These days everything is being remade especially in the horror world. Tobe Hooper’s 1982 classic Poltergeist was yet another film that stood on its own and didn’t need to be updated especially with the sequels falling short as well. Despite fans really not wanting this it happened anyway with the remake Poltergeist this time starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, and Kennedi Clements. There have been a few remakes that worked, so could this one possibly deliver or will it be a haunting not worth caring about?
Poltergeist follows a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces who must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive. This new take on the film sticks pretty close to the original story with some updated directions and character changes. Despite these changes the film surprisingly works on some level. They could have opted to do something different with the story, but instead pretty much told the same one and just adjusted whose importance to the story. The parents do little to help out this time around and really serve little purpose other than to be the worried parents. The two younger kids actually do a good job with their roles and bringing this same aspect to life. The oldest daughter here is the most annoying character in the film pretty much played up as a hateful bratty teen that you can’t stand and hope that something will happen to her yet nothing does. Her attitude serves no purpose to the story and is actually off putting when she is on screen. Jared Harris steps into the role, originally played awesomely by the late Zelda Rubinstein and does a great job. His character alongside Jane Adams makes for some of the better scenes. They did a smart thing keeping it a tight ninety three minutes which keeps it moving pretty quickly and having little down time. The execution of the varying anomalies and trip into the other dimension is well executed and creepy, but the film never offers up anything that would really be considered scary.
This ended up being a decent film that while it doesn’t come close to the original it still manages to pay homage to it and entertain. Like most films horror is subjective and when a remake is involved even more so hard to get fans to give it a chance. This is one of the better remakes that delivers a new take on the classic that doesn’t take its place, but allows fans to revisit it in a new way. This release features not just the movie, but also a still gallery, alternate ending and both theatrical and extended cut of the film.
If you are willing to give it a shot grab your copy of Poltergeist on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD available now.