Poltergeist: A remake haunted by the original

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Kuala Lumpur: For those who remember 1982’sPoltergeistmust remember the good old jolt value and scare factor of a horror movie. Back then Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Steven Spielberg was such a scary movie that the film was dubbed as the 20th scariest film ever made by the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film was that good that it was nominated for three Academy Awards.And I wish I could say the same about this year’s Poltergeist.

33 years has passed, Poltergeist is rebooted by Fox 2000 Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures together with celebrated film maker Sam Raini famously known for directing Spider-Man and Evil Dead as one of its producers; Gil Keenan famous for directing animated horror movie, Monster House is the director for this film.The plot remains the same as three decades ago – a haunted house that kidnaps a kid, except with some modern twist of the millennium’s gadget and electronics.

Poltergeist stars Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt who played suburban parents, Eric and Amy Bowen. With their three kids, Kendra, Griffin and Madison, played by Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Cattlett and Kenedi Clements, the Bowens seek for a place they can afford and can call home after Eric got laid-off from work.All seems bubbly when they first stepped into their new house in the suburbs of Illinois.

Nothing seemed to be amiss until Griffin’s guts tells him that there is definitely something very creepy with the house they just moved in. His youngest sister, Maddy begins to have conversation with invisible people and mysterious yet strange things starts to take place in their new home.The rest of the family members feel that Griffin is just paranoid and being a plain attention seeker and Maddy is just being a typical child who speaks to her imaginary friend.

Not long after that, it was havoc all the way for the Bowens when sinister spirits crept in, not-so-subtly in their home. The evil ghosts hold Maddy captive and forcing the Owens to seek help from parapsychologists who connect the supernatural sadistic entities in a scuffle for Maddy’s freedom.Shot in 3D to enhance the edge-of-your-seat suspense, this 2015’sPoltergeistrevised and modernised an iconic brand or film franchise, creating a classic haunted house story that toys with our fears of the unseen evil spirits.

But then there is nothing much memorable about this year’s Poltergeist. The characters in this film are not well developed and very much forgettable.Though it was not as scary as the original,classicPoltergeist,Keenan somehow managed to offer a ride of thrills and fright to this one.It brings back the good old scare nostalgia – old tree branches that can sweep you off your feet in the most frightening manner, the people in the TV and the iconic line “they are here” and it needs more of this to rise to the fright chart.

If only the character building of this film is better than I am sure this remake will be as good as its predecessors.

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