A father at a low point in his life is forced to move to a new neighbourhood but their new house is riddled with angry unrested spirits.
A remake of the 1982 film its difficult not to draw comparisons, it is generally entertaining yet fundamentally unnecessary. While the remake revisits and reincorporates ‘Poltergeist’s’ themes, hitting the beats as if plotted on a graph throughout, an ominous tree, the supernatural stacking of objects, an eerie clown and investigator’s visions it’s hard to pin down a single moment where it does it better.
Thanks to Sam Rockwell’s Eric Bowen an everyday dad and Jared Harris in a celebrity medium role it does provide a fast paced ride, retaining the family humour of the 1982 version, however, it lacks that idealistic, innocence in contrast to the sinister side that the original Spielberg/Hooper combo provided.
Writer David Lindsey’s script is fine and the contemporary monitoring equipment, including GPS locators that the investigators use and the roles shuffled highlights that with all its updates, it becomes clinical losing the organic feeling of the original. Yes some effects out do some of the optical effects of its predecessor but not many. Even with a solid supporting cast and Sam Rami on board as producer with the likes of Sinister, Insidious, Conjuring to name a few doing the rounds it’s odd why anyone would want to remake Poltergeist in the first place. Following the template of the first, with slight of hand, the ending dispiritingly borrows elements of the 1986 sequel for the 2015 closing.
Gil Kenan’s offering is by no means a travesty and it has some great acting talent on board but it’s not enough to cause a remake celebration and maybe a re-imagining would have been a more fitting semi-original route to take.