Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Night at the Movies: Poltergeist (2015)

Remakes. Bah! Who needs them? Clearly the Hollywood studio system and it's lack of fucks for original ideas. But not all remakes are bad. In fact, many -- those that bring something new to the table -- are pretty good, if not excellent.

Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist is a sacred cow among horror fans though. It's the epitome of 80s horror, with state of the art visual effects, likeable characters, and kids in jeopardy -- something you just don't see anymore. In fact, it's a pretty kid friendly movie for its type. So how does Gil "Monster House" Kenan's riff on the classic rate? Is it one of the good or bad remakes? Stick with me!

Straight up, the only detriment to Poltergeist (2015)'s success if there's a Poltergeist (1982). Had the original Poltergeist not existed this update would be 100 per cent successful. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. The cast, including Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Harris, is awesome. The story is solid. The direction excellent.

But Poltergeist (1982) is the classic. You can't replace Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams. Nor Hooper or Spielberg, for that matter. If push comes to shove, the original is still king.

But the remake is worth the watch. It's funny, touching and well made. Kenan does a great job handling the scares -- although this Poltergeist isn't too scary -- and mimicking the same vibe of the 80s version.

If you haven't seen the original, you'll love the shit out the new Poltergeist. If you have, it still isn't a waste of your time. But it's no substitute either.

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