Poltergeist (2015)

Clowns feature heavy in this version – get over it!!

I have a bad habit. I buy Films and never get around to watching them until some weird urge catches me, and I realise my bad habit isn’t so bad, it’s just forward planning. A few months back, I really wanted to watch the original Poltergeist film, I didn’t have it and I couldn’t find it on any of the streaming services I am subscribed to. Now, it’s all over the shop.

So, while I was shopping for the original, the two sequels and the 2015 remake accidentally fell in my shopping basket, stuff like that happens to me all the time.

Well, fast forward to this week and I decide that it’s time to start watching some of these Blu-Rays that are starting to take over my house; I swear rabbits don’t breed as fast as these bloody films. I chose the remake of Poltergeist as my Mum claims to never have seen it, yet I could have sworn we watched it together ages ago. Who am I to argue.

As an analogy the Poltergeist (1982) is like a delicious three-course Meal with a decent bottle of Wine to accompany it. It will fill you up and you will remember it for a long time after, whereas the remake is kind of like a Quarter Pounder Burger with Fries and a Milkshake from McDonald’s, it tastes ok, but it pretty much tastes the same as the last one you had and will probably taste the same as the next one. There really isn’t anything distinguishing about the remake. It’s a good film and it alters the story just enough that it has some originality to it, but it isn’t in any way memorable as the original.

You know that THAT line is going to be dropped somewhere in the film and it is, but it is thrown away in an offhand way

It just aint the same y’ know

Megan is stood in front of the TV and casually turns around and informs everyone…. “They’re Here.” There is no innocence like Carol Anne gave in the original, it wasn’t memorable.

I keep getting drawn back to the fact that this film is pretty much done by numbers and doesn’t really offer much to the Poltergeist legacy. This film deserved to be made, but maybe not as a remake of Poltergeist, they should have the balls to take the Poltergeist premise and run with it in a different direction. It should have stood on its own and been something…more.

 It is a shame as the cast are great. Sam Rockwell is great (mind you, I still can’t get his flip-top head from Hitchhikers Guide from my mind) he leads the film with an understated anger and disbelief of what is happening around him until his family really need him to step up and lead. Rebecca DeWitt is also great, I find her more approachable and believable than JoBethWilliams was for the most part in the original. DeWitt silently leads along with Rockwell, I wouldn’t call her a lead in the film, she feels more like serious support. The kids in the film range from Annoying to Blah. The son, up to the third act of the film is just like sandpaper in ya pants. He really is designed to annoy the audience to rile them up into some form of anxiety; you know that anxiety where you wish a bloody great tree would fall through the house and“shut him up” – redemption comes for him in the aforementioned third act when he goes all gung-ho and charges into the spectral netherworld to save his sister. It is only at this point you feel anything other than annoyance at the child. Even after the supposed sacrifice, it is all over so quickly with no real danger, that you quickly go back to not giving a damn.

As is my way, that is about as much of the plot as you will get from me here. I don’t like spoilers and I won’t divulge them just in case you read this before you see the film. If you haven’t seen and do watch it, please let me know in the comments; if you have seen it, let me know in the comments what you thought.

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