Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Kyle Catlett, Saxon Sharbino
Directed by Gil Kenan
Poltergeist brings on the scares but forgets to satisfy in its cheesy ending.
The movie sets us up with the introduction of your average family who are going through some hard times. The father, Erick (Rockwell), recently lost his job and so he moves the family into another house. This four-bedroom house looks nice but there’s nothing to compare it to. The kids complain that their old house was better but how do we know if there aren’t any pictures to show us what splendor they must have been living in? The downside to this cheap house is the fact that little Maddy (Clements) quickly makes invisible friends in her bedroom. Her scaredy-cat brother doesn’t like seeing her talk to her closet doors and finds a creepy hidden door in his attic bedroom to be paranoid about. The older sister is going through her angsty teenage years and watches a ghost hunter show in her bedroom, preparing us to meet Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris) later.
The creepy music does an excellent job preparing audiences for the jump scares. It creates a suspenseful atmosphere for the scene and you never know how scary it’s about to get. Do you keep your eyes closed or brave the scene?
A remake of the 1982 Poltergeist had so much potential but when it came to taking action of saving a little girl, the movie flopped. Bringing in experts gave the movie another predictable feel with the cameras set up just like your average supernatural horror movie. There was an opportunity to hit audiences hard with the scare factor when (spoiler) a camera goes into the “other world”. Instead we see an overly CGI’d environment. These poltergeists we’ve been scared by in the first half of the movie don’t even attempt to scare us now. Where’s the fun in that?
The ending just ruins the whole experience of watching the movie. It didn’t even try to have a deeper meaning or have an open-ending. In addition the music rolling with the credits was too modern. Classic horror music would have been a better replacement to leave the audience creeped out.
Consensus: It’s hard to say Poltergeist was good. In the end it fell flat with its lack of scares near the end. It used up all its energy in jump scares and when the opportunity came for showing us what these poltergeists looked like, they were harmless. Poltergeist is a fun time but it doesn’t get any better the longer it runs.