Critic Consensus: Paying competent homage without adding anything of real value to the original Poltergeist, this remake proves just as ephemeral (but half as haunting) as its titular spirit.
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Critic Reviews for Poltergeist
Though Rockwell and DeWitt give the material their own likable spin, most of the story mechanics will be familiar to anyone who has seen the original Poltergeist.
Director Gil Kenan ruins the pacing with too many half-baked, awkwardly staged horror set pieces, but the cast acquit themselves well enough.
There's little doubt that nostalgia played a part in Fox's decision to remake Poltergeist, but that's a poor reason for any film's existence and no excuse for how uninspired Gil Kenan's re-imagining of this one turned out.
It's not exactly a scary film, but it does provide an enjoyable ride. It's good fun. But it left me befuddled. A little sad. And a little angry.
The original film was promoted with the tagline "It knows what scares you." If there was a truth-in-advertising law regarding films, this movie's ad copy would read: "Poltergeist: Meh."
Audience Reviews for Poltergeist
I will admit, I didn't watch it all. I made it to the clown scene. However, I'm such a big fan of the original that I couldn't get into this one at all. I guess if it was an original story, it would be passable, but I am just sick of great movies being remade. It is unnecessary and I didn't like the updating on this one. The teenage daughter also needed a kick up the ass, who wants to watch an entitled brat carrying on about a mobile phone on Poltergeist!
Perhaps the biggest disappointment this year. I was a HUGE fan of the original and part of it's appeal was the sense of love that the family had for each-other. Mother & daughter in particular. While this version starts out feeling like a comparable homage...it has none of the heart or soul that the first one had. Not to mention the fact that there was little to no build up to the daughters abduction. I left the theater angry because the potential was there.
I can't see any homage in this painfully derivative movie that reuses the worst clichés of the genre, with a lazy script that has no shame to come up with the most ridiculous "explanation" ever (drawn on paper, to appear more "scientific") for a supernatural phenomenon.
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