Film Review – Poltergeist (2015)

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Title – Poltergeist (2015) 

Director – Gil Kenan (Monster House)

Cast – Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett

Plot – The Bowen family, lead by financially struggling dad Eric (Rockwell), discover that their move into a new home may not have been the greatest decision when demonic trees, evil cupboards and a rapscallion squirrel start to run amok.

“They’re here……”

Review by Eddie on 26/10/2015

I’m sure most would agree that no one was clambering for a remake of Tobe Hooper (or is it Steven Spielberg’s?) beloved 1980’s horror film Poltergeist, a film that gave don’t sit too close to the TV a whole new meaning and clowns an even worse name, but as seems to be the case with modern day movie making studios, they don’t seem to care to much for what we want and hence we now have 2015’s Poltergeist.

Directed by Gil Keenan, a man known only for the CGI film Monster House (his 2nd film City of Ember is virtually a forgotten entity) and a talent once heralded as the new Spielberg or Zemeckis, and produced by long serving horror master Sam Raimi, there was hope out there amongst the many naysayers that this modern take on the unfortunate real estate ventures of the Bowen family could be a surprise packet of horror goodies, but when the scariest thing in a “horror” film is a demented squirrel or an out of place looking Sam Rockwell, you know you’re in for a terrible ride.

One would suspect that the modus operandi of most horror films is to be scary but seemingly throwing out the rulebook here Keenan and his script written by David Lindsay-Abaire deliver a film so bereft of scares that you’d have to think maybe we are instead witnessing the Poltergeist reimagined as some type of comedy vehicle, as there really is no other logical explanation as to why this film stinks at the level that it does.

It’s hard to know where to start with everything that the Poltergeist does wrong, but the most telling aspect of the film other than not delivering one single scare (other than perhaps the film’s mid end credits scene which is just so horribly done its scary) is the fact that a producer like Raimi should of known better and tried to rescue or even cull this film before it saw the light of day or an actor of the stature of Sam Rockwell even agreeing to take a pay check and run with his misguided appearance here. Really, everything you would’ve loved about the original film is missing here and no amount of violent trees, mud monsters or scary cupboards was ever going to make this film OK.

With a bunch of unlikeable child actors, a seriously non-scary or even slightly creepy retelling of a story that deserves better, Poltergeist is a huge letdown even though most had written the film off beforehand suggesting that the scariest thing about this horror film is just how bad it ended up being, even though the bar had been set at an already precariously low level.

½ a menacing squirrel out of 5

P.S – note to parents. If you come home and find your child quite literally being swung around by giant tree and go inside to find your daughter inside a TV with demonic spirits, please act a little bit more concerned than the parents found here.

28 responses to “Film Review – Poltergeist (2015)

  1. I could no agree more with everything you said in this review. Thank god I didn’t pay money to see it like I had originally planned. There’s so many more reboots and remakes to come in the next few years so be prepared to stay disappointed for a while lol

      • So was I to be honest, I knew it wouldn’t be the same but I had a glimmer of hope, but that was atrocious in the end. what a perfectly good movie gone wrong. no more remakes please Hollywood.

  2. Honestly, it can’t be any worse than the craptastically overhyped original (Oops, did I say that out loud? I guess I did) 😛 As a frank sidenote, you say that the parents don’t seem that concerned in this version? Uhh, what about the original??! The mental midget mother is watching her daughter levitate across the floor with a big smile on her face and going “Oh look, hon, she’s floating!” I’m sorry, that just a little bit too much stupid for me in one movie. And when they go BACK to the haunted house? Pu lease :/

    No confrontation meant, movie guys. I’m probably the only person one earth who hated the original “Poltergeist.” No scares to be had, only kitsch… I hold up faint hopes for this one if only for Sam Rockwell, who lights up any project he touches. Oh well… different strokes for different folks, I guess. 😛

      • I’ll probably give this one a skip since everybody is saying it’s so much worse. Rockwell’s in it though, so that’s something, I guess 😛 he original was just so damn stupid and overrated. I don’t like horror movies (apart from satire like “Shaun of the Dead”) where the characters act extremely stupid and unrealistic.

    • As a kid, Poltergeist scared me a lot, so I’ll give it that. Still, I enjoy very little about it now. The comedy elements fall flat for me.

      There are a few well regarded movies that just don’t work well for me.

  3. Guys I knew that film was not going to make it at the box office. when Hollywood is going to stop to make remake that suck. Instead of making a remake from a good movie from back in the day about remaking a bad movie into a great remake. Or get a new original idea But hollywood well you know. Nice review Thank you. I am glad I didn’t see it.

  4. I’ve been afraid to watch this, and still haven’t. I feel obligated as a horror fan to sit through it though, so I can justify my uneasiness towards it. When it comes down to it, I fear no contemporary horror can capture the type of family-film/horror dynamic that made films like Poltergeist and Exorcist so great. Of course, there are some great horrors today, but not often in the remake department.

  5. I was afraid to read this, only originally going to comment and like this because of the rating and P.S., but I’m glad I did read. I haven’t seen this and I feel like you perfectly summed this film up. I never had high hopes for this, and then the reviews came, as did the film, and they sank even lower. I’m afraid of what I’ll feel when I actually choose to sit through the film.

  6. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2015: Eddie’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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