Today my husband and I treated ourselves to a movie. We really don’t have any extra money but we have been so excited about this remake for so long that we saved up to go see it when it came out on the big screen. Lets face it, all movies are better on the big screen with the surround sound! So after months of waiting patiently to see if the a) the clown was in the movie and b) it was just as creepy and scary, the moment was finally upon us. Drum roll please….(go ahead and make that sound while you read this)……
I give this remake a full 1 1/2 stars out of 5! That’s it. I’m so disappointed it’s not even funny. You know when you go to eat somewhere and the food is horrible and you tell the waitress and she’ll go talk to the manager and they usually offer you something else or they’ll just take it off your bill completely? I wish AMC Theaters worked the same way and I could have gotten my money back or passes for another movie and I could go see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen next week… and really.. there is NOTHING wrong with seeing that mountain of a man on the big screen. (Just a side note.. I was disappointed with his Hercules movie but still enjoyed seeing him stand 20 feet tall).
This movie had a chance at greatness, but they failed horribly. Let me start off with the special effects. They were seriously good, but ya know what, so were the special effects in the original! I can remember when they played back the video of the light orbs and you could see people in them! It was AMAZING. This remake went a little deeper and went into the abyss that Carol Ann went into in the original. It was eerie and creepy and kinda made you sad and scared to die if this is what the after life looks like. In the original they had the scene where the investigator was eating the chicken then was going to eat the steak when he saw it moving and the maggots were in it. He spit out his chicken and saw maggots in it and ran to the bathroom where he started peeling the skin off his face. Yeah, those were kinda cheesy effects but it worked. It freaked that investigator out so much so that he left the house and didn’t return. In the new one, it is the dad who has the “vision” and it was after he took a drink of scotch or whiskey (a brown liquor) and there was no face pulling off. No, sadly it was just him vomiting worms into the sink then seeing his reflection in the spigot where black stuff kinda spilled from his eyes and nose and mouth and just like that, BAM he was fine. Now personally I’d be freaking out and running to a real mirror to see my face.
Lets move onto the clown. Okay, now this was good. I thought the clown was creepy to a point. The original had only the one clown. The remake had an entire box of clowns. Why? What did this signify? Nothing! They were just trying to scare people who already scared of clowns (ie my husband). There was no use for the additional clowns that were found in a small trap room that wasn’t explained at all! It was all just thrown in there for the “scary clown effect” so boo to them on that!
The movie itself was a lot of unanswered questions to me. In the original you became invested in the family. The backstory played out in front of your eyes. Carol Ann was born in the house so she had a special connection to the spirits. She was the one who “communicated” with them first. She was the sensitive and the main person in the story. Of course we go on to find out later in the series that the mom was a sensitive as well as the grandmother. We learn in the original that the family was established there, the father sold the houses in the development. It shows us the progression of the poltergeist coming out. This new remake did a horrible job at this. There is no back story. They don’t explain things. It’s frustrating. In fact, the more I think about the movie itself the more agitated I become. This is a new family completely, so different characters. Okay, I can deal with that but… it starts off with them moving into this house. We know the father is out of work and the mother doesn’t work so how are they affording to buy a house? Now before you go say, “Well Shannon, maybe they had money saved up”. They don’t. At one point he tries to use his credit cards to buy a trap for a squirrel that’s in the attic bedroom and 2 out of 3 of his cards are maxed out. We know they are maxed out because the very rude cashier points out to him that they are. Now I did miss a split second of something they were showing ( I was looking but apparently I missed what I was supposed to see) in the scene after he finally gets a card to work and goes to his car. He gets angry and starts hitting the horn then he looks in his review mirror and see’s something. Then he shows up at home with Pandora jewelry for his wife (which isn’t cheap) a brand new IPhone for his teenage daughter (again not cheap) a flying drone for his son (still not cheap) and pizza for the little girl Madison (Maddy for short). The wife asks how he bought it all but it’s never explained. Kinda annoyed me.
I kept hoping through the entire movie that I would become “invested” in this family but I didn’t. What they did in essences was tell the complete “original story” (minus the daughter being born in the house to establish the connection and the dad selling the houses) in 10 minutes and went straight to the strange happenings. The middle child, the boy “Griffin” in this version was the main character and was the sensitive. The tree scene was too… well.. just too! It seems as though they added it with the face melting scene just so there was some resemblance to the original. In this version it was a man who came to “Clean the house” instead of a female which was fine. He did an okay part, nothing award winning. He was a reality show star who “cleansed” houses and places. In one scene he and the father are in the girls room at the closet, the rope has been thrown through the porthole and they are trying to get Maddy back. When the camera leaves the room and goes downstairs he is standing there holding the rope w/ the father who is telling him “Don’t let me down”. When the camera comes back up to the room he is lying on the floor behind the father. WHY? WHAT HAPPENED? Did I blink and miss something? I really hate unanswered questions in movies. It’s very annoying.
At the end they get the girl back ( I won’t tell you how) and try to leave but the house won’t let them. Of course the “ghosts hunter” helps them to get out and as the family is driving away the house is exploding with the souls shooting up to the Heavens above. But the house doesn’t close in on itself and disappears. Next thing you know the family is driving a new vehicle looking to buy a new house. Now you do see that the father has taken a job (I won’t give away what) but still. They left so much out that you leave kind of feeling like they damaged the memory of the original. I guess if I had never seen the original this one would have been a good movie. Maybe the younger people will see it and think it’s cool and spooky but those of us who grew up having seen the original we know better. This movie did no justice to the original.
So there you have it. I’m sorry to have to tell anyone who was waiting to see how good of a remake this was, it’s not very good. The special effects were good but that’s all. They worried to much about them then the story. Don’t waste your money, wait for it to come out on the pay channels that you most likely already pay for and watch it then. If not, wait for Red Box to have it for a buck!
I’m so disappointed. Maybe I will go pull out my clown collection and play with them to make myself feel better!