|2015 rating: **|
Wherein the original consisted of three complete acts, each a fulfilling story in itself, the new POLTERGEIST cuts right to the chase – and it’s only a chase this time around. The family consists of mellow patriarch Sam Rockwell, seeming more like a cool young uncle than a responsible adult; his wife; two curious kids and one bitter teen… just like before. But this suburban clan act like they all just met each other, lacking the ingrown chemistry before the haunting occurs and hardly earning the post-traumatic, devil-may-care attitude after the research staff, led by Jane Adams, moves in to investigate the paranormal emergency.
Like the unnecessary CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Special Edition brought us quickly inside the spaceship, this reboot takes us deeper into the ghoulish depths of the house built on a relocated cemetery. A nice attempt to learn the ingredients of all the bedlam, but without any explanation there’s no purpose to go one step beyond even when the usually-effective Jared Harris (reunited with his HAPPINESS co-star, Adams)… a cross between the original Tangina and Robert Shaw’s grizzled shark hunter… arrives to clean house, literally.
Not that there isn’t a fair amount of suspenseful jolts. It just wasn’t necessary to remake a cinematic experience that took its time to put the characters, and the audience, through an immense ringer. At a sparse 93-minutes, these people hardly suffer at all. The main clown serves as a cameo. And not long after "They're Here," they're gone.