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.
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.