I feel like everyone has that one movie from their childhood that they saw too early. For me, that movie was 1982’s Poltergeist. I was probably about 7 when I watched it. I wasn’t allowed to, but just like the creepy, little girl in front of the static playing TV – I couldn’t turn away. From that moment on (even now in present day), I have been creeped out by that static. However, now, I love horror movies. So when I heard they were remaking Poltergeist, I got giddy.
Poltergeist Official Description
Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi (“Spiderman,” “Evil Dead”, “The Grudge”) and director Gil Kenan (“Monster House”) contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter captive, the family must come together to rescue her before she disappears forever.
While I enjoyed this version, I can’t say that I found it creepier than the original. It is interesting to see these remakes explore on screen what we just had to imagine 30 years ago. Technology has come a long way, and it’s capable of making our worst fears far more realistic looking. The new Poltergeist makes use of the advancements with special effects, and it shows us a far more detailed “other side.” While I really enjoyed seeing this world on the big screen, there was something even creepier in the original about having to imagine this world in my head – filling it with visions of my own worst nightmares.
I also think the poltergeists themselves were much more terrifying in the original. Perhaps it’s because I watch too much Walking Dead now, but the new poltergeists really looked like rotting zombies to me.They don’t hold a candle to the thing that filled my nightmares as child (see below).
Seriously! Even now that thing freaks me out. What even is that?! I think Hollywood is going to have to get more creative in terms of their “creature” design, because I feel like so many of the monsters, zombies, and everything else are all starting to look the same. When that happens, I feel like we’re kinda neutral to them – we expect them to look a certain way, so it’s not as scary. If anything like the thing above had been in this film, seeing it in 3D would have been freaking awesome.
The cast all does a solid job – Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Jared Harris, Jane Adams – but the real stars here were Kyle Catlett and Kennedi Clements, the film’s two youngest stars. Especially Kyle Catlett whose character is far braver than I am as a grown woman. If I hear noises or see lights flashing – I’m out of there. So kudos to these kids.
Overall, while I didn’t like this remake better than the original, I did like it. I think it’s a solid remake. It pays homage to the original while still bringing something new to the table. It still managed to creep me out – even when I knew what was coming. That’s pretty impressive, and worth going to the theater to the see.