Poltergeist: Review by Holly Bareham

Poltergeist

Funny story about this film – I went to see it again yesterday to write a more accurate review and halfway through the film the lights in the cinema started flickering, then the video switched off while the audio kept playing and then it cut out altogether and me and the two other people watching the film were left alone in the pitch black. The guy just sighed and went “This is not what you want when watching Poltergeist, is it?” I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, so this is a remake of the original 1982 film of the same title. I did watch the original a little while back with my friends and didn’t like it. My Mum always argues that the original film is good for the time that it was made and I suppose that’s true but I couldn’t find it scary at all. Hoping it was just the special effects that put me off the original film, I went to see the remake with an open mind because I must admit that the trailer did look good.

It wasn’t the special effects that were the problem; I think it’s the idea itself. It has so much potential – the basic story for those who didn’t watch the original is that a family moves into a new house and strange occurrences happen leading up to the disappearance of their youngest daughter Carol Anne (Maddie in the remake) so the family decides to get a paranormal investigation team involved. That sounds pretty much like a standard horror film but Poltergeist isn’t standard, quite frankly it’s just plain weird.

First of all, they have three children Kendra, Griffin and Maddie and when deciding on who gets which room in the new house, they put Griffin into the attic room. This doesn’t sound too bad but they literally say so many times that he’s scared of pretty much everything and how he’s a nervous child. So who thought it’d be a good idea to put Griffin in the attic beneath a rooftop window with the creepiest tree in the world above it? I wouldn’t wanna sleep in there, let alone this little kid who’s terrified of everything.

The acting itself was pretty good – not anything over the top brilliant or Oscar-worthy but it was passable. I could believe the characters and maybe they were a little less irritating than the ones from the original film. The special effects did make the film seem a little more realistic and believable but I still can’t get behind the story itself – I don’t know, I just didn’t like it.

I think it’s cool that they decided to remake this film and release it in 3D – I can’t really write a review about whether this worked better or not because I didn’t go and see it in 3D (I can only see 2D films for free…) but I think fans of the original film will enjoy seeing the remake in a way that wasn’t possible when the film was first released. It’s so cool how much technology has improved since then.

If you enjoyed the original Poltergeist film then I think you’ll enjoy the remake as well because it is well-made and they managed to stick close to the original story while adding a couple of their own elements which worked well. So overall, this isn’t a bad film – I just can’t get behind the original story it was based upon.

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