5 Things About The Poltergeist Remake

I had the "Privilege" seeing the Poltergeist remake this weekend.  As a general rule, I hate horror movies and do everything in my power to avoid them.  However, my wife ADORES them, although I'm not sure which she enjoys more: watching the movie or watching ME watch the movie.  Regardless, the original Poltergeist was one of her favorites growing up, so as soon as I heard that there was a remake, I knew that I was doomed to see it.  Having now seen it, I have some thoughts, which I will now share with you, relatively spoiler free.

1. I love that the "Experts" have a doubter on their team

Like all supernatural horror movies, the family finds out that their house is doing things that it shouldn't.  When certain events happen that make it clear to the parents that this isn't just a prank or anything, they do what any rational person would do: who ya gonna call? (Ghostbusters!)  Going to the local college, they talk with experts at the Office of Paranormal Research (which, according to the movies, every college has.  But in all my time in college I never heard of such a division.  I guess that's what you get when you go to a state school).

Upon exploring the house, the team of students and professors begin installing equipment to monitor the people and activities going on.  While setting up some of the wiring, one of the students questions one of the kids saying that a Poltergeist invasion is a great way to drum up some reality TV money for their out of work father.  As ridiculous as it sounds that the nearby university has an Office of Paranormal Research, I love the fact that one of the students doubts that it is real and is only in for the college credits and/or that its the only job he could get.  It shows that the Paranormal Research is doing so poorly for students that they had to reach out to some deadbeat students in other fields just to get some extra helping hands.  Awesome!

2. Sam Rockwell is awesome, even when writing sucks

Sam Rockwell is a great actor, and I was sad to find out he was in this.  Especially when it was paired up with some terrible writing.  It seemed like the writing room couldn't make up their mind whether or not they wanted him to be the deadbeat dad or just the loving father who has had some bad luck.  At some points, it really shows that half the writing room went to lunch and the interns were like "well, maybe he says this instead!".  Rockwell does his best to play out the various parts they give to him, and he nails the character in each scene - the question is, which character is he playing this time?  But then again, I guess no one goes to a movie like Poltergeist for the character development.

3. Nice use of 3D effects

Not only did I have to watch the movie, but we went to a 3D showing of the movie.  It's probably the first horror movie that I've seen in 3D, but I felt like the producers used it well.  There are particular scenes that are shot in such a way that the objects coming out at you through the screen add to the tension/thrill of the movie.  For example, during one scene a man is pressed up against a wall while a drill is coming through on the other side, getting closer and closer to his position.  Each time the drill came through the wall, you could see the drill bit coming out at you and it was rather freaky.  This movie isn't winning any awards for its usage of 3D, but they did understand where and when to take advantage of the technology, and I did appreciate that bit (har har!  Get it?).


At one point in the movie, the "experts" pin everyone with, as they describe it, "GPS Trackers" so that they can see where in the house everyone is at a specific moment.  They show a glimpse of the display, showing people in different rooms of the house.  GPS DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!  It's not a magical device that can pinpoint your exact location.  In reality, if they used just GPS trackers, all it would show is several blips all on top of each other at the same house, because that's as accurate of a reading that GPS trackers can get.  How is it that no one that worked on this movie has every tried to pull up GPS on their phone and see how they can only get so close?  GAHH!!  The sad part is that there are probably other kinds of ways that they could figure out where a person was in the house -- but it definitely wouldn't be GPS based.

5. Not another Horror movie, actually scratch that

If you want my overall opinion of the movie, to me its just more of the same Horror movie remakes that we've been subjected to over the years (some of us unintentionally).  There's nothing really that stands out about this movie that we haven't gotten before.  If you enjoyed the original, there might be subtle tributes that I missed, but in general I doubt you will be overly thrilled with it.  Other than to see the 3D effects, I would not recommend seeing it in theaters, I'd wait for Redbox/Netflix.

Anyone else get forced to watch the movie?  What did you think?