ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

1. This movie isn't completely terrible. But it is a perfect example of the fact that just because you CAN remake a classic movie doesn't mean you SHOULD.

2. The original 1982 Poltergeist became a kind of template for the next 30 years of haunted house movies - it's been copied countless times. So this bland paint-by-number remake seems like a copy of a copy (if you seriously don't know the plot, it's about a family that moves into a house. The house has mean spirits in it that kidnap the daughter. The family tries to get her back).

3. The movie recreates most of the famous scenes of the original, but still tries to be its own film, so it cuts other scenes out, and streamlines the whole thing. Sometimes it worked; there were a few effective and interesting parts. But parts of the movie were just boring. And there were moments where the movie tried to be humorous, but the humor didn't fit the scene, so it all just became awkward.

4. Naming the little girl "Maddie" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Carol Anne".

5. Besides being full of supernatural forces, the house is also full of Apple products, with the logo usually pointing at the screen in a painfully obvious way.

6. The kid that plays the little boy is the best actor in the movie. The rest of them kind of suck (well, Sam Rockwell did OK as the father, I guess).

7. Strangely, the special effects in this movie are not much better than the ones in the original. In some ways, they're worse. This version is also less scary than the original, with less drama and even less blood. The whole thing is just... less.

8. The ending was abrupt, anti-climactic, and dumb. It's like the filmmakers suddenly realized they ran out of money, so they just stopped filming, capped it with a strange comedic ending, and then slapped on the credits.

9. If you really need to watch a horror film, there are worse ones than this. But there are also better ones. Like the original.


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