A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Kennedi Clements
Directed: Gil Kenan
Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire, and Steven Spielberg (story)
As a horror fan, it continues to be a struggle to find a movie that truly scares me. At a much younger age, the original "Poltergeist" did plenty to scare me. While the remake didn't scare me, it was good to see it scare others in the theater. It apparently did for them what the original did for me, but was this "Poltergeist" remake a good movie?
Knowing the story already, it's hard to find anything surprising. The family moves in, paranormal stuff starts happening to Madison (Kennedi Clements), all hell breaks loose when she disappears, the family brings in people to help, and then they try to rescue Madison. What is surprising is the continued need to inject some light comedy into the movie. Whether it's a comment from the dad, or something fun that happens to one of the kids, it really takes away any chance of sustaining any kind of tension.
The story seems to move kind of fast, which is all right, but it didn't really let the audience get a connection with all of the family members. It feels like the audience gets to know the parents some, their son Griffin (Kyle Catlett) maybe a little more, but not so much with Madison. The problem here is that when the ghosts take Madison, the audience isn't going to be on the edge of their seats for her safe return. The only real reason they are going to want her back is because she's a cute little girl, and maybe they feel bad for the family.
So what did some of the people in the theater find scary? Well, there's a tense scene where one of the ghost hunters is trying to set up equipment in a room, and gets his hand stuck in the wall. Too bad for him the ghosts are on the other side of the wall. The scene is ok, but probably ends with more hardcore horror fans wanting a bloodier ending. The best scene is probably when Griffin is flying a drone where all of the ghosts are. The audience gets to see them crawling all over themselves, and it looks pretty awesome. However, again it doesn't produce much in the way of scares.
Overall, the best way to describe this "Poltergeist" remake is that it's a much much lighter version of the original. The story is pretty much the same. The family structure is the same. The ghosts try to do the same thing to Madison. The big difference is that the scares aren't scary enough, and they add too many comedic moments. However, I'm happy it did scare some people, but it's just not going to scare hardcore horror fans. The movie itself is ok, so I give this it 2 pools of blood.
(Note: I wrote this review trying not to get into many direct comparisons with the original because I'm sure there are plenty of those kind of reviews out there. You don't need to me to go compare each thing in the movie to the original, and complain about how it's not the same.)