Poltergeist - Review

PG-13  |  93 min  |  Horror, Thriller 
Review - Kathryn Waite

In theaters May 22nd. 

                It can certainly be said that the classic horror films have been getting a face-lift from Hollywood in the past decade. From the poorly received Carrie (2013) to the well-accepted Evil Dead (2012), it is easy to miss the mark if you add to much “newness” to a story. As moviegoers, we treat classics like mama’s recipes and remakes with fearful wary and trepidation. We love our Mother’s food and don’t want anyone to mess it up if they are doing their own take on a dish. Thankfully, Poltergeist presents itself with all of the familiar scares and tones while injecting itself with modern technology and culture. Of course, it doesn’t bring a lot of new surprises; it is an excellent watch for the memorial day weekend.

                The story follows the Bowen family as they have moved into a new home in a quiet suburb. They have left their friends and family to a more affordable home which causes some issues between the parents (Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt) and their teenage daughter (Saxon Sharbino). Their middle child Griffin (Kyle Catlett) is afraid of everything and youngest Maddie (Kennedi Clements) just wants to play imagination. Griffin feels unease about the house from the start, his gut feeling about the place will unfortunately be true. A horrible secret lies beneath them, but once the evil spirits present themselves fully poor Maddie is kidnapped by them and taken to the spirit world. Only with the help of paranormal researchers and professionals will this family have the chance of not only getting their daughter back, but surviving the poltergeist they are living in.

                All around, this movie stays very true to the original. Rockwell and DeWitt have great chemistry and acting chops and it really shows here. Rockwell certainly gives a more standout performance, but little Kennedi certainly holds her own. She is a child actor that does not overdo it on screen which happens so often with children in film. The pacing in Poltergeist does seem jumpy at bits. It can go from horrifying to comical in a matter of moments; it caused the audience to laugh on multiple occasions. Even with that small issue, Poltergeist keeps the essence of the original. There are not any new scares in this remake, so do not go in expecting to be blown away if you are an aficionado of horror in general.

                Poltergeist is rated PG-13 for intense frightening sequences, brief suggestive material, and some language. There were some younger children in the audience (around the ages of 9-12) who were in attendance, but I would not recommend it to anyone younger than 12… unless you want them to have nightmares about your house wanting to steal them away to the underworld. I would recommend this movie to those who are rather new to the scary movie world. It provides a good balance of scare and comedic relief. This will also bring a new generation of teenagers into the genre as well. 

                I give Poltergeist a four out of five burial sites. It is always with worry that we enter the theater for a remake, but this film creates an eerie world that should not be passed up.

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