Movie Review - Poltergeist
Poltergeist (1982) is a classic horror film that was both a critical success and consistently ranks high with horror movie fanatics for its' stylish atmosphere, scary practical effects, and for the performances of the actors involved with the film. The movie certainly has a legacy in American horror and it can be argued that this is one of Spielberg’s best films. Poltergeist (2015) is the exact opposite.
To begin, special effects and a budget Spielberg would have given his right testicle for in 1982 simply isn't enough to make this a good movie. Overall, it was just another attempt by Hollywood to try to reintroduce a cash cow to a new generation. Poltergeist is utterly unoriginal, flat, and generally lacking any of the surprise and charm of the original.
The film can be praised for staying true to the original material, almost too true in fact. There are numerous examples of remakes that are diligent to the material but still manage to enhance the story in one form or another; be it an expansion of the original idea, an added element of fear or suspense, or a new vision for a tired franchise. Poltergeist did none of these things, instead it felt like the original film was simple run through rendering software—sharpened and enhanced, made bigger, better, stronger, faster, but thankfully not longer.
Sam Rockwell, as always, turns in a good performance. In fact the whole film was well-acted and, of course, with a 35-million-dollar budget (considering that horror films are consistently under-budgeted) the special effects were stellar. Still, it doesn’t hold a candle to the original…but hell, it could have been worse. Now available in theaters.
- T.C. McKeever