Writer: Justin Case
In 1982 Steven Spielberg wrote and produced a movie that would inspire filmmakers and audiences for years to come. If you’re thinking that movie is E.T., you are sadly mistaken. The movie I’m referring to is actually Poltergeist. I know you’re probably thinking that I’m lying to you because it wasn’t a feel good, pulling on your heart strings type of movie. Tobe Hooper (director of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre) directed this film which helped set the dark undertones and strike fear into the audiences who dared to set their gaze upon this horror masterpiece.
Before we go any further, let me give a brief synopsis of what the film is about. The story begins with the Bowen family buying a new home. They’re unaware that their house was built on top of an old cemetery that was supposedly moved to another part of town. Apparently the contractors were shady and only moved the headstones which results in a poltergeist that haunts the family and “kidnaps” their youngest daughter. They bring in a celebrity paranormal investigator to help them get her back. Now that you’re familiar with the plot, let’s discuss the 2015 remake.
This movie took all of the scares from the original film and condensed them into an hour and a half semi scary flick for millennials. I say that because of the excessive use of cell phones, tablets, and even the drone (yes, a freaking drone) that was sent into the portal to locate their daughter Maddy (Carol Anne’s character in the original film). I also felt that the pacing of the film was too fast and the actors gave barely believable performances. Even Sam Rockwell’s performance was a haphazard display of vague and unbelievable emotions. Honestly the best performance was from the little girl who played Maddy, although her poor delivery of the famous “They’re here” line kind of set the tone for the rest of the film. I’m aware that most remakes try to change things up for the new generation of movie goers, but this one took one step forward and two steps back through the entire film. I didn’t expect a faithful adaptation, but I also didn’t expect a movie where the plot felt rushed and left me longing for a director’s cut where the movie was presented in its entirety.
Don’t get me wrong, not everything about this movie was bad. The special effects were excellent and so was the 3D. Most films that are released in 3D have depth and dimension, but lack the pop out effect that we all long for in a 3D picture. This movie actually delivered quite a few of those. My favorite 3D scene was when Boyd (one of the paranormal investigators) was trying to install temperature sensors in the closet where Carol Anne, er, I mean Maddy disappeared. As he attempted to drill through the wall in the closet, he winds up accidentally punching a hole in it, then sticks his arm in the hole (already aware of the poltergeist present in the house) and tries to retrieve the drill. As you’d expect, the poltergeist grabs a hold of him and pulls him close to wall as it begins to drill holes closer and closer to his face.
By the end of the film there is a bit of relief knowing that it’s all over and you don’t have to watch anymore of this recycled Hollywood garbage. If you’re familiar with the original films, then you know that the poltergeist follows the family when they move and we get two more sequels. Let’s just pray the poltergeist is gone for good and we don’t get any more sequels this time around.