2015’s ‘Poltergeist’ was a pale imitation of the original

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imagesAll seems well for Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell), wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) and their three children as they move into their new house in the suburbs of Illinois. Soon, youngest daughter Maddy (Kennedi Clements) begins talking to an imaginary friend, or so the family thinks. It’s not long before sinister spirits wreak havoc in the home, holding Maddy captive and forcing the parents to consult a team of parapsychologists who engage the supernatural entities in a battle for the girl’s freedom.

I have to admit it. I let myself get pulled into this movie before I went to watch it. I had high hopes, but also deep fears. What if the only scary parts are in the commercials and trailers? What if this is just another run-of-the-mill remake?

If you’ve been in the horror scene for as long as I have, you know the original. With this remake, we should be looking for a new take or a different spin, right? Instead, we don’t end up with much. I have dubbed this film “beating a dead horse” rather than the title. It’s much more fitting.

So what went wrong?

Let’s start with the family. They are moving because the father lost his job. Father drinks a lot of whiskey. Out of a coffee cup. A lot. Whiskey is the father’s coping mechanism.¬†XdKbp53

Then there are the kids. The typical self-absorbed teenager, the paranoid brother, and the little girl whose¬†imaginary friends should have been a warning signal to anyone with an IQ. Plus, let’s applaud parents who acknowledge that their son has issues, but then put his bedroom in the attic. An attic that has a hidden box of clowns.

What I’m saying is that there was nothing about this family that I sympathized with. I really didn’t care about them at all. One of the biggest failings in today’s movies is allowing for character development. When a film skips this, there is nothing for the audience to relate to. Hell, there’s no one to root for, unless you just want the lead characters to die.

screenshot-54Too many of the scares were shown in the commercials and previews. So much so that there was a general lack of scares overall. Yes, the clown flying off the dresser is creepy, but we’ve been seeing that for months now. There was nothing new to bring to the audience. Even the homages to the original film were done is such a manner as to almost be lackluster. There just wasn’t any substance to the movie.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I was bored. I was the only person in the movie theater when I went to see it. I should have taken that as a sign.

If you are still interested, you can check out the trailer below.

 

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