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Gil Kenan
Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams
Writing Credits:
David Lindsay-Abaire

What Are You Afraid Of?

A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.

Box Office:
$35 million.
Opening Weekend
$22,600,000 on 3,240 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13/Unrated

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Only)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Quebecois Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Castillian DTS 5.1
German DTS 5.1
Italian DTS 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1
French Quebecois
Supplements Subtitles:
French Quebecois

Runtime: 94 min.(Theatrical Cut)
101 min. (Extended Version)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 9/29/2015
• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
• Alternate Ending
• Still Gallery
• Trailers and Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Poltergeist [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 5, 2015)

Today’s Adventure in Horror Remakes brings us to 2015’s Poltergeist, a reworking of the 1982 classic. After Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) gets laid off from his job, he needs to downsize, so he moves his family to a smaller, cheaper house.

This takes him to the suburbs along with wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt), son Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and daughters Kendra (Saxon Sharbino) and Madison (Kennedi Clements). Except for seven-year-old Madison, none of them seem excited about the move.

Matters don’t get better as the family settles into their new home, as strange supernatural shenanigans start to occur. At first, these seem benign – and maybe even fun – but eventually they become more threatening. This results in the disappearance of Madison, an event that prompts the family to bring in professional help.

I probably should’ve hoped for Poltergeist’s failure. While I won’t state that the original is a cherished favorite from my youth, I do maintain very fond memories of seeing it in 1982, and I still think it’s a fun movie.

Despite that history, I really hoped the new version would succeed. I don’t mind most remakes, honestly. At worst, they simply become redundant, but at best, they can provide interesting perspectives on the material.

Alas, that doesn’t prove to be the case. The 2015 Poltergeist comes with some differences, but these tend to be superficial.

Really, beyond the Bowen family’s financial straits, we don’t find a whole lot to alter the first film’s template. The 1982 movie went with a steadier nuclear clan, and I think that made sense for the material. If the decision to put the Bowens more “on edge” than the Freelings exists for any logical narrative reason, I can’t figure out what it is.

A few other change-ups occur – largely oriented toward the relationship between paranormal experts Brooke Powell (Jane Adams) and Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris) – but these continue to feel like window-dressing. The 2015 version includes many conscious echoes of the original and it does little to alter the tale’s plot and progression.

Poltergeist 2015 does come with a less playful tone than the original, and that seems like a bad choice. With its mild mockery of suburban life and its sly humor, the 1982 film offered as many laughs as scares; it blended genres in a manner that gave it real personality.

None of this occurs in the 2015 film. It goes for a much more straightforward horror vibe, and that makes it feel generic. As depicted here, the movie lacks personality and could be confused for a variety of other scarefests.

On its own, the 2015 Poltergeist never becomes a bad movie – God knows I’ve seen less interesting horror flicks – but it does feel pointless and forgettable. The 1982 version already told this story in a fun, involving manner, and the 2015 edition fails to live up to its legacy.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

Poltergeist appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image offered the expected high quality affair.

Overall sharpness appeared solid. A few slightly soft shots materialized along the way, but they stayed minor and negligible. The image lacked shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to mar the presentation. I also didn’t see any print flaws.

Hello, orange and teal! Poltergeist emphasized the modern palette, and the results seemed fine. The colors didn’t overcome their stylistic restrictions, but they appeared appropriate. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. The movie gave us a strong transfer.

I also felt pleased with the immersive DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Poltergeist. The audio seemed to accentuate the visuals well. It mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and “assault moments” from the rear.

In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the rear, thunder and aggressive violent components added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more involving.

Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display. Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.

Effects always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. The mix lacked the ambition to reach “A” level, but it earned a solid “B+” as a fine soundtrack.

The Blu-ray offers two separate editions of Poltergeist. In addition to the Theatrical Cut (1:33:41), we find an unrated Extended Version (1:40:53). Because I only watched the longer one, I can’t comment on specific differences, but I wanted to mention the presence of the two cuts.

An Alternate Ending runs one minute, 46 seconds. This leaves us with a different look at what happens to the Bowen family. It’s a less concrete finale than the one in the film but not one that I find to be better or worse.

In a Gallery, we see a collection of photos, as this area offer 12 stills from the movie. None of these prove to be especially interesting.

The disc opens with ads for Before I Wake, The Exorcism of Molly Hartley and The Pyramid. Sneak Peek adds promos for American Horror Story: Freak Show and The Lazarus Effect as well. We also get two trailers for Poltergeist.

It’s always dangerous to remake a good movie, so the 2015 Poltergeist started at a deficit. Viewed independently, the update doesn’t flop, but it lacks much personality, character or reason to exist. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio but lacks notable supplements. Fans of the original Poltergeist might want to check out the new one as a curiosity, but they shouldn’t expect much from it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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