Poltergeist is the obvious remake of the 1982 classic of the same name, which by now we all should be used to classic horror films getting the remake treatment which is why this remake is no surprise to me. I had low expectations while going into this film because the original is a classic and while the trailers looked good, I still wasn’t expecting anything from the movie. Poltergeist sticks very closely to the original and while it offers nothing fresh or anything really different from the 82 film, it still manages to be a lot of fun.
Poltergeist wastes no time with showing the audience the horror that this family is about to go through, everything starts happening within the first twenty minutes or so of the film. The biggest difference between these two films is that the original was a slow burn and made us care about each of the characters, it developed each of them and gave us a reason to truly feel for them. Whereas this film doesn’t develop any of the characters and for the most part, you don’t care for any of them which is a bit of a problem because you’re supposed to care about that little girl. Sam Rockwell’s character is the one character that I felt a connection to and cared a lot about, but that has more to do with Rockwell as an actor then the character because Rockwell is certainly a great actor.
Poltergeist isn’t a scary film but instead plays out like a roller coaster ride or a haunted house attraction, it’s a lot of fun as long as you don’t expect too much from it. Like any great roller coaster ride or haunted house attraction, it provides you with a lot of thrills and never gets boring which is certainly saying a lot because this film could’ve been really terrible. Another difference between this and the original is that this Poltergeist offers a lot of jump scares, though most of them fell flat for me because I had saw them in the trailers that were released. There was only one moment that made me jump and that was towards the beginning of the film, it was a great jump scare that we should’ve saw more of.
The acting in Poltergeist is exactly what you’d expect, in other words it’s serviceable but nobody delivers an Oscar worthy performance. Rockwell was the best actor in the film and in a way, made the character more than a typical horror character. Everyone is fine in the film but Kyle Catlett manages to be a bit annoying as the son, sure the character is more developed in this film then the original but he’s much more annoying. Kennedi Clements as Madison, yes the little girl is no longer Carol Anne; I’m not sure why the names were changed but it doesn’t really matter because they’re pretty much the same character. Clements is no Heather O’Rourke but still manages to deliver a solid performance, that is much better than what one might expect from her.
A lot of fun can be had with this remake if you go in with the right expectations, it’s one of the better remakes and works much more than it should. The only thing that really bothered me was the CGI was a bit much and for a horror film, CGI should be used only when needed and when you can’t shoot a scene in any other way. I get why the CGI was used, it was because the film is in 3D and the director wanted to use the 3D as much as possible which to his credit, this is one of the better 3D films to come out in a while. Poltergeist may never of reached the heights of the original film but it still offers plenty of thrills for a Friday night at the movies, the 3D even helps add to the film a little bit.