Weigh­ing it up

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

“They’re here!!!!” There are few more fa­mous lines ut­tered in hor­ror movies than young Heather O’Rourke’s omi­nous warn­ing back in 1982’s Poltergeist.

Writ­ten and pro­duced by Steven Spiel­berg and di­rected by Tobe ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Hooper, the orig­i­nal tale of a sub­ur­ban Amer­i­can fam­ily be­ing tor­mented by a su­per­nat­u­ral en­tity was a fun but flawed su­per­nat­u­ral thriller.

Scope, then, for slight im­prove­ment in Gil Ke­nan’s re­make, which sees Sam Rock­well (Eric) and Rose­marie De­Witt’s (Amy) par­ents fraught with fear when daugh­ter Madi­son (Kennedi Cle­ments) is tar­geted by evil ap­pari­tions.

But while Ke­nan and writer David Lind­sayAbaire (Oz the Great and Pow­er­ful) de­serve some credit for avoid­ing the shot-for-shot redux ap­proach, they don’t mix things up enough to make Poltergeist 2015 feel like any­thing other than a cash-in for a new gen­er­a­tion.

Sure it’s slick enough; Ke­nan play­ing with fans of the orig­i­nal’s ex­pec­ta­tions with fresh vi­su­als on many of the 82 flick’s fa­mous scares and util­is­ing dark­ness and flash­ing images to heighten the ten­sion.

And while they lack some of the comedic ma­te­rial and Spiel­ber­gian fam­ily val­ues gifted to lead­ing cou­ple pre­de­ces­sors Craig T Nel­son and JoBeth Wil­liams, Rock­well and De­Witt are in fine form, par­tic­u­larly Rock­well with a per­for­mance that’s far more nu­anced than the film he’s star­ring in de­serves.

But Cle­ments can’t help but feel like a pale imi­ta­tion of the late O’Rourke, not helped by a long dark hair and pale skin look that smacks of the tired J-Hor­ror genre.

The orig­i­nal’s best mo­ments are present and cor­rect — TV, clown, por­tal to an­other realm — but not nearly as af­fec­tive with the up­grade on tech­nol­ogy hin­der­ing rather than help­ing the more un­set­tling prac­ti­cal ef­fects found in the eight­ies’ ver­sion.

Ke­nan’s at­tempts to freshen things up are ei­ther lazy — more than one clown — or down­right bizarre (de­monic squir­rel!).

His re­make also suf­fers from the never end­ing con­veyor belt of sim­i­larly-themed hor­rors to hit cine­mas in re­cent years; the teens it’s aimed at will have seen all this carry on be­fore in the likes of Sin­is­ter, The Con­jur­ing and the In­sid­i­ous se­ries. It’ll take more than creaky floor­boards, loud jump scares and loopy para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors (a barely worth the pay­check Jared Har­ris) to get mod­ern fans of the genre go­ing.

The clos­est Ke­nan gets is a freaky fi­nale that de­vi­ates slightly from Hooper’s orig­i­nal and di­als up the in­ten­sity to pre­vi­ously un­seen lev­els.

Sadly it’s all too lit­tle, If you’ve ever seen peo­ple fran­ti­cally too late to save a re­make swap­pingsw lug­gage be­tween bags at that’s more silly than theth air­port check-in you’ll know why spooky and fails to go over a scale is vi­tal. This one is com­pact, enough new ground.

hha away­has a mag­ni­fy­ing– so it can be view­er­put in yourand fold­scase For bet­ter scares and a

aaa whole lot more fun, check

and you don’t risk pay­ing an ex­cess aal lu out Ke­nan’s an­i­mated tri­umph Mon­ster House lug­gage fee com­ing home ei­ther. in­stead.


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