Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Complaints? They’re coming…
I have a confession. I haven’t seen all of the original classic horror films. While I think I have seen the original Poltergeist film, it wasn’t since I was a little kid – so I really don’t remember much of the plot – so this viewing of the remake of Poltergeist is more or less blind and comes from a blank slate. That being said, I believe it suffers from something many horror flicks nowadays suffer from…flashiness. Yes, you couldn’t really show much of anything back in the day, but sometimes simplicity is scarier than complexity. If you’re forced to use your head to concoct a frightening image, it’s more than likely come up with something scarier than what a production can create, don’t you think? Oh well, let’s talk plot.
So, a poor family of five without jobs moves into a really nice house. They can do it because of multiple foreclosures in the housing complex – making the house pretty inexpensive. Well, as it turns out, the complex was built on top of an old cemetery – one where people simply moved headstones, not (bleh) the bodies. So guess what happens? You guessed it, there is a poltergeist that speaks through television interference and sucks people into closet voids. Which means only one thing – they have to get paranormal experts to help cleanse their home.
Not scary! I’ll say it upfront, since this is a horror film. This entire movie lacks not only creative gusto, but also anything remotely scary or even creepy. Even the cheap jump scares aren’t even there…and all I can really ask myself is why not? This is considered based off of one of the biggest horror franchises of film’s past – and they couldn’t do anything right? The best shots in the film were simply taken straight from the original film, which is fine – but the rest of the movie is very, very flashy. I mean it, out of all the horror remakes out there, this one wanted to show you the most fanciest of shots. Does it look interesting? Absolutely…but it wasn’t scary.
A visionary behind the film isn’t always a bad thing, but some of those older films worked so well out of simplicity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you’re brain is capable of creating the scariest image. After all, we all have had nightmares in the past, which are scarier than any movie demon or ghost. Give us an idea, explain what is happening, and stop, for the love of god, stop showing us absolutely everything. If that wasn’t enough, Sam Rockwell kept being more sarcastic than scared in this film – when you see a chair being sent violently across the room, shattering into pieces, you freak out – NOT make a quick sarcastic remark without any real reaction before walking out of the room. Funny – but since this isn’t a parody or the next Scary Movie, let’s try to take things a little more seriously, shall we?
To be honest, I like remakes. I understand their purpose. It’s definitely fun to see your favorite series being revisited and changed for a modern audience…but as far as horror films go, the importance doesn’t go further than a “fun to watch” status. That means any horror film remake, and I’ve seen a few in my day. So for me, there’s positives as well as negatives for these remakes…unfortunately, the positives are basically for nostalgic and curiosity reasons.
I always thought the concept of this film was interesting, and something that should be used in film a little more often than it has been – and a lot of the shots in this movie are very well done.
It just doesn’t work that well as a horror film. Maybe as a movie in general or something to watch just for fun, but scary it is not.