Dash Reviews…Poltergeist(2015)

   I’m baaaaaaack! Dash Jordan here, folks. First off, I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s checked out my very first Top 10 list which I did on my personal favorite Horror Movie Remakes. As of right now, it’s my most viewed blog on this site and I am eternally grateful.

   Incidentally, I’ve had so much fun doing that list, I’m actually still in quite the mood for another horror movie. So much so, that I’ve decided to leave that choice up to you guys. Your homework assignment was to request any horror movie, any decade, good or bad for me to review. What can I say? I’m a generous guy, and I have complete and utter faith in you. So, let’s dig through my bag of requests and see what we pull out…

You know what? You guys really suck!

   ‘Poltergeist’…the REAL ‘Poltergeist’ was a 1982 horror film ‘allegedly’ produced by Steven Spielberg and ‘allegedly’ directed by Tobe Hooper who is best known for directing ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. I say ‘allegedly’ because Spielberg, who originally wanted to direct the film was already busy directing ‘E.T. The Extra Terrestrial’ So, he hired Tobe Hooper to take his place in the director’s chair; even though Spielberg clearly must’ve had most of the creative control during the film’s production, seeing as how his trademark style still shines through.

   Even when he occasionally likes to traumatize people for life. Anyways, the story is about a family being terrorized by evil spirits due to their home being built over an old cemetery. After the ghosts kidnap their youngest daughter, the family seek out help from parapsychologists and a spiritual medium to bring their child back from the other side. So of course, some Hollywood Neophiles didn’t like the fact that ‘Poltergeist’ is more than 30 years old, so they copied and pasted the script, edited it and added some of the leftover jumpscares from ‘The Conjuring’.

   Yep, still funny. Nonetheless, how ironic that I do a Top 10 on the ‘Good’ Horror Remakes only to come back to my normal style with a review of one of the most unnecessary, shameless, and boring remakes I’ve ever seen in my life. You know how today’s horror movies usually get slapped with a PG-13 rating? Well, somehow a PG-13 movie from 2015 manages to come off more tame and stripped down than a PG film from the early 80s. I almost didn’t want to review the ‘Poltergeist’ remake because everything wrong with this movie and its very existence has already been established by more professional critics. However, what caught my attention is the fact that some people even have the nerve to consider this version to be “scarier than the original”… now I think we need to have another heart-to-heart talk, people. This…is a scary movie moment:

This…is a Jump Scare:

This…is frightening:

This…is annoying:

In other words…JUMP SCARES ARE NOT FRIGGIN’ SCARY!!!

   Hahaha…still a good game though. But back to this failure of a re-imagining. When you think of the name Steven Spielberg, what normally comes to mind? Likeable characters, right? None are to be found here, I’m afraid. Well, not exactly…there are actually a few things that keep this movie from being the absolute worst movie ever. One of which is Sam Rockwell who plays the father in this movie. Sam Rockwell is a very underrated actor who always manages to steal the show, no matter what movie he’s in. I swear the poor guy tries his hardest to make us forget that we’re watching Grade A Cash-Grab Trash, but I have the feeling that even he regrets starring in this travesty just as much as the people who had to sit through it. Hey, the man can still dance though!

 

   Told ya! Anywho, you also have Jared Harris who you may recognize as Prof. Moriarty from ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows’, playing Carrigan Burke; a TV Occult specialist a.k.a. Zelda Rubinstein’s replacement. To be fair however, Jared Harris certainly tries his best with the rushed script as well; giving us a stoic yet commanding performance with just a hint of dry humor. At the same time, it’ll still be the late and great Zelda’s calm and eccentric performance as Tangina Barrons in the original that we will always remember. Often imitated, but never duplicated…

R.I.P. Zelda Rubinstein(1933-2010)

   I will also admit that I did kinda like the whole character arc of Griffin, played by Kyle Catlett; the middle child and only son who’s literally afraid of everything from malevolent spirits to poorly-rendered CGI squirrels, but who manages to fight through his own anxieties and fears to basically save the day by the end of the movie. Very well-paced, sure. But, not even that’s enough to change the fact that Hollywood has truly ran out of classic movies to “re-imagine” at this point, that they had to resort to remaking a film with a backstory so tragic and coincidental that it’s left many people speculating to this day whether or not there is truly such a thing as “The Poltergeist Curse”

Bottom line, Sam Rockwell couldn’t even make this movie a rental. The 2015 remake of ‘Poltergeist’ is a paper-thin rehash of a plot, with characters that range from forgettable to unlikable, a lack of effort from most of the actors, ineffective scares that are clearly ineffective, CGI that looks like it was all lifted from an Xbox 360 game, and a complete and utter absence of the quiet moments that helped made the 1982 film stand out from most other horror films; all of which is all packaged and sealed with the “We’re in 3-D so take us seriously!” seal of approval, as if that’s something the cast and crew should be proud of. This movie could’ve easily been just another run-of-the-mill supernatural home-invasion film, if it wasn’t for the fact that the name ‘Poltergeist’ and some diet-scary clown doll ended up getting plastered all over the posters and trailers. Any of you who haven’t seen this movie yet…I truly envy you. Don’t expect another horror review for awhile, guys.

Because I said so! This is all your fault…I still love you, but I’m very disappointed. Gotta Dash!

Rating: 2/10

Videos & Photos:

Poltergeist(2015) (owned by 20th Century Fox, MGM, Ghost House Pictures & Vertigo Entertainment)

Poltergeist(1982) (owned by MGM & SLM Production Group)

Inglourious Basterds(owned by Universal Pictures & The Weinstein Company)

The Conjuring(owned by Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, The Safran Company & Evergreen Media Group)

Hellraiser(owned by New World Pictures, Cinemarque, Entertainment BV, Film Futures & Rivdel Films)

A Nightmare On Elm Street(owned by New Line Cinema, Media Home Entertainment & Smart Egg Pictures)

Five Nights At Freddy’s(owned by Scott Cawthon)

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon(owned by Lorne Michaels, Michael Showmaker & Gavin Purcell)

The Mummy(1999) (owned by Universal Pictures & Alphaville Films ITV2 Films)

Kenan & Kel(owned by Nickelodeon Productions, Bass Entertainment & Tollin/Robbins Productions)

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