Monday, November 21, 2016

Film Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's perfectly watchable, but it's not exactly effective."

After moving into a suburban home, a family finds themselves tormented by apparitions attached to the land...

Poltergeist is a remake of the classic 1982 film – obviously. The plot is very simple. In fact, I'd say it's too simple for its own good as it often feels compressed and ineffective. Eric (Sam Rockwell) and Amy, a married couple, move their family – which consists of Kendra, Griffin, and Madison – into a new house. Strange things happen in the home, but the parents scoff at it. It isn't until Madison is captured by the apparitions that they all take it very seriously. So, they get help and try to rescue Madison. That's it. I wish there was more to talk about, but it doesn't do much else. Is it horrible? No, but, like I said, it's not as effective as it could have been.

Poltergeist is a hit-or-miss film. It exceeded all of my expectations, particularly because my expectations were very low thanks to the abysmal reviews. The film is a modern version of Poltergeist 1982, and it was able to capture some of that same 'wonder' from the original. It has that magical sensation at times – that sensation that you don't see in horror films nowadays. There are some pretty solid visuals, too, although the computer effects can be overwhelming. This remake, however, just isn't very frightening. It's heavy-handed in everything it does, so it never really builds any tension or atmosphere. Things just sort of happen and they usually don't land. It's perfectly watchable, but it's not exactly effective.

The acting was good, though. Sam Rockwell is very natural in the leading role. The supporting cast is also strong. I'd say the acting was one of its stronger points. The film was also shot very well. The music was good, too. As I previously stated, the visual effects are (mostly) good. There are some scenes, like Madison being dragged up the stairs, that are out of place, but they're usually decent. The film was written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Gil Kenan. The writing and direction leave a lot to be desired. The story is thin and forgettable due to the ineffective writing. While the direction is appealing at times, it does tend to suffer from a lack of suspense and atmosphere. Kenan has an eye for piecing together the camerawork, cinematography, and special effects, but he's not an effective horror director.

Overall, Poltergeist is a decent film. It's an entertaining time-killer. It won't leave you with any nightmares, but it's not the worst film ever made. Hell, it's not even the worst remake around. *cough* A Nightmare on Elm Street *cough* It's worth a rental or stream, at least.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: It has some... 'creepy' visuals, I guess. I'd say it's family friendly, like the first. I'd say it's even tamer than the classic, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment