SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: SAM ROCKWELL, ROSEMARIE DEWIT, KYLE CATLETT, KENNEDI CLEMENTS, SAXON SHARBINO & JARED HARRIS
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 33 MINS
DIRECTOR: GIL KENAN
Halloween, Psycho and A Nightmare on Elm Street are just a few examples of the many terrible horror remakes – and sadly this reimagined version of the 1982 classic Poltergeist fails to buck that trend, WRITES MIKEY CLARKE.
Filmmaker Sam Raimi (Evil Dead & The Grudge) and director Gil Kenan (Monster House) have teamed-up to bring their version of the lauded supernatural horror – that sparked a glut of wannabes in the eighties – to the big screen, and now this seems to be the one trying to imitate some of the better genre favourites from this generation.
It sees the Bowen family – Eric (Iron Man 2’s Sam Rockwell), Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) and their kids Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and Maddy (Kennedi Clements) – forced to downsize to a new ‘fixer-upper’ home after some financial woes.
But it’s not long before Maddy starts hearing voices from people that aren’t there. And before you know it, the spookiness escalates with evil forces holding the young girl captive, leading to her parents consult a team of parapsychologists – including Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ villain Jared Harris – who engage the otherwordly entities in a battle for the girl’s freedom.
The original Poltergeist was a game-changer for the horror genre. It introduced us to unique slow-burning scares that ultimately paid-off – and filmmakers have been using similar tactics since. Unfortunately this version has absolutely nothing new to share – even with the addition of 3D which seemed like a post-production after-thought.
Like many horrors, it simply uses the same techniques we’ve seen over and over again, which leaves it feeling like lazy filmmaking from all involved – particularly surprising with the pedigree of producer Raimi.
It ultimately feels like a wasted opportunity – despite a few decent scares – which I’d only recommend on the basis that you haven’t seen the much-classier original. Rating: