Poltergeist review

Poltergeist, directed by Gil Kenan is the 2015 re-make of 1982 horror movie of the same name, centred around the Bowen family, who move to a new house in the suburbs and are forced to face the evil spirits that take an interest in and capture their daughter, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Nicholas Braun.

The plot plays out much like the original and much like you’d expect with your typical haunted house movie, as the Bowens’ move into their new home, completely unaware of its’ history, later coming into contact with the forces that dwell on that ground, unfortunately Poltergeist this time around doesn’t add anything new or interesting. The cast works well enough with the material they get though and you do get the feeling of a believable family in the Bowens, Sam Rockwell is a great actor and still gives a decent performance as Eric, while Rosemarie DeWitt is good as Amy, though neither of them give stellar performances.

The film is also let down by well known horror clichés, jump scares galore and cliché characters, the Bowens teenage daughter Kendra is just about every teenage girl in every haunted house movie ever, rolled into one, while the two younger kids in Griffin and Madison also don’t bring much to the story but cliché child is somehow connected to the supernatural tropes. In saying that, the film does have a decent emotional edge to it, like the original Poltergeist film did and ignoring the supernatural aspect of the story for a second, the youngest child in a family going missing is a pretty terrifying experience and that is conveyed well by the parents, Eric and Amy.

Poltergeist fails to really capitalize on its’ own premise though, with pretty much non-existent tension and almost no real build up to things getting out of control aside things going bump in the night and the TV turning itself on, it’s even worse than Paranormal Activity in its’ set up for its major plot point as you’ve seen it all before. And when we finally do see the spirits at work, they’re…. just not scary, at all and the CG I have to say is pretty poor, I’m not quite sure what look the film was going for but the end product is weird and as generic as they come.

I did expect a lot more from the film though, some good tension and use of suspense, interesting characters maybe, some sort of twist on Poltergeists story but none of that happened. And the story ends on a predictable note also, with some additional things happening in the final third to drum up some interest in the ailing story but it’s far too late and it feels a bit forced.

4/10

. Predictable, cliché plot

. Film lacks any real scares or tension

. Doesn’t do anything new with the Poltergeist story

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