Concerning remakes, director John Huston once remarked, “They should only remake bad movies.” I’m sort of in the middle myself: if you’re going to remake a movie, at least add something new and let the remake be a reimagining. If you’re really interested in seeing a movie, its first imagining is usually best and you can’t mess with an original that was good enough to draw attention to itself by making people want to capitalize on its success by staging a remake.
In short, the cardinal sin for people making a remake is not adding anything new. Such is the case with this year’s “Poltergeist,” the remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 film that commits this cardinal sin- while keeping the story intact, it misses the mark by thinking its story is enough. Adding nothing to the special effects of the original (save for an interesting look at the otherworldly dimension the youngest daughter of a suburban family is sucked into via a portal in her bedroom closet), it pares down what made the original “Poltergeist” compelling by not drawing out the characters in the family enough to allow you to care and not creating special effects that ‘wow’ you more than the effects in the original did. Continue reading