Tag Archives: Jared Harris

Poltergeist (2015)

I watched Poltergeist when I was younger and it did find it a bit freaky (not as scary as A Nightmare on Elm Street though, I was afraid to go to sleep for a year after watching that!). Now we have the remake produced by Sam Raimi of Evil Dead fame. But will this remake be terrifying for all the wrong reasons?

The Bowen family are moving into a new house after the father Eric (Sam Rockwell) loses his job. Soon son Griffin (Kyle Catlett) is seeing strange things in the house but no one is listening to him. That is until one night the house goes berserk and youngest daughter Maddison goes missing. Can the family bring her back to them and fight the Poltergiest?

I often have low expectations when it comes to remakes, especially of horror movies. And films like Poltergiest is the reason why. Simply put it was not scary. Mostly I just felt bored.

Maybe it didn’t help that I re watched the original not long before watching the new version. While the original didn’t scare me like it did when I was younger it was better in practically every aspect than the 2015 film. Even the special effects weren’t that good. There didn’t feel like there was a good enough build up and when the family start getting attacked I didn’t feel terrified or particularly scared for them. I just wanted to get it over with. Considering how much the film’s advertising has been spent showcasing the toy clown, and it does provide a few creepy moments, the film squanders it’s opportunity to be really scary. Disappointing.

Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt try their best as the parents of the Bowen family but you could tell they probably only signed onto this film for the money. The children are not interesting, and I think it was the wrong move to make Griffin the centre of this movie as he was just not a strong enough character to hold the film. And he got really irritating after a while. Jared Harris’ Carrigan Burke had potential as a tv personality with his own Paranormal show who actually can contact the dead. But ultimately he isn’t as memorable as Zelda Rubinstein’s spiritual medium Tangina Barrons in the original.

In my opinion even die-hard horror fans should avoid this like the plague. Unless you’re glutton for punishment then Poltergeist will more likely have you falling asleep in the cinema rather than have you hiding behind your chair.

Rating 1.5/5 – slow, dull and with very few scares

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The Quiet Ones

The term loosely based on a true story should be banned at the cinema! Especially when it comes to a horror movie. They might as well just say 98% of this movie is completely made up!

So…loosely based on the 1972  Phillip experiment, College Professor Coupland  (Jared Harris) attempts to create a poltergeist using the negative energy of a disturbed young girl named Jane (Olivia Cooke). With the help of his students and a young cameraman Brian (Sam Clafin)- hired to film the experiments, Coupland intends to prove his theory that supernatural occurences are caused by human energy. However things soon take a sinister turn.

At first I thought this would be a supernatural British horror film that would deliver on tension, thrills and screams. The build up starts out well as we watch the experiment become more and more inhumane and Jane starts to become more fragile and disturbed as events go on. However by the last act the movie descends into a standard sub-par horror movie. People continue to do stupid things and push Jane to her limit despite the fact that something will obviously go wrong. It wouldn’t so matter so much if the film’s climax fulfilled on its earlier promise but it ends up falling flat. The revelations to whats happening with Jane are uninspired and while Olivia Cooke is both sympathetic and creepy as Jane the students are flat cardboard characters and Clafin’s character is too wet to be of any interest. Harris at least goes into full on ham mode as the determined Professor which is entertaining at times.

It’s a shame the film fails to live up to its potential as it was an interesting idea but it just doesn’t live up to its premise.

Rating 2/5 – a tense build up descends into horror clichés and a dull denouement

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