Poltergeist looked pretty harmless from the trailers which failed to provoke any real terror in me as I watched. I haven’t seen the original film and I chose not to watch it beforehand as I didn’t want to spoil any elements of the story for myself. After this effort though, Poltergeist may need another remake to do it any real justice as this film really isn’t very good.
Let’s talk about the scares first, or more accurately the lack of scares. If you have seen even the short TV trailer you have seen pretty much all of the ‘scary’ moments. Due to this I was able to watch the whole film with considerable ease which isn’t usually the case for films like this. This will be an absolute breeze for hardcore horror fans and they may struggle even to class this as a horror movie. It seemed more like a dark adventure movie to be honest, I could have imagined Indiana Jones fighting the spirits here – please don’t think I am comparing it to the quality of Indiana Jones though it just had more in common with an adventure movie rather than a horror. This wasn’t entirely a bad thing, it did give the film a different tone than usual, and there were moments to contrast the horror. Poltergeist was still enjoyable, it was very watchable but if you want a good horror movie this isn’t it.
What I couldn’t forgive though was the idiotic character writing and decisions that they made. I know that this is almost a given within the horror genre but it was taken to another level of stupidity here. For example, this family’s daughter has been captured by these spirits and is being held in their world. You would think that this may cause some concern for them all, after the initial realisation though they are all quite calm about it, this just baffled me and made no sense in the film. That is only one example of this though as Poltergeist is littered with idiotic characters and unrealistic dialogue. Credit to Sam Rockwell though as he really tries to make something of this script and does manage to perform well throughout even making a couple of the scenes really believable which is more than can be said for the other cast members.
Poltergeist is not scary, it’s not particularly well written and it is full of characters that make no sense. However, the whole thing is still very watchable. If it wasn’t for Sam Rockwell I’m not sure this would be the case, so if you aren’t a fan of his and want a good fright Poltergeist isn’t going to be for you. If you watch this movie in a group at the cinema I think you could have a good time with it but its already fading from my memory and is probably the worst horror film I have seen this year. I still enjoyed it though, it reminded me of a crappy ghost train at an amusement park – you know it’s rubbish but you are more than willing to throw your money at it.
Rating – 5.5/10