Thursday, October 8, 2015

Scary Movie Month 2015 Day 8: Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist (2015)

The movie opens with no opening credits other than a title card. The title appears off to the side, barely visible in the grass as the Bowen family drives to what will be their new home, as if it's ashamed to be associated with this garbage fire of a movie. Can't say I blame it.

For the record, I don't have anything against remakes and I also don't think Poltergeist is an untouchable classic along the lines of Jaws or Weekend at Bernie's, in theory I have no problem with remaking Poltergeist for a new generation. What I do have a problem with is lifeless, hollow, tension-free horror movies that exist solely to cash in on a title, like this one. 

Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are both very capable actors, and they're also both stranded here with nothing to play that's worth their time and effort. The whole enterprise is a shrill mess full of inconsistent characterization and lame jump scares. 

Often I'll watch a movie and wonder what other movies influenced the filmmakers, but in this case I can't help but wonder if the filmmakers have ever actually seen a movie (and I don't just mean the original Poltergeist, I mean literally any movie). It plays like they haven't, but that they had the events of the original Poltergeist explained to them in a game of telephone. They hit the expected beats like the haunted TV, the haunted tree, "They're here," "this house is clean" (which has been turned into a reality show hashtag in the world of the movie because of course it has) etc. but it's all poorly executed and scare-free. Easily the worst movie of Scary Movie Month so far. Such a wasted opportunity.

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