What do you do when you don’t want to come up with an original idea for a horror movie? That’s right, you just take a highly successful movie from the eighties and fuck with it. Poltergeist 2015 is a remake of the eighties classic and it’s not based on a true story despite anything you might hear. Again, if a movie is just a commercial milker, the marketing campaign has to be aggressive. They even hired a so-called poltergeist expert Christopher Chacon to promote it. There was no need to update it because the original works just fine after all this time (always). The Clash of Titans from 1981 is a perfect example of a movie that needed an update.
Directed by relatively commercial Gil Kenan (Monster House, City of Ember) and written by David Lindsay-Abaire (Robots, Rabbit Hole, Rise of the Guardians), this version of Poltergeist is watchable. But nothing else. It didn’t add anything new, it just cleverly recreated and updated the setting of the original. Completely forgettable, it’s just cannon fodder for the streaming services. On the other hand, it manages to keep the attention of the viewer for eighty minutes and I guess that’s something.
Welcome to the future. Eric Bowen, jobless and on a hunt for an affordable house, just hit the jackpot finding what seems to be a great deal. The new house seems to have everything that he and his family need so he decides to take it. However, strange things start to happen pretty soon.
The thing that disappointed me most was the family. And Sam Rockwell’s performance fucked me up even more. To see one of my favorite actors struggling to connect with the rest of the cast and the story as a whole is something that I watched with a tear in my eye. I never got that “family vibe” that made the original one of the most popular movies of that decade. After all this trashing it’s time for some positive aspects: special effects and cinematography were top notch and you always had that feeling that you’re watching a “big movie”.
Those movies take the lead and allow you to just chill and enjoy the ride. Poltergeist is also a moderately scary movie relying mostly on jump scares. Although I must admit that there were a couple of interesting and pretty intense scenes. The one with the drill and stairs are probably the best of the bunch. So, if you’re in a mood for something totally commercial and forgettable, check it out. Otherwise, you can always come back to the original and clean the house once more.
Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jared Harris
Fun Facts: The director stated that the house they filmed in is haunted