POLTERGEIST (Extended Cut) DVD (2015)

SYNOPSIS: From legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Evil Dead) and director Gil Kenan comes this thrilling film starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt. After the Bowen family moves into a seemingly perfect suburban home, sinister spirits begin to haunt them. And when the terrifying apparitions abduct Maddy, their youngest daughter, the Bowens must find a way to rescue her – or they’ll lose her forever.


Why remake a classic horror movie if all audiences can remember is an iPhone and a drone instead of the scares that made the 1982 movie so memorable.   

Produced by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and directed by Gil Kenan (City of Ember), Poltergeist retains the basic story structure of the original, a few technology changes liked the ones mentioned earlier and nothing else to spook the movie-goers of today.  

Because Daddy Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) has recently lost his job, the Bowens have to relocate to a cheaper neighbourhood that is originally a cemetery. A fact which of course the realtor conveniently left out. It’s not before long that the youngest of the family, Maddy and their son Griffin begins to experience unexplained paranormal incidents. And when Maddy gets abducted into a ghostly portal, Eric and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) decides to seek the help of a paranormal investigator Dr. Brooke Powell (Jane Adams) and occult television personality Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris) to rescue Maddy before it’s too late.

To his credit, director Gil Kenan did attempt to put on some new spins to the nostalgic tale. However instead of turning into an enjoyable thrilling ride, it more than often backfired. Back in the days, the campy demon, which was created using physical props and cheap effects, look scarier than the CG poltergeists introduced here. A flying drone is used to fly into a ghostly portal and creepy static voices are intercept on an iPhone. Comparing modern technology with a simple scene of chairs moving across the kitchen, which one has a more sinister foreboding?

On the other hand, the old spooky tree is still around to scare the kids though it doesn’t look as menacing as the old one. The television set, which has since evolved into a digital one, retains the broadcasting static. Static on a digital TV? Pretty unbelievable in this era. But then, all these ploys are just paying homage to the imaginative original, there’s nothing here that serves to outshine the latter.

23 years have passed since the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg classic. The Conjuring and Insidious are two prime examples of how good contemporary horrors can get. Raimi can stick back to flicks liked Drag Me to Hell instead of remaking and reimagining the next classic horror title. 


The DVD comes with both the theatrical and extended version (a mere seven additional minutes). There’s also an Alternate Ending, Gallery and two Trailers


As the movie progresses, the audio often gets louder and more dynamic. Except for a couple of soft looking CG shots, the visual on the whole is sleek and sharp. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Horror/Thriller
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Saxon Sharbino, Kennedi Clements,
Kyle Catlett, Susan Heyward, Nicholas Braun
Director: Gil Kenan
Rating: PG13 (Horror)
Year Made: 2015



- Alternate Ending
- Still Gallery
- Trailers


Languages: English/Spanish/Portuguese/Thai
Subtitles: English/Spanish/Portuguese/Korean/Cantonese/Mandarin/
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time:  1 hr 34 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Entertainment Singapore