line of crap that It Follows was the greatest thing since sliced bread, because it seriously wasn’t. This updated version of Poltergeist is jammed packed with flat screen TVs, iPhones, and lots of creepy dolls. Why there is a creepy doll for a poster, when the dolls has no real major impact on the story is beyond me, but hey whatever sells movie tickets I guess.
I was not a huge fan of Sam Rockwell as the dad. He may have provided us with some funny one-liners, but really was a disaster as a casting. Everyone else in the family seem to fit, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, and Kennedi Clements, just something about him seemed off from the beginning and it bugged me through out the whole movie. I thought it was an interesting idea to bring in a reality TV star, Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who goes around the world banishing ghosts from people’s homes. The flat screens and reality tv shows, along with an unemployed dad really tie in nicely with today’s society. The fact this innocent family has to move is because they have three kids and the parents are broke. They take a cheap mortgage on a house built on top of a burial ground because it sounds like the everyday life of a middle class American. I don’t remember if that was the reason why the original family, the Freelings, moved into their haunted home, but the Bowen’s background really made the story believable in 2015.
The beginning of the movie was so creepy and scary that gave me chills even though I expected silly things to happen. It’s been a while since I’ve had goosebumps on my arm, which is what made me enjoy this movie. As much fun as the poltergeist activity was, the story takes a turn for the worse when Madison gets stuck in the TV. Everything felt rushed after that and when they try to rescue her, it was so quick and struggle free it wasted the whole build up of how powerful these lost souls are.
my final thoughts: I can’t imagine how much flack I am going to get for recommending this movie to people. If you loved the original movie(s), then you’ve already gone out to see this one. If you haven’t and still want to see this one, don’t worry the theatres won’t be sold out so you will get your chance. I’m interested in what others think of this movie because for once a horror movie actually made me feel scared. It’s hard not to compare the original and the remake, but since I have not watched the old films in years, I am in no place to provide such judgement.
my star rating: 6 out 10
imdb: 5.4 out 10
rottentomatoes: 34% out 100%
roger ebert: 1.5 out 4
richard crouse: 0.5 out 5