★★☆☆☆ – Even when considered separate to the original, the recent remake of Poltergeist just isn’t worth the watch.
A poltergeist is a type of ghost that invades your home, makes loads of annoying noises and destroys valuable things you hold dear – much like a film remake of the same name. Whilst it is far too easy to dismiss an adaptation when the original is held in such high regard – this really wasn’t worth the effort.
As with the first Poltergeist, we’re introduced to a normal, suburban family dynamic – stay-at-home mom Amy (Rosemarie Dewitt), macho father Eric (Sam Rockwell), whiny teenage daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), anxious younger brother Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and the tooth achingly sweet youngest child, Madison (Kennedi Clements). Whilst suffering financially, they find a house at a bargain price (hey, what could be up with that?) and snap it up without a second thought. Soon after, strange occurances set Griffin on edge – setting up our paranormal experiences for the film and Madison’s subsequent kidnapping into the void.
Whilst it retains a family-friendly horror vibe, is mildly watchable and puts the film into modern perspective; it’s pretty clear to see it wasn’t really a necessary production. Gil Kenan makes no decisions that mark Poltergeist out as special – using the same scenes, characters and quite possibly the very same CGI from the 80’s that culminate in a bland rehash of something that was once unique.
Even when viewed completely on it’s own the film doesn’t really go anywhere; there is no character development and a distinct impression that you’re watching a string of what could be good, solid scenes propelled by filler, and (I say it again) awful special effects. All in all, it’s something you can watch to fill a hole in your time. But that’s exactly what it will feel like afterwards.
Poltergeist (2015), directed by Gil Kenan, is released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Certificate 15.
This article was originally posted to The Edge.