Poltergeist - Movie Review by The Commander

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* out of 4 stars


It's been 33 years since the original Poltergeist movie with Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams hit the screen, so I guess it's time to redo a classic movie with a story by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper.  This was a classic scary movie that had us jumping from our seats with stellar performances by everyone, along with the breakout role of Tangina by Zelda Rubinstein, as the "Cleaner".  This movie was so good I've watched it at least a dozen times and every time I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat ready to be scared out of my wits.

So when the 2015 remake of this classic thriller was available for screening I couldn't wait to buy my popcorn and get on the edge of my seat.  I even showed up an hour early to make sure that I had the perfect seats amongst the Press rows.  Unlike most screenings that I've been to, there were no previews.  Everything was looking good.  It went right to the action in 3D and I was ready, popcorn in hand.

This version had Sam Rockwell (great actor) and Rosemary DeWitt as the leads and they replaced Zelda with Jared Harris (love him, Professor James Moriarty in Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows).  I'm thinking, with such a great cast, what could possibly go wrong with this movie?  One word... Disney!  Who’s to blame?  Director Gil Kenan, writer David Lindsay-Abaire, the marketing department of Disney, etc.  I don't want to come off as a Disney basher, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Look, I like Disney.  I own their stock!  I go to Disney World and have continued to for over 25 years.  I even have a Mickey Mouse Watch… in my drawer.

But this movie…?  Forget about it!  They literally copied almost every scene from the original.  There's absolutely no new ideas in this film.  They've added 3D, come up with some nonsense story, used horrible character dialogues that no one would ever say (outside of the Disney Channel) and copied the exact floor plan of the original movie.  

Here's the absurd plot (and trust me, I'm not giving anything away):

A laid-off John Deere employee whose credit cards are almost maxed out is downsizing and trying to buy a home in a less expensive neighborhood than previously owned.  Now, what bank do you know of that would give this guy a mortgage, seriously?  

Here's another example: 

When they inspect the house, they can’t open one of the sliding closet doors (obviously because there is some evil spirit behind it).  Yet they buy the house anyway and still never get to open the closet door.  If you can't get this part of the story to be convincing, you know how the rest of the movie is going to turn out.

Bottom line:  I was terribly disappointed in this movie.  If you like this type of the film, I suggest you go watch the original.  While it's not in 3D, it is far better than anything in the new movie.  I'm ashamed to say that I can't even give this movie a C.  I can give it a Don’t See.

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