Poltergeist 2015 asks “What are you afraid of?”
Well, the ruining of a classic movie, plus the usually offbeat and reliable Sam Rockwell throwing his career down the toilet. Seriously, after such a wonderful work of art like Moon, you make this?!
Once again, a dysfunctional family buy a house in suburbia, but the housing estate has been built on a big cemetery… or did the company involved move it? They claimed to, but did they really? Well, as you know, they did not. And that’s the reason why things are going tits up.
And, as before, the doe-eyed young daughter, Madison (Kennedi Clements), starts talking to whoever she might think is hiding in the cupboard, leading to some spooky stuff going on with static.
This film drew criticism early on as the posters show a picture of a clown. Apparently, some people hate clowns. Well, you invite clowns to your kid’s birthday party, so go have a word with yourself.
The UK have been denied a 3D home version of this film, but given that it was shot in 2D, with the 3D being done in post-production, you won’t be missing out on anything. There was possibly one brief second where 3D might’ve had an effect, involving a drill bit coming towards the camera, but that wouldn’t be worth £2 extra in the cinema, nor £5 extra on a Blu-ray disc.
Things that are wrong with Poltergeist 2015:
- It’s full of very “1980s” kind of scares, which nowadays aren’t scary at all. I just cannot begin to imagine why anyone thought this was a good idea.
- CGI takes over far too often where real props used to be in place.
- I watched the extended version which is about 8 minutes longer, but seriously, Fox, when there’s such a small difference between the two versions, just put the full thing in cinemas. Holding a few minutes back isn’t going to win you any friends. I can’t see anything that looks obviously put back into the film, although the director has said that some scenes were only trimmed due to pacing. (For the purists, the theatrical version is also included).
- At one point when investigator Boyd (Nicholas Braun) goes to sit down on a chair which whips away in Poltergeist-style movements, it’s obvious something in that vicinity is about to happen as the camera follows the chair, rather than the whole body of the photographer as any normal camera shot would’ve done. If they had, it would’ve provided misdirection.
- Every cast member looks so unconvinced by anything that’s going on.
- As it progressed, I just kept thinking “That bit’s different. That bit was done better in the original”, and so on. The whole thing just washed over me like a complete nothingness.
- And one thing at the end, which I guess I have to hide with a spoiler tag, even though there’s no spoiler, so to speak.
I would’ve seen this at some point anyway, but this remake is entirely without merit. Sam Rockwell, go hang your head in shame. Perhaps if you haven’t seen the original then this might be worth a look, but even still, I’d say ditch this and watch the original.
However, as I wrote this review – which I sometimes do in Notepad as it’s not bloated like Microsoft Word – all the text instantly justified itself to the right, and the cursor keys played up. Now THAT was spooky!
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and you’d be surprised if it was not a top-notch transfer for a brand new film. Technically, that’s one improvement over the original movie… For the record, I watched this on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma TV.
The sound is in DTS HD 7.1 and there’s a bit of monsters swirling about the speakers, but nothing too taxing in the audio department.
The extras are brief in number:
- Alternate Ending (1:46): Not hugely better than what we got in the final cut, but slightly better.
- Gallery: 12 images.
- Theatrical trailers Two here, running (2:20) and (1:41), and they basically show all the CGI bits in a shorter timeframe than watching the film as a whole.
The menu is probably the only positive thing about this release, as it echoes the ‘hands pressing onto the screen’ effect that you get in the film. Watching this on a 50″ Plasma, well, you get the idea. I’m not touching the screen, though, as I’d get fingerprints all over it!
Well, there are other positives – most studios go with a bog-standard 12 chapters to a disc, yet this one has 24. Also, there’s a massive 19 languages (listed below). Fox do the public down by only listing English on the box.
Running time: 101 minutes (Extended version) / 93 minutes (Theatrical version)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Released: October 26th 2015
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 (English only), DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 (English), English Audio Description 5.1 (Theatrical version); DTS 5.1: Castilian, French, German, Italian; Dolby Digital 5.1: Spanish, Quebec French, Portuguese, Arabic.
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Quebec French, French, Castilian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Tamil, Hebrew (I think) and Turkish.
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Gil Kenan
Producers: Roy Lee and Sam Raimi
Screenplay: David Lindsay-Abaire
Music: Marc Streitenfeld
Eric Bowen: Sam Rockwell
Amy Bowen: Rosemarie DeWitt
Kendra Bowen: Saxon Sharbino
Griffin Bowen: Kyle Catlett
Madison Bowen: Kennedi Clements
Carrigan Burke: Jared Harris
Dr Brooke Powell: Jane Adams
Sophie: Susan Heyward
Boyd: Nicholas Braun
Mrs Stoller: Karen Ivany
Mr Stoller: Patrick Garrow
Older Gentleman: Doug MacLeod
Older Woman: Eve Crawford
Cashier: LA Lopes
Lauren: Soma Bhatia
Angry Man: John Stoneham Jr
Realtor: Kathryn Greenwood
Young Realtor: Molly Kidder
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.