Review: Poltergeist (2015)

If you read the first Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up post, you probably already know that I recently watched the 1982 hit Poltergeist, and decided to watch the 2015 remake of it afterwards. Usually I enjoy ,and have very few complaints when it comes to remakes of movies, so I was very excited to watch this one. After watching the original Poltergeist and not being completely in love with it, I recalled seeing the trailers for the remake, and figured I may  like it better, because the trailers made it seem terrifying. I had bought the Poltergeist (2015) dvd on Black Friday last year for a Christmas gift for my mom, so I was all set and able to watch it the next day.

Boy, was I wrong with my assumptions. The movie was incredibly underwhelming to me. The things that seemed like they were going to make me scared in the trailers didn’t actually make me feel anything as I watched them play out in the movie, which was the most disappointing thing about it. Although, the effects were a close runner up. While watching the original, some effects looked very cheesy as you would expect from an older movie, so I was interested to see how those same scenarios would look in the remake. I figured the effects would look much better with the use of today’s technology, but I actually ended up feeling like they overused it. Several things seemed too fake,like the skeletons,and portal, which you could obviously tell were CGI. I also didn’t care for the paranormal investigators in this. The actors were fine, but the characters felt dull, especially the counterpart of the eccentric medium Tangina. This would be Carrigan Burke, the paranormal expert and tv show host. I actually like the idea of this character, but the execution of him just couldn’t compare to who he was supposed to replace from the original.

Poltergeist (1982)
Poltergeist (1982)

One thing I didn’t really like in either of the Poltergeist movies was the portal. I think I didn’t like it in either of them because the concept of it seems too unrealistic to me, especially compared to the rest of the movie that is filled with other ghostly experiences that don’t seem to out of this world, and are more believable. I also found the teenage daughter in both the remake and original to be a pretty pointless character. She definitely played a bigger role in the remake than she did in the original, but the character still didn’t really add anything to the movie.

Poltergeist (2015)
Poltergeist (2015)

On the other end of the spectrum, something I liked about both movies was the casting of the young daughter, known as Carol Anne in the original, and Madison in the remake. I think Heather O’Rourke and Kennedi Clements were both very convincing in their roles as a little girl that the audience was supposed to feel for, but also be a little scared of because of her connection to the spirits.

To top it all off, let’s talk about the endings of these films. In the original I thought the movie was over, but then it turned out to be a false ending,and there were about twenty minutes left of the film. In the remake, the movie,and poltergeist situation seemed to be ending, but of course I assumed they were going to fake us out like the original did, and show us that the paranormal activity wasn’t truly over, but that was not the case. The family was done with their ghostly interactions,and were shown already moving on,trying to find a new home, which appeared hard for them to do, due to the fact that the home they looked at reminded them of the one they just left and what they had experienced there. Technically, the remake does have a false ending, since it “ends” after showing the family leave the house they were looking at, but then shows Carrigan and the team back at work on their tv show, but it wasn’t anything like the original’s. In the original all the bad stuff seems to have ended, but only for a second, then it comes back, and the movie ends with the family still in danger. In the remake, the bad stuff really does stop, and the movie ends on a happier note than the original. My guess as to why the endings are the way they are is that the original might have been set up that way so they could easily make sequels, and in present day they probably weren’t looking into remaking the whole Poltergeist franchise, just the first film.
So, I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t a fan of Poltergeist (2015) at all. On IMDB it has a 5/10 rating, which seems crazy, and too high to me. Especially when the Prom Night remake, which I L O V E, has a 3.9/10. I rated the Poltergeist remake at 3.8/10. If you have a different opinion of the Poltergeist remake, and liked it let me know on twitter, @Morgan_Jewel_S. I’d be very interested to hear it, since most people tend to dislike every remake, while I tend to like them, but didn’t enjoy this one.


About Morgan Jewel Sawan 78 Articles
Graduate from Oregon State University, with a Bachelor's of Science in Liberal Studies, a self made degree plan, that focused on media, writing, film, and women, gender and sexuality studies, aptly titled "Writing for and about film with a feminist perspective". I inherited my love of halloween and horror movies from my mom. My favorite horror movie is Scream, which is highly ironic considering I was deathly afraid of Ghostface, who I had very vivid nightmares about that I still remember perfectly, as a child. Some of my other favorites are Hereditary, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Beetlejuice, The Shining, The Conjuring, and much more! Even though I’ve pretty much been a life long fan of horror I still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the classics, ergo my Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up reviews, which I plan to bring back soon. My passion project for the site is our digital zine, called Fright Like A Girl that's all about women in horror, made by women who love horror! In my free time, besides writing for the site, and working on my dream of becoming an actress and film maker, I enjoy making youtube videos (MJ Sawan on youtube), playing video games, going to conventions like Texas Frightmare, and Horror Hound, and cosplaying! I've cosplayed as Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare On Elm Street, Ripley from Aliens, and more. You can follow me on twitter, @frightlikeagirl, where I tweet A LOT about movies of all types, and the people in them.