Poltergeist (2015)

Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on/Remake of: Poltergeist
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Susan Heyward, Nicholas Braun
Seen on: 3.6.2015

The Bowens move into a new home and quickly realize that there are strange occurrences in their house. At first it’s only the family’s youngest children Maddie (Kennedi Clements) and Griffin (Kyle Catlett) who experience it, although older daughter Kendra’s (Saxon Sharbino) phone keeps acting up as well. When Maddie goes missing inside their house – and can still be heard on the TV, talking to them, father Eric (Sam Rockwell) and mother Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) start looking for help. Since their circumstances are extraordinary, they have to seek extraordinary help.

Poltergeist was surprisingly inoffensive. I thought that it would very likely make a mockery of the original film. But in fact, it’s not bad – it’s just not as good or charming as the original, making you wonder why they would remake it at all.

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Poltergeist III (1988)

Poltergeist III
Director: Gary Sherman
Writer: Gary Sherman, Brian Taggert, Steve Feke
Sequel to: Poltergeist, Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Cast: Heather O’Rourke, Tom Skerritt, Nancy Allen, Zelda Rubinstein, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kipley Wentz, Richard Fire, Nathan Davis
Seen on: 2.6.2015

Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) is sent to stay with her aunt Pat (Nancy Allen), her husband Bruce (Tom Skerritt) and their daughter Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) in the city, in a new skyscraper Bruce is currently overseeing the finishing touches on. But Reverend Kane (Nathan Davis) has followed Carol Anne even there. The strange phenomena surrouding Carol Anne are chalked up to psychosis by her school psychologist (Richard Fire) – and in the meantime, Kane grows ever nearer.

The second Poltergeist film already couldn’t hold a candle to the first, but the third is a big step down from even that. Nothing about it worked for me.

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Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Director: Brian Gibson
Writer: Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Sequel to: Poltergeist
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Zelda Rubinstein, Will Sampson, Julian Beck, Geraldine Fitzgerald

After the recent events surrounding the Freelings, they have left their house and moved in with Diane’s (JoBeth Williams) mother Jess (Geraldine Fitzgerald). In a new location they hope to find a little more peace and to rebuild their life. But Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein), the medium who helped the last time, has a dream that everything might not be quite as over and dealt with as they had hoped. She sends her friend Taylor (Will Sampson) to help the Freelings who find themselves yet again followed by evil forces.

Poltergeist II unfortunately couldn’t keep up the quality of the first film, even if the Freelings continue to be a wonderful family.

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Re-Watch: Poltergeist (1982)

Director: Tobe Hooper
Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth WilliamsDominique DunneOliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Beatrice Straight, Zelda Rubinstein
Seen on: 1.6.2015

The Freelings move into a new home, in the estate father Steve (Craig T. Nelson) is helping to sell the houses in. Mother Diane (JoBeth Williams) takes care of their three children, Dana (Dominique Dunn), Robbie (Oliver Robins) and Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke). Diane soon realizes that there are strange occurrences in their house. Her initial excitement and scientific curiosity give way to terror though, when Carol Anne goes missing inside their house – and can still be heard on the TV, talking to them. Since their circumstances are extraordinary, they start to seek extraordinary help as well.

I remember I caught Poltergeist on TV a few years ago, in the German dubbed version which I usually abhor. But I was so caught up in the film, that I barely realized it was dubbed. And on second watching (in English this time) I can honestly say: the film is still fantastic.

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