This will have spoilers, but if you have seen the old film or new film its fine.
At the age of 8 I watched my first ever horror film, poltergeist which at the time freaked me out a fair bit but since then I became obsessed with horror films and to this day I love them.
Now a while down the years I noticed they were making a new poltergeist. I heard that it was going to be in the same neighbourhood but with a different storyline, which sounded promising. Then came the trailer and it soon came clear that it was a reboot and same general story as the original. I noticed a few similar scenes and all be it the people in it all had different names it was the same family setting.
I had my worries for a remake as past remakes of horror films have been packed full of coming of age themes or loads of jump scares. I tried to watch it without comparing it too much to the old film. This was not easy to do as the original has a special hold on me not just because it’s a classic but the fact it was my first horror. Knowing this film was a remake of an epic film to start with was one thing but because they remade classic scenes I had expectation to me matched or topped.
I sat down and set off to watch the film, first thing I noticed was it started different as they were trying to find a house rather than being already in one. This was a little odd but I thought bit may allow the viewer to see a side of the story prior to the things that took place in the original.
Little by little things started to happen. I found them to be quite cool at first, such as static hair but then everything seemed to be far too random talking to walls/toys and just chucking in bits for the sake of it. The film lacked mood and anticipation and a general build up. From what I was expecting I thought I would feel for the family more like is did during the first film. It just seemed to me that they were plopping ideas in and adding some old classic moments.
Let’s talk about the classic scenes ,which all seemed to happen within the same close time span, first things first they swapped out the stacked chairs with stacked cards which was more funny than an scary moment. Then the classic there here TV scene which is where the film should have started from. Being petty now I didn’t like how she said there here and the silly black hands. I preferred the slow build up and whispers. They then skipped a large chunk out where in the original you get the intro to the family and the small subtle scenes of activity with the moving floor and spooky lighting counting.
All within a few seconds it seemed that the tree came to life and then the daughter casually walked off into the dark void to be grabbed. It was at this point they got the classic ghost hunters in. the next classic scene was the story of moving objects. Personally I like the idea from the old film where the entire room has flying objects, however the smashing chair was acceptably to.
They then skipped the overnight stay and spooky ghost coming down stairs and kicked off a crappy face transform scene,
biting grabbing scene, the rope scene and talking to the daughter scene all together within a few minutes. Next thing I know the medium is called, which has nothing to his name compared to classic Tangina, he wonders about for a bit looking confused and decides that they must go in after her.
I mean where has the build-up is gone, the tension the fear and sadness you get from the family which reflects on the viewer it all seemed to be absent. Next thing I know there using a flying toy with a camera on it to go to the other side. Now it’s all cool to see what may have been on the other side but first off why is the electrics working and 2 I think not seeing and hearing growling and screams is much more tense than going in and seeing a load of dark flapping arms with bright light.
Before I knew it the medium declared it ok to go in and the young lad, not the mum, ran on in. he then located his sister and within seconds pulled her out. They then both go to the classic wake up scene in the bath and once again the film jumps more tension. They decide to go straight from this house is clean to oh no it’s not without having the nice break of everything is fine that the original had. Next thing I know the medium runs on into the house to go to the other side and the house classically crushes into nothingness as the family drive off safe and sound.
This film did not feel like a remake as such it was more like a summary of the old film, with random added new parts, rather than a thought through remake. I was aware not ever scene would match entirely the same as you may as well just watch the old one, but they just rushed though it so fast that there was no time to feel the essence of the movie that the original film had.
Personally I would have started from the same TV scene and developed time with the characters more and spaced the classic re shot scenes apart and added extra tension in between. That or I would have stuck with the initial idea of making it in the same town with an entire different story.
As for it being scary there were times I jumped but mostly things were happening so fast I didn’t have time to get deeply into the story.