Pointless remake offers nothing new…
When Paranormal Activity dropped in 2007 it sparked a revival of the ‘haunted house’ genre culminating in the 2012 masterpiece Sinister and also taking in minor classics such as The House of the Devil and Insidious. Five years on and as Insidious limps into its third chapter following a truly awful sophomore effort, director Gil Kenan brings us a remake of the film that started it all – Poltergeist.
The original Poltergeist is of course a classic and it’s influence stretches far and wide across the horror landscape. Staples of modern ghost stories such as spirits inhabiting technology and Indian burial grounds were brought into the public conciousness by Poltergeist. All this familiarity renders the 2015 remake predictable and groan inducing for the most part.
Insidious and particularly Sinister have taken this genre to the next level and whilst the original Poltergeist is still an enjoyable film today due to the direction of Tobe Hooper, the writing of some guy called Stephen Spielberg and a haunting performance from the tragic Heather O’Rourke, there is nothing to separate this remake from countless other horror remakes and other films in this genre.
Similarly to Ed Norton, Sam Rockwell is a brilliant actor whose career has stalled from making awful choices. Poltergeist is the latest in a long line of average films in which Rockwell has appeared and it is difficult to think of what motivated him to appear in Poltergeist.
The original Poltergeist is timeless and will be enjoyed by new generations of horror fans for decades to come. Gil Kenan’s remake will have been forgotten by everyone this time next year.