Did you know that there was a Poltergeist remake out? I just happened to notice the title the other week while browsing for upcoming movies. Somehow, I ended up seeing it this past weekend, resulting in an experience that would have only been helped by copious amounts of booze.

The new Poltergeist is one of the most unnecessary remakes ever made. It has no scares. It has no tension. It has no reason to exist.

Poltergeist 2015: The New Class* attempts to both be different and the same. There’s the same number of people in the family. The house has all the issues of the house in the original. But the characters are just slightly different. This time around the father is a struggling everyman. Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) has been recently laid off. His pride is far greater than the money in his bank account as he buys expensive, trendy gifts for the entire family to prove that he is actually good enough, smart enough, and, doggone it, people like him. His wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) insists on being a bummer about the whole thing because women just don’t know how to relax and have fun, am I right fellas???

*Not the actual title, I think

But then there’s some spirits and his youngest daughter that isn’t named Carol Anne (Kennedi Clements) gets kidnapped to the other side so the family has to bring in some dumb ghost hunters from a local school and eventually have to bring in a big famous TV ghost hunter named Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris, using a weird Irish-ish accent and making me sad). Yeah, that’s right, here’s your tongue-in-cheek Zelda Rubinstein replacement. I hope you’re happy.

Some of Poltergeist‘s biggest faults lie in its attempts to modernize the story. For instance, a toy drone plays a key role in rescuing young Madison from the place between worlds. The eldest daughter experiences issues with her iPhone due to the apparitions. There are ways to use these things without feeling gimmicky. You’re not finding them here.

The whole thing just feels so light and breezy. I laughed when a horde of CGI trees grabbed the son thinking of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. I should have just saved myself a whole bunch of time and just reviewed this movie as Groot. I AM GROOT. And we’re done!

Why oh why would Sam Raimi produce this pile of crap? The original Poltergeist didn’t rely on cheap 3-D scares. It relied on the square jaw of Craig T. Nelson, ghost direction of Steven Spielberg, and squeaky voice of Zelda Rubinstein. That was good enough for America then, it’s good enough for America now.

Grade: D+ and only that high because I like Sam Rockwell


No One Cares About Spoilers for This Movie but Here’s Some Notes

  • The one scene I did like? Where the lazy ghosthunter almost gets drilled in the head.
  • Sooo they decided to have the brother character rescue the de facto Carol Anne rather than the mother this time around. You see, it’s not the same, because Kirk dies this time! Blehhhhhhh.
  • Hey it’s 2015 children’s names: Kendra, Griffin, and Madison