What’s This About: Stupid family moves into a home that was built on land that used to be a cemetery. Same thing that basically happened in the 1982 original but with less Tobe Hooper and even way less Steven Spielberg.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Since the original had the spirits communicate via TV screens is this one going to be through cell phones and iPads?
- One wrong turn in the vicinity made them use that as an excuse that they’re late?
- I have zero idea who this actress is who’s playing sam Rockwell’s wife, Amy, Rosemarie DeWitt? Seems she was in La La Land but I made it a point to forget that flick.
- The new Carol Anne (sorry, Madison now) is talking to the closet.
- Bear in mind, that they have just bought or are in the process of buying this home, unlike the original Frelengs (now Bowens) who had lived in their home a while before the poltergeist activity started.
- I don’t think Sam Rockwell’s Eric has ever thrown a baseball before.
- They’re trying to make a weeping willow the evil tree? That’s a twist. It also is somehow keeping the baseball stuck in it like Charlie Brown’s kite.
- These poltergeists have a ton of static electricity!
- Why is the clothes dryer bleeding? And why isn’t Amy freaking out about it?
- Jared Harris is a TV celebrity paranormal investigator? Don’t tell me he’s the new Tangina?!
- C’mon buddy, you’re 9-years-old, do you have to freak out about putting the nightlight on?
- Here’s the creepy clown doll. So glad they kept that from the original.
- Sam Rockwell cockblocked by his dumb fraidy cat son!
- Well at least Sam Rockwell is having fun in this flick.
- I understand the ghosts controlling the electronics but why is the chandelier spinning?
- “They’re here.” Who’s here?! Don’t tell me Jehovah’s Witnesses!
- Amy is asking Madison what she meant by “They’re here” the next morning. Not when she initially said it.
- Griffin, the son, found some random bones in the garden. [never really addressed again]
- I’m wondering if the fact that the Bowen’s are cash-strapped (Eric was recently laid-off and Amy is a Stay-at-home mom) is going to be an important plot point or just a random scenario to beef up the drama? [never really plays a role in the plot.]
- The poltergeists just stacked Griffin’s comic books like a house of cards just to freak him out!
- Eric was so upset that two of his credit cards were declined that he bought expensive gifts for his whole family!
- “I’m starting to think he’s the baby of the family.” Amy said this right in front of Griffin. Mother of the year folks.
- Waddya mean the realtor didn’t tell the Bowens that their development was built on an old cemetery?!
- They actually made a joke about it NOT being an ancient Indian burial ground.
- We’re only 40 minutes in and already the ghosts are attacking the kids!
- Hahahaha, the Have-a-Heart trap that they laid for the squirrel was in Griffin’s room and a rather distraught squirrel is freaking out inside of it.
- The clown attacks Griffin already!? This movie’s going to blow its remake load too quick.
- At least some new gags—The oldest daughter, Kendra was attacked by that goo that was leaking from the dryer and Griffin is suspended mid-air above the staircase. Hey, at least they’re trying to be slightly different.
- They kidnapped Madison, so they’re not that different.
- I gotta say, at least both versions of Poltergeist had the whole family seeing and believing the phenomena that’s happening in their home. It’s not like they had the kids spend half the movie trying to convince their folks that the house is haunted.
- Discount Glenne Headly.
- Hey it’s cousin Greg from Succession!
- Hahahaha. As Cousin Greg is explaining how he filmed a 7-hour long piano bench moving on its own he tries to sit down and the ghosts fling the chair across the room destroying it and Greg falls on his ass in disbelief. Classic poltergeist shenanigans.
- Now Sam Rockwell’s imagining he’s throwing up that black goo. Then he spills a whole bottle of booze down the drain. It would be funny if the bottle he was spilling was filled with the same black goo.
- Cousin Greg is trying to debunk the kidnapping by telling Griffin that staging a poltergeist can bring in a lot of money and publicity for them. [I guess this is why them being poor plays a part but this is weak] But didn’t he not witness the chair getting thrown across the room moments earlier?
- I’m more than halfway through and so far this one lacks the charm and a decent score. Seriously, these modern horror scores are fucking incredibly mediocre and forgettable. Where’s the creepy children chorus going La-la-la-la-lala-lalalala?
- Is no-one around hearing Cousin Greg’s screams of terror as he’s almost killed by power drill?
- Discount Glenne Headly is trying rio explain astral planes of existence and I’m sure the Bowen’s give a rat’s ass about all this when their daughter is still missing.
- Some interesting visuals of Madison’s shadow interacting with the room without her being present.
- No worries Griffin, you just play with your drone. Your sister will be saved and the paranormal investigators will “clean” your house soon enough.
- Why is Jared Harris dressed like Popeye Doyle?
- Jared Harris tells them he suspects that they didn’t move the bodies from the old cemetery but just removed the headstones. It was a great twist in the original when Steven finally realized that. Here it’s just a random throwaway line and barely illicits an emotional response from anyone.
- GPS trackers? In the astral plane?!
- It’s been 33 years since the two Poltergeists and yet this one is hardly utilizing the change of technology to tell this story. GPS trackers and drones. I was half-joking earlier when I assumed the ghosts will communicate through an iPad but I kinda wish I was right. The tech that the paranormal experts are using are pretty similar to what they used in 1982.
- Well at least Jared Harris is having fun in this flick.
- You know who’s not having fun watching this? I’ll give you a hint, his name starts with Brad.
- This remake is doing the same rope in the closet, which is a portal into the astral plane, that has a hole in the ceiling on the first floor. But this time they are going to use Griffin’s drone to go in the astral plane to look for Maddy. Lazy cowards.
- Hahaha. Jared Harris started to pilot the drone but crashed it into a wall and he gives it up for Griffin to fly.
- We saw countless examples of the ghosts making various electronics in the house go all wonky but the drone is flying in with zero resistance or problems.
- Remember in the 1982 version when even the paranormal experts were visually moved and baffled at the phenomena? Yeah, these 2016 experts barely register the awesome happenings. To them, this is a typical Tuesday.
- How did they not notice Griffin go upstairs?!
- Griffin, feeling guilt about leaving Maddy alone before she was nabbed, runs into the astral plane to save his sister. What the hell does he think he can do? And this is the film’s very weak attempt to give Griffin a character arc of him being brave now when earlier in the film he needed a night-light.
- Yeah, did you really think a GPS tracker would work in another dimension dumbass?
- It’s beyond far-fetched that the camera on the drone is actually working.
- So much for the tension when the rope got sucked into the portal essentionally deserting Griffin and Maddy in the astral plane. Only for a moment later when both kids also fall back into the living room from the portal in the ceiling. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they were going to be saved.
- And now we have 15 minutes left and I’m sure the spirits will follow the Bowens to wherever they go and give them one last scare.
- Oh my gawd! The spirits never went into the light! They’re still poltergeisting in the house!
- Good thing the ghosts attacked again when the paranormal experts were still there. They were just about to leave. Leaving a house that was a bona fide paranormal phenomena that begs to be studied and tested on for a long time. Nah, we need to get back to the office.
- Instead of that hideous & frightening monster demon from the 1982 version in the closet trying to grab the kids back, we have a whole gaggle of ghosts screaming at the kids.
- OK, we don’t need this back story of Jared Harris and discount Glenne Headly being divorced and the ex-wife still cares deeply for him and worried for him to be a hero trope.
- I guess the whole house slowly being torn apart is the remakes way of having the house implode like the original.
- So the Bowens escape in a car that they borrow from one of the paranormal experts as their house gets destroyed in the distance and I think Jared Harris went into the astral plane to guide the ghosts to the light. And that’s basically it. Crisis is over and all’s good in the hood.
- I guess we have to find out if Jared makes it out alive.
- I guess we’ll still have to wait.
- “My last closet ate me.” Har har hardy har har.
- The Bowens are in the market for a new home but they high-tailed it out of this new house once they discovered that it had a tree close to the bedroom window. Maybe they should consider a condo in the desert or something.
- Man, was that mediocre.
- A mid-credits scene of Jared Harris and his ex-wife now co-hosting a spooky ghost hunter TV show. They ended this film with light-hearted humor? So bizarre.
Final Thoughts: I’m a huge fan of the original. It’s in the top ten of horror movies for me and of course I never even wanted to watch this remake but it’s Schlocktoberfest after all and what better way to ruin my
childhood day than to watch some mediocre remake. It’s more than safe to assume that I knew I wouldn’t care or even like most of what this remake would have to offer. I suppose if I were to be fair I’d say that this wasn’t a terrible movie but it is a very pale comparison to the Tobe Hooper classic from 1982. Hell it’s a pale comparison. to Poltergeist II: The Other Side. It’s very close to being a carbon-copy of the original as well which doesn’t help. I guess if I was born 30 years later then seeing this one first might help but I am biased in that I grew up with and adore the original. But seriously, this one was just weak and lacking some good scares.
Score: 4 Drones in the Astral Plane (out of 10)
Which was Better?: No matter who directed the 1982 original, it’s far and beyond greater than this one can ever wish to be.