Poltergeist 2015 Review – I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

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Poltergeist 2015 Review – I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Poltergeist 2015 Review – I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

Most horror fans have been awaiting the remake of the 1982 Poltergeist with a mix of anticipation and dread, a combination of morbid fascination that came to a cumulative halt on May 22nd in the U.S.. The film, which grossed a box office $38.5 million, is the remake of what could only be titled a legendary film. After much anticipation, and watching the film in theaters, here is my review.

The Plot With No Real Spoilers

The Poltergeist starts off in much the same way as the 2014 The Conjuring, and, in fact, throughout the entire film, seems to follow the Warren family horror brand considerably more than the original story. Rather than being realtors themselves, the “Bowen’s” instead of the “Freeling’s” purchase a home, and things immediately begin to go wrong. The audience is let in on the fact that something isn’t quite right from the get go, as the daughter, Madison (Sorry classic fans, not Carole Anne) begins interacting with the house in ways that would not be normally possible. This cumulates rather quickly in the famous television scene, and without any spoilers for those who haven’t watched the film yet, when the (to quote the IMD page) “terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter captive”. The family quickly accepts that their daughter has been sucked into the closet on the word of their two remaining children (they were out at the time), and seem to react almost normally to hearing their daughter coming from a television. This is all smoothed over and seems to be just normal details, that are accepted as part of normal life that must be fixed, rather than any real ‘coming to terms’ proof that one might expect. The medium, Tangina Barrons, is replaced by a University crew and the occult specialist and television personality Carrigan Burke, whom they made sure to introduce us to in the start of the film.

Review of the 2015 Poltergeist

All in all, it’s a significantly less terrifying, albeit more funny and certainly more modern, take on the Poltergeist. For most horror fans, it is more than a bit of a let down, as the truly most horrifying moment is near the end, when someone forgot to apply CGI and the plastic skull is clearly visible as in fact, being plastic. Of course, that’s not to say that you won’t enjoy it, it’s slightly funny, it has its moments, and the acting is actually quite good, even from the kids. The characters are completely different, but Sam Rockwell definitely plays the lead, as he seems to take up the most screen time, followed by Kyle Catlett as Griffin Bowen and then Kennedi Clements as Madison, who was actually impressively good at her role.

Plot Holes

Probably the worst thing about this movie is that expects you to take leaps of faith, where things happen and it expects you to follow along without any explanation. First, there’s the Bowen family’s aforementioned ease of belief in their daughter being sucked into the closet, plus the fact that no one was actually in the room when she was, so there’s no actual proof that’s where she went. The second is that everyone seems to take them at face value, except for two instances, where doubters are either thrown on their butt (literally) or nearly killed, without really demanding any proof of supernatural happenings. The third is a few of the rather unexplainable decisions made by the poltergeist (ghosts), like safely lowering Griffin out of the tree, letting the kids out of the magic portal and back into the house (even without the rope), and their seeming ability to wait for cues to start with the scary stuff when adults are in the house.

All in all, the film pays enough of an homage to the original Poltergeist to avoid pissing anyone off, but it feels like they played it too safe. It also feels watered down, like they were trying to make it theme park scary, rather than actually frightening. It may start out like The Conjuring and follow The Poltergeist’s plot, but both films are considerably more frightening. In the end, it’s just a bit sad as a horror film, mostly leaving me wondering where the horror was. Yes it’s got some suspense, but nothing truly bloodcurdlingly scary, and I still jump when the troll goes around the pole and roars in the first Lord of the Rings movie. (this one in case you’re wondering)

Should you go see it? Probably. Is it going to replace the original? Never.

About The Author
Proliferate writer, sesquipedalian, techie, Apple fangirl (don't judge),tree hugger, yogi, tea drinker, zombie hunter. Into philotherianism & philomathy. Love my job. Visit me on Google +

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