Poltergeist (2015)

They're Here Again

The Bowen family move to their new home unaware that it and the surrounding houses have been built on the former site of a cemetery with the bodies having been relocated. But right away they start to experience strange things especially the youngest Bowens, Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and Madison (Kennedi Clements). When Madison disappears, seemingly taken by the upset spirits of the dead the Bowens seek help from Dr. Brooke Powell (Jane Adams) as well as celebrity ghost hunter Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris) to try and rescue their daughter from the other side.

Whilst there are some movies which I believe are untouchable I am not one who automatically dismisses a movie just because it is a remake of something I watched when I was younger, especially having come to realise some of those movies were in themselves remakes. But sadly in the case of the 2015 remake of "Poltergeist" I think something went wrong as whilst I am a fan of the original "Poltergeist" I don't believe it is untouchable.

Now in this remake of "Poltergeist" we get the same haunted house storyline with a new family moving in, their innocent daughter taken into the spirit world and the family calling upon the services of those who know about these sorts of supernatural things to try and rescue her. The trouble is that the story doesn't end up feeling fresh or re-imagined enough to be the driving force of the movie. And at the same time there is no real depth to the various characters with each of the cast doing their thing in a solid way but never really gelling or bringing those characters life. Okay so Jared Harris certainly brings Carrigan Burke to life in an over the top, celebrity ghost hunter sort of way but then it actually stands out in the wrong sort of way.

What this means is that this 2015 version of "Poltergeist" ends up driven by the special effects from sudden shocks involving clowns and staked magazines to skeletal figures emerging from the crumbling basement floor. And maybe for a modern audience the special effects will be enough to make this remake work but for those of us who grew up on the original movie are likely to end up not only saying "so what" but asking what happened to the ominous atmosphere which filled the original and what this remake is crying out for.

What this all boils down to is that this 2015 version of "Poltergeist" ends up a little disappointing as it ends up a movie driven by the effects yet lacking the foreboding atmosphere which this supernatural story deserves.