“Poltergeist” remake deemed unnecessary

Colleen Kelly

“Poltergeist,” a remake of the 1982 cult classic by the same name, is this summer’s first major horror flick to hit the screens. It follows the Bowen family as they must combat and survive the violent haunting taking place in their new home with the help of a demonologist and team of paranormal investigators.

The acting by the adults was on point, Sam Rockwell (Eric Bowen), Rosemarie DeWitt (Amy Bowen) and Jared Harris (Carrigan Burke) carry the cast while trying to breathe life into the script. It’s a talented lead cast -not including the children- and they know how to sell a scene well.

However, that doesn’t make up for a script that falls flat. When the original movie came out, it was this landmark event that generations of horror movies were inspired by because there hadn’t been anything like it up until that point. It helped pioneer so many horror tropes that are still being used in movies today. It was shocking and fresh in 1982, but coming out in 2015, this remake lacks any of its predecessor’s punch. It felt like a complete rehashing of everything we’re used to seeing from a paranormal-horror flick, and director Gil Kenan missed a golden opportunity to update a classic with it his own fresh spin.

To the movie’s credit though, and as tired as I am of jump scares, there were instances where they were used very effectively with truly creepy elements that left me reeling (three words: clowns and shadows). The special effects in this movie ranged from subtle and effective to just plain silly with its overuse of cheesy low budget CGI.

Newbies to the classic story of “Poltergeist” will without a doubt be entertained and startled if not underwhelmed by the lackluster tropes and scare tactics, but fans of the original should probably skip this one altogether.

Verdict 2/5 stars