Clowning around again
released 26 october 2015 | 15 | Blu- ray 3D/ Blu- ray/ DVD
Director Gil Kenan
Cast Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie
DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams
If you must update an old horror, it makes sense to have a crack at Poltergeist. Though Tobe Hooper’s 1982 tale of a family plagued by supernatural disturbances has major “brand recognition”, it’s far from perfect. Arguably it’s more light show than horror movie – more interested in spectacle than scares.
Credit where credit’s due, this remake instals some patches, swerving common sense questions like, “Why would a family stay in a haunted house after it’s been ‘ cleansed’?” and, “Who the hell buys their kid a creepy clown doll?”
But it makes mis- steps too. In the original, when five- year- old Carol Anne was sucked into some nether- dimension, we could only guess at what was keeping her company. Here, a drone’s sent flying in, and the cadaver- littered CGI landscape beamed back is, though technically impressive, less shiver- inducing than the mystery of the unseen. There’s nothing here to match the original’s iconic “face- peeling” sequence, and Jared Harris’s TV medium is no match for his predecessor. Plus, there’s a fundamental problem: in ’ 82, the notion of a spectrally abducted little girl communicating via a television set had resonance, because TV static was part of everyone’s everyday experience; in the age of 24- hour transmission that’s no longer true. The result’s a film which, though competent, feels oddly low- key – and, predictably, pretty pointless.
Extras The DVD has an alternate ending, gallery and trailers. The Blu- ray adds an extended cut with seven minutes more footage. The Blu- ray 3D has both, with the theatrical cut in 3D. Ian Berriman
Though competent, it feels oddly low- key
The family’s car has a bumper sticker for Hooper High School – a nod to Tobe Hooper, director of the original film.