Sunday, May 31, 2015

Poltergeist ★

Image result for Poltergeist 2015 film stills

    The art of film-making has come a long way since its historic conception in the late nineteenth century and since the first feature-length picture graced our presence roughly one hundred years ago. We have been transported through numerous decades of innovation, including the muted yet lovable silent era, the studio dominated productions of the 1940s and 1950s, and the American New Wave of the 1970s.

    Yet, with all due respect, it would seem that the twenty-first century has been composed of nothing more than mediocre efforts--highlighted by several great films--but mostly consisting of banal reproductions of past ideas, deemed as an experience for a new generation. Not only is this a blatant lie to anyone who can see through this facade of derivative creation, but it ultimately compromises the integrity of the art of cinema. Where have all the great filmmakers gone?

    "Poltergeist" is a 2015 horror film that attempts to recreate the atmosphere and magic of the 1982 original, yet failing to realize why it was so captivating to begin with. For, it wasn't the emphasis of horror or frightening images that made it all the more compelling, but it was the instances of uncertainty and the charming moments of humanness that touched our heart; all of which surely cemented the Spielberg produced original as an instant classic, and none of which seem to be present in this year's latest debacle. There is no magical build-up, hardly an atmosphere of suspense, and so many predictable fright scenes that make even the worst horror films a shining spectacle of sophistication.

    If anything, however, this rendition simply comes off as a poor recreation of the first installment--down to the minute detail--as several key lines of dialogue are rehashed (including the lines "They're here" spoken by the youngest child of the seemingly cursed family and "It's not like its a tribal burial ground," a line used to justify the act of building a suburban neighborhood on a cemetery) and certain objects remain in the spotlight for interpretation. The ominous tree and creepy clown doll return in an effort to spook the audience and the television once again becomes a symbol of how modern technology has placed a negative constraint on our society. There is even a focus edit in roughly the same place as the original, which only proves how uninspired this picture actually is. (Art should try to create, not imitate.)

    What this all basically comes down to is this: Was there even remotely a reason for this film to be made? The answer is a resounding no, and yet, this is only one instance in a plethora of circumstances that can serve as a prime example of this unwarranted pattern of behavior. Have we lost all sense of ingenuity? Nevertheless, one thing is for certain: Steven Spielberg can be proud of the fact that his "Poltergeist" will live on as the epitome of classic horror film-making, as pictures of this stature only add to their predecessor's greatness, if applicable.

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