Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Distinct Lack of Magic Munchkins

Now, you all know how I feel about remakes.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Remakes, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing if they treat the original with the respect that it deserves.  This brings us to today's post.


1982's Poltergeist is an amazing film that STILL frightens me.  This new one?

So, the dealio is these folks have to move into a new house but because he just got laid off, they have to take the best one available which, frankly doesn't have a damn thing wrong with it  except for the fact that it's near power lines (and was built on top of a cemetary, duh...) Oh, did I spoil that for you?  Seriously?  Because you watched this one without watching the original and didn't expect that?  Poor you.  Have some gummie bears.

Sam Rockwell hates spoilers.  He gets pouty and makes impulse purchases.
So, within the first week that they're there, they find the one place on the bannister that always give you an electric shock, a box of creepy-ass clown dolls (because one just wasn't enough), a squirrel in the attic bedroom (where they put the boy who's consistently frightened of EVERYTHING because childhood trauma puts hairs on your chest and, seriously, he's terrified because his mom lost him at the mall... I don't believe in bullying but I really do think that some "buck up, soldier" is kind of called for, here) and a human vertebrae.  They aren't even unpacked yet when the boy has ghosts making card castles out of his comic books, the eldest sister is almost sucked into the basement floor and the Carol Anne analog (because they had to name her "Madison") gets sucked into the closet to talk to us through the TV.

Hello, Duggars.
Cue the paranormal investigators.  One of them is the dude with a TV show who just happens to be a real psychic.  Woooo.  Oh and he's the college investigator's ex husband.  Wooooo. That's actually scarier than the ghosts.  Wooooo, alimony and half-assed "I used to sleep with you" jokes.  Fuckers.

Now, I'm not going to say this is a bad movie because it isn't.  What I WILL say is that it is not a GOOD movie and it's a piss-poor attempt at recreating Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg's almost literal magic.  They left out a lot of the stuff that we liked in the original.  A lot of that touching, heartfelt humor is gone.  Now it's just a family in a haunted house.

With this thing, but still...
They didn't leave ANY of the mystery.  Just because there's technology now that COULD allow us to "see the other side" doesn't mean we should actually USE it.  In the original, we had a rope and a mother's love.  In the remake, we get a remote control drone with a fucking camera.  There's no PASSION in this film.  There's no real sense of danger.  In the original, we had a physical scary tree that required an actual fight to rescue the boy.  In the remake, we get cheesy CGI and the boy just falls out of it with the worst fucking video-game ragdoll physics programming ever written.   We don't even get the damn steak scene, we get ghosts who know how to use a fucking power drill.

You missed.
So, while this is NOT a bad movie and would probably be fine for someone who has not seen the original, I would hope that it would inspire them to go and watch the original which is a far superior film.  I was SUPREMELY unimpressed.

Fuck you, Sam Raimi.

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