Review: Poltergeist (2015)

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Title: Poltergeist
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Gil Kenan
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie Dewitt, Saxon Sharbino
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins

What It Is: A remake of the classic 1982 horror film originally “produced” by Speilberg and directed by Tobe Hooper. You know the story a family moves into a house that was built atop something it shouldn’t have been. Now the house is infested with a violent and relentless spirit known as a poltergeist. Weird stuff starts happening, including the abduction of their youngest child by the evil apparition. It manifests itself within everyday objects within the house including a creepy toy clown. This time we have a family that’s moving into a neighborhood, and a man (played by Jared Harris) looking to save them from whatever it is that is in their home.

What We Think: This movie literally adds nothing. It’s a remake, but a remake should simply be a new opportunity to tell a familiar story. This just takes the same exact story and tells it for the most part the exact same way. At no point did an original thought pass through this movies narrative. It’s just one predictable scare after another. One thing I’ll give it is that the visuals aren’t terrible. A lot of the scenes really click in this one respect. Sam Rockwell is good enough, as is Rosemarie Dewitt as his wife. However, Jared Harris steals every scene he’s in.

Our Grade: D, This film also has a great director producing in Sam Raimi, but the major difference is in the big boy chair. Gil Kenan’s only previous major credit is the kid’s flick Monster House whereas at the point of directing the original film Tobe Hooper had already directed Salem’s Lot, The Funhouse and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There’s a big difference in style and execution between the superior original and this thing.

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