Poltergeist (2015) Review

Poltergeist (2015)
  • Directing7.5
  • Writing6
  • Acting7.5

Poltergeist (2015) is a modern update of the classic film, offering up no new ideas or scares, just newer, less effective special effects and the added dimension of 3D.


Director Gil Kenan‘s Poltergeist (2015) is the latest 3D horror remake to update a timeless classic with a modern spin, failing to create something new and exciting, instead settling for a familiar story with minimal scares.

Poltergeist follows the exact same story of the original horror classic, with a family moving into a house that was buried on top of a cemetery.

The innocent family has no idea what they’re in for as the pissed off spirits start to slowly (and loudly) make their aggressive presence known.

Gil Kenan‘s Poltergeist is an interesting film in the fact that it follows the original so damn closely, without ever really stepping outside and trying to create something new.

Sam Rockwell seems to be the only thing exciting about this remake, playing the dad with a good amount of energy and charm. He’s that cool dad that’s both funny and supportive and watching Rockwell completely own the film is great, because he deserves to star in more films.

Also, Kenan’s camerawork isn’t half bad, with lots of swooping movement and fluid motion that keeps 3D in mind without ever going overboard or becoming too much of a gimmick. I didn’t have to pay for the 3D up-charge, so I can’t exactly say that it’s worth it, but the 3D effect did add a fine layer of subtlety that was a welcoming refreshment versus the usual 3D pop-up effects that usually plague horror films.

Kenan’s use of modern technology also helps separate this version of Poltergeist from the far superior original, which again is a nice touch, but not exactly a ground-breaking inclusion that sets this one too far apart.

The biggest problem this adaptation faces is its CGI effects, which are overdone and lazy, not only cheapening the scares and thrills, but dulling the entire movie down when it should be picking things up for the big finale, which includes the always awesome Jared Harris playing the ghost expert.

Harris enters the film rather quickly, spicing up the last act with his presence, but his character’s actual purpose makes little to no sense once the film comes to a closure.

This version of Poltergeist rushes its ending and never bothers to find its own footing on the way out, leaving you exiting the theater with very little on your mind aside from what you’re going to have for dinner later.

Poltergeist (2015) is a tired remake that wastes its talent and production value recreating the original far too much, without ever setting itself aside. Many young audience members might find this film to be a boring and less intense version of Insidious, while us true fans will remind you that Insidious is simply a re-telling of the original Poltergeist.

Director Gil Kenan does a fine job wielding the camera and shooting his talent, but he lacks the true talent that is needed to create a film that’s actually occasionally frightening and maybe even sometimes exciting.

Poltergeist (2015) is a pointless remake. Skip it and watch the original or if you’ve already seen the original then maybe give Insidious a shot for something a little more intense and in-your-face.

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