"This Makes 1980s Cinema Look Much Better"
What You Need To Know:
Over 30 years since the original movie, POLTERGEIST takes advantage of 21st Century CGI technology to do things that weren’t possible in the 80s. Because of this attempt, not only does the movie lose mystery, but also suspense. This 2015 remake is less edgy than most horror movies, but other than Griffen’s call to bravery and the family’s resolution to stay together, there’s hardly any positive content and no spiritual answer to the demonic problem.
(OOO, Pa, B, LL, VV, S, A) Very strong occult worldview with ghosts, spirits caught between dimensions and hauntings, none of which is answered with biblical or Christian perspectives, with light moral elements where a young boy learns to become courageous so he can save his sister and a family fights to stay together; 10 obscenities (one use of “effing”), some of which comes from the children, and nine profanities; strong paranormal violence includes a clown doll attacks a young boy, young girl abducted by spirits, man pukes up wormy ink in a quick vision, a tree grabs a young boy, hundreds of corpses are seen in the other dimension, paranormal expert has many battle scars, some of which are quite disturbing, the spirits flip a car over, and lots of scary images; husband and wife kiss in bed and get ready to become intimate, but are interrupted, plus multiple sexual innuendos; no nudity but woman in her underwear; lots of drinking, but no drunkenness; no drug use or smoking; and, no other immoral or objectionable content.
Produced by Steven Spielberg, POLTERGEIST is a remake of the critically acclaimed 1982 horror movie. In it, Eric Bowen, his wife Amy, and their children Kendra, Griffin and Maddie, move to a new neighborhood after Eric gets laid off. Kendra is the typical teenage girl, Griffin has a self-described fear “of everything,” and Maddie, the youngest, is playful and charming.
As soon as they move, the children begin to notice some oddities of the house. Electrical pulses, certain spots with heavy static electricity and objects moving around. As soon as the Bowen’s get settled, someone reveals that their new neighborhood was built over a cemetery. Griffen has a run in with a squirrel in the attic, so he sleeps in his parents’ bed, but one night, Griffen wakes up when all the electronic devices in the house start. He walks downstairs and sees Maddie talking to the static filled TV. Maddie turns and tells the family, “They’re here!”
The next day, when Eric and Amy are gone at a dinner, the children are attacked in various sections of the house. Maddie wanders into a closet where she is taken by the angry spirits whose graves were disturbed on the property. When Eric and Amy come home, they can hear Maddie’s voice coming from the TV. They call the paranormal experts from the local university to help, and the family learns that Maddie has been taken to another dimension where the angry spirits reside. Not a haunting, but a Poltergeist. To get her back, someone will have to go into that in-between dimension to rescue her.
Over 30 years since the original movie, POLTERGEIST takes advantage of 21st Century CGI technology to do things that just weren’t possible in the 80s. Because of this attempt, not only does the movie lose mystery, but also suspense. The Director reveals important plot details too early and shows little restraint, oddly enough making this remake less believable than the original. What may be the only positive change is the character of Griffen, who’s paralyzing fear caused him to leave his little sister by herself, but by the end learns to be courageous and brave, becoming the hero. The child actors are good, but Kennedi Clements doesn’t quite match up to Heather O’Rourke, whose performance stole the show in the original.
This 2015 remake is less edgy than most horror movies, but other than Griffen’s call to bravery and the family’s resolution to stay together, there’s hardly any positive content, and the occult worldview is prevalent and disturbing. There’s no spiritual answer to the demonic problem. In fact, nothing Christian whatsoever is even referenced. It’s ultimately godless and hopeless. The remake also lacks the satirical, media-wise punch of the original movie, where the Family TV was the evil source of the family’s demonic infestation.