Poltergeist

Rating: 3 out of 5

This week was a double header, as I watched and reviewed Ex Machina earlier in the week. There is a second review coming (as I type), and I believe that should be cause for celebration. So break out the boobs, wheel in the chocolate milk keg, turn on the Bowie, and let’s fuck shit up. That’s how you party, isn’t it?

The second movie I watched this week was the reboot of Poltergeist. I know what you’re thinking…another shitty remake? Yes. Well, actually it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great either, but it had some qualities that most horror remakes (and most horror originals for that matter) do not have. The movie starred Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Kennedi Clements in her debut as the token adorable child.

Just look at that last sentence. In most cases, if you tell me that a movie is coming out with Sam Rockwell and Jared Harris, I’m there. I say most cases just in case they decide to make a G-Force sequel together. Then again, I might see that shit storm too. Both actors were really great in this movie. Rockwell in particular was worth watching the movie for. He was hilarious, complex, and emotional. His drunken dad humor showcased exactly the type of father my wife thinks I am going to be.

The embarrassing kind…and I accept.

Young Kennedi Clements did a really good job in what was her first movie role. It is always pleasantly surprising to see someone so young show so much potential and talent. It will be sad to watch her grow up into an awkward, irrelevant adult. I’m looking at you Haley Joel Osment.

While the movie relied on the typical PG-13 pop-out scares that we have grown so accustomed to (and are fucking sick of), it didn’t feel as irritating as other horror films. I’m guessing because they didn’t bother to try and scare me with that stupid god damn bathroom mirror reflection again. They chose a toy clown, a little girl, and opening doors. Totally original…

Whatever the reason, the cheap scares didn’t bother me much in this movie. What did bother me is the pitfall we see in all genres these days. That is the overuse and misuse of CGI. Think back to the classic horror films that really frightened us as children. I look back at movies like The Exorcist, The Omen, and The Shining (a whole lot of ‘The’). These movies were made without the benefit of computer imagery, and they were forced to create props, use sounds and mood, and utilize creative camera tricks in order to create unease in the viewer. So many of these movies were brilliant. Unfortunately, it is my opinion that the use of CGI has taken away from that. As advanced as the technology is, it still feels unreal every single time. This is especially true for horror movies, where the loss of traditional practices tends to take away from the scare factor. Poltergeist was another example of this. We just HAD to have the CGI ghost world, eh? Way to ruin the mystery, turds.

Despite some typical modern horror movie issues, the acting and characters carried this movie out of the depths of shitdom and into the realm of decentdom. Poltergeist isn’t going to change the world of film, but it was entertaining. I give it 3 out of 5. Thanks for reading.

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