PG-13 | 2015 | 93m
Based on the trailer, I had high hopes for this remake of the 1982 classic horror flick. I was let down however. While the cast is great and so are the effects, it just didn't live up to the original.
Similar to the Evil Dead a couple years ago, they kept the story and situations similar, but changed it enough that it can be considered something new. So, why not just call it something else? Do audiences really go see movies because they are remakes?
So, what has changed? First, the characters have different names, so that is a major indication that this is not a strict remake. The original family were the Freelings and the in the new version they are the Bowens, and first names have been changed as well. In addition the old woman that helped the family in the original has been replaced by a reality TV star, played by Jared Harris.
Similarities? The TV scene is still there and the little girl still has the classic, "They're here" line. The tree is still scary and they still use a rope to enter the void. In fact a lot the the events in the original are still in the remake, but maybe tweaked a bit.
The cast is more than adequate. Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are good choices for the parents, and the kids are convincing as well. The effects are very realistic. In fact, that might be one of the problems I have with this version. The ghosts look more like corpses or beams of light than they do apparitions. Also, while there is definitely a sense of danger for the family, the spirits in this version didn't seem as treacherous.
As for the 3D in this movie, it didn't look bad. It was shot in 3D, which is great. So many movies are just post converted. However, not many things break free from the screen, and in a 3D horror, they missed out on some scares. There are a couple things, like a spinning drill bit, but the way it was used, wasn't frightening. If you are a fan of 3D then it is worth it for the depth. The closet scene looks great for how far into the screen it seems to go.
All in all though, I have to say "Skip It." Your time would be better spent (re)watching the original.