POLTERGEIST – REVIEW

The Freeling family has moved out of home, welcome the Bowen’s in the remake to the 1982 classic The Poltergeist.

So, is it any good?

YES

 

The Bowen’s, your typical American family move into a low income area after Eric (Sam Rockwell) loses his job. They purchase what seems to be the perfect little home for their family, until unwelcome guests start appearing and take their youngest.

There are really 3 kinds of remakes, the remake that is a straight shot for shot remake, think Psycho (1998). Then there is the remake where the story is changed by the new writing team that seem to think that, what may have worked for the original won’t work for new audiences, think Total Recall (2012). Then there is the remake that doesn’t really change much of the story, they just update it for new audience with things that fit to the current generation, think Miracle on 34th Street (1994). Poltergeist is the Miracle on 34th Street of remakes.

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The film follows along the same footpath the original took and just updates a few things here and there. Skyping instead of calling, a failing housing market instead of new booming areas. Director Gil Keenan has really tried to capture the feel of the original implementing a lot of the same special effects and techniques. The film has this whole 80’s vibe to it. Even the way the film is cast actors reminded me of the original cast members. If I didn’t know any better I would had said that the new Carol Anne (Maddie – Kennedi Clements) was Heather O’Rourke’s daughter.

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This is not to say that the film is exactly the same. We live in a new era of horror, where a simple jump scare might not work as well setting up a scare from start to finish. Simple scenes at the start of Poltergeist really pay off much later into the film, which is nice to see. You just need to keep in mind that this is meant for young adults, young teenagers that can go to see a flick with there parents, not the same demo as say, The Conjuring. So that means, while it does have its moments of terror. It doesn’t go full make you wet your pants sort of terror that some the recent horror flicks out there have achieved.

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There is a whole lot of charm in this remake. Clearly a lot of care has gone in to recreate the magic of the original.  It’s a shame that it hasn’t done well in most markets because as far as remakes go, this is up there with the best. It’s what a remake should do, retell the same story but update it for new audiences. I mean there is a reason the original did well.

If you love the genre or loved the original I personally highly recommend the remake.

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