A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan,
A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.Written by
20th Century Fox
Just as Kendra is texting with her phone as she is babysitting, her phone experiences static and the screen bugs out. Her hands alternate between both holding the phone, and her right hand hovering over it as if texting, as the camera angle changes. See more »
SPOILER: A scene is shown halfway through the end credits: Carrigan Burke is filming a new episode of his show. Dr. Powell (wearing the same glasses Tangina wore in the original trilogy) is his new co-host. He gets mad at her for messing up her line. See more »
In the UK channel 5 network premier version the movie has been formatted from 2:35.1 widescreen to 1:77.1 HDTV format See more »
The late Heather O'Rourke once gleefully and excitedly told audiences "they're here!" It's more than appropriate that when this rehash of Poltergeist tasks a new young girl with repeating that classic line, she is unable to muster nearly as much liveliness in her delivery. Her blank stare and monotone voice mirrors my enthusiasm for yet another instance of a film studio reaching into its back catalog and violently digging up a franchise... much like the horrific exhumation of those poor bastards buried under the Freeling household.
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea of a remake, as long as the filmmaker has something fresh to say and do with the intellectual property in question. Unfortunately, Gil Kenan's Poltergeist brings nothing new to the table. To be fair, Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper are a hard act to follow. This remake is very safe, without much discernible style beneath its slick, modern surface. This is a typical PG-13 horror film - disposable and forgettable.
At the very least, you'd think the advances in special effects would afford a more thrilling, spectacular haunting, but the result is the opposite. If you watch this film and the original back to back like I did, you'll miss the beauty of the old school optical creature effects that make the 1982 version so special. In fact, this is a far tamer and subtler film, which is surprising considering remakes usually try their best to outdo the material they're derived from. There are a few fun gags here and there (particularly in 3d considering it was filmed natively in the format) but there's nothing that we haven't seen before, and done better in recent films like Insidious and The Conjuring.
The performances are serviceable enough with Sam Rockwell being his usual likable self, and Jared Harris playing a strange replacement for Zelda Rubenstein's character, but the family at the center of the story never really gels together and only serves to make you appreciate the ensemble in the original film. It also brings home just how much of a talent Heather O'Rourke was, and how important her on screen personality was to making Poltergeist work.
Also missing is Jerry Goldsmith's beautiful and creepy score. The music here is forgettable in comparison.
The original film had something to say about the culture and politics of greed in the 1980's, where profit, progress and building a new housing development on the cheap was more of a priority than respecting the dead and their sacrifices that modern society was built upon. While this message is still just as relevant in 2015 as it was back then, it's a little lost in the remake due to the omission and reshuffling of certain characters. There seems to be more of a focus on the modern obsession with social media and digital devices, with the little girl being literally lost to her family inside a television screen. Obviously, this also happened in the original, but has taken on new meaning nowadays and is probably the most interesting aspect of the film. The new relevance of this story element is the best justification I can think of for the film being remade, but it's really not enough.
It saddens me to see Sam Raimi's name on this thing. I actually liked the Evil Dead remake from a couple of years ago. While not quite reaching the creative height of Raimi's own Evil Dead films, it was brutal and off-the-wall enough to satisfy fans. In comparison, the nicest thing I can say about Poltergeist 2015 is that it's better than Poltergeist III. Anyone who's seen that film can tell you it's not much of a compliment, since Poltergeist III is a gigantic pile of brown, sloppy... uh... ectoplasm. We can only hope the Poltergeist curse will strike this film and turn it into a ghost at the box office, deterring future pointless horror remakes.
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