What’s scarier? Quite a lot – Poltergeist review

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for horror remakes. As a wee boy I watched films like The Ring and The Grudge, and obviously I was terrified. Even to this day I find them pretty creepy. But what is important to remember, the original films were foreign classics, giving more room for originality in a remake.

Poltergeist is a remake of the 80s horror classic. When the trailer dropped I was honestly impressed. The tone, location and cast were all looking good, and I was excited. But remember how we all felt when we saw the Evil Dead remake trailer, and then saw how dire it really was? That feeling is back.

There are some good things about the film. For example, the cinematography is executed effectively, creating fluid sequences and adding extra impact to those particularly important scenes. Most importantly, Sam Rockwell gives a believable and surprisingly touching performance as the father, bringing a sense of realism to the family presented in the film.

What a shame that I’m out of positives. Before going in, I read that there was plenty of jump scares. Really, when I’m going into a horror at the cinema, I think they are incredibly important. It’s one of the best parts; the full audience screaming out loud, the giggles that follow – now tell me why that didn’t happen once during Poltergeist? Oh that’s right, there were basically none.

One of the recreated classic scenes in the remake.

Don’t get me wrong there were attempts, but maybe in future they shouldn’t include potentially one of the scarier scenes (the clown) in the trailer – it’s impact was seriously minimalised. Other members of the cast just didn’t do it for me either. Rosemarie DeWitt as the mother didn’t really add anything to the film, and the paranormal “experts” – particularly Jared Harris – lowered the tone of the film.

The original is still creepy to this day, and the majority of aspects within it were executed better back then. The score in this remake is simply forgettable in comparison to the original, not to mention the building of suspense, again beaten by it’s 1982 counterpart.

Perhaps it’s time to pack in the regurgitation of old classics, and work on something original. Hats off to films like Insidious, Sinister and Paranormal Activity; they have all brought something good to the table. Sadly though, when it comes to Poltergeist, the scariest thing about it is how unexceptional it is.

Rating: Quite Dire

Check out the trailer below if you want, but it may ruin some of the film for you.

What do you think? Did you hate this remake? Or am I just deluded? Let me know in the comments below or send a tweet using the widget to @frew_cameron.

Author: Cameron Frew

Freelance film writer. Words on Flickering Myth, Bloody Disgusting, Movie Corner UK and Jumpcut Online. My five favourite films are: 1. The Goonies 2. Forrest Gump 3. The Shawshank Redemption 4. Warrior 5. Whiplash

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