Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 25
  2. Negative: 6 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    May 19, 2015
    70
    While Hooper favored shock value and jump scares, Kenan and cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe construct far more fluid sequences as the camera glides and hovers over its subjects, reserving the most impactful shots for the climactic scenes, particularly a concluding sequence that’s particularly thrilling.
  2. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    May 22, 2015
    67
    The only really frightening thing about the 2015 version of Poltergeist is how haunted it is by the original.
  3. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 22, 2015
    63
    This serviceable remake sticks fairly closely and smartly to the same plot, with the same scary objects and even the line, “They’re here.”
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    May 22, 2015
    60
    The new Poltergeist is a pleasant enough diversion, better as a low-simmer suspense story than a full-blown effects extravaganza.
  5. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    May 22, 2015
    60
    All in all there’s not much to complain about here, except that — as with a lot of revisited classics — the story’s not as revolutionary as you remember it. For veterans of the 1982 Poltergeist, it’s more like scary but pleasant nostalgia.
  6. Reviewed by: Phil Hoad
    May 22, 2015
    60
    It’s a shame Kenan can’t muster his own bit of gothic shorthand for post-credit crunch America, but the film still has a fluid, 3D-orientated immediacy.
  7. Reviewed by: Eddie Goldberger
    May 22, 2015
    60
    It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but Poltergeist is a solid, surprisingly effective chiller.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    May 21, 2015
    60
    Mostly it’s a scare machine, and in this respect Kenan’s is the more efficient telling, its VFX lubricating all that now creaks about the original.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    May 19, 2015
    60
    Poltergeist, while entertaining, has more in common with slick, audience-goosing spookers like "Insidious" and "Sinister" than with the imaginative original.
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    May 19, 2015
    60
    Very tame, but saved from the remake scrapheap by Sam Rockwell's surprisingly touching performance and a final reel that – briefly – takes the material somewhere new.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    May 19, 2015
    60
    Less a steadily escalating thriller than a guided tour through a county-fair-style haunted house, Poltergeist offers some quality jump scares, and Kenan has a knack for staging solid individual setpieces. But he proves weirdly incapable of modulation or mood setting here.
  12. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 22, 2015
    58
    Poltergeist is professional and slick and entirely fine. It's also unnecessary in every way.
  13. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    May 22, 2015
    58
    There are some chills to be had here, but they taper out exactly when the action should really be ratcheting up, and the film’s tension burns out so quickly that it might as well have been sucked into an inter-dimensional portal of its own.
  14. Reviewed by: Jesse Hassenger
    May 22, 2015
    58
    The most retro thing about the remake is its specific, outdated utility: If anyone still patronizes video stores with hard copies, and if those stores don’t happen to have the original Poltergeist (or Insidious) in stock on a Friday night, this version might do the trick.
  15. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    May 22, 2015
    50
    The remake grows less interesting as it goes, with final scares dipping into surprising lameness.
  16. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    May 22, 2015
    50
    If you’re going to remake Poltergeist without the whole TV angle, "Insidious" already kind of did that. To be fair, this new Poltergeist isn’t anything special, either. But it’s not a travesty, and that feels like cause for brief celebration.
  17. Reviewed by: Fionnuala Halligan
    May 19, 2015
    50
    A good cast including Sam Rockwell and Jared Harris wander around sincerely in what feels, at times, almost a shot-by-shot remake, and at others, an obstinately wrong-footed exercise in dabbling with the narrative.
  18. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    May 22, 2015
    40
    Ultimately, the whole affair is forgettable. The original film was promoted with the tagline "It knows what scares you." If there was a truth-in-advertising law regarding films, this movie's ad copy would read: "Poltergeist: Meh."
  19. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    May 19, 2015
    40
    A disappointingly tame and unimaginative effort, which throws away much of what was best-loved about the original and fails to find worthy replacements.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    May 22, 2015
    38
    Blase actors rob this of any prayer of being scary.
  21. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 22, 2015
    38
    There are a few decent performances, a nice riff on the technology fears that drove the original movie, and a centerpiece of horror that works, but never once do you get the feeling that the people behind this remake are here because of artistic passion or creative drive.
  22. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    May 19, 2015
    35
    Poltergeist ultimately plays like the most perfunctory of remakes, one born of rights ownership and title marketability rather than a burning desire on anyone’s part to do something interesting or provocative with a classic. The 1982 original remains unassailable, all the more so when stood side by side with its pipsqueak descendant.
  23. Reviewed by: Charles Bramesco
    May 22, 2015
    30
    Though the memory of Hooper’s picture haunts every frame of nü-Poltergeist, Kenan’s will fade unseen into the great beyond first.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 22, 2015
    25
    To call Poltergeist laughable is not the same thing as saying it’s bad (although it is that, too.) It’s just that it seems less interested in scaring you than in making you chuckle. At least on that score it succeeds.
  25. Reviewed by: Clayton Dillard
    May 22, 2015
    25
    It's the cinematic equivalent of a pat on the back accompanied by a slap in the face.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. May 23, 2015
    5
    Sticking almost religiously to the original, this version of ‘Poltergeist’ cuts down the lead-in and updates the visual effects to give youSticking almost religiously to the original, this version of ‘Poltergeist’ cuts down the lead-in and updates the visual effects to give you the most bang-for-your buck in terms of frights and therein lies the first problem, there’s just not enough build-up and time spent on the family dynamic before the weirdness starts, one of the strengths of the original, the result of which is that you’re not that emotionally invested in what eventually happens to them.

    Problem number 2 is more serious and goes to the heart of the film, ‘Poltergeist’ is not the worst remake of a classic horror film, in fact it may be the best, but like all the others it’s underwhelming and completely redundant.

    So what’s the purpose?, to get butts in cinema seats of course and we can’t blame 20th Century Fox for that, but we can’t forgive the premium charged for perhaps the most pointless 3D ever which further entrenches our position that, for the most part, 3D remains a gimmick that doesn’t enhance the cinematic experience.

    So what we’re left with is a film that in isolation is a decent suspenseful horror that’s somewhat family friendly and well crafted, but nothing exists in isolation so ‘Poltergeist’ is just another example of how horror remakes don’t work, whether you stay faithful to the original or re-invent the scary wheel.

    The Bottom Line…
    Slick, suspenseful and scary, ‘Poltergeist’ might be worth a cinema trip for those who haven’t seen the original, for those who have there’s really nothing here for you and for everyone, we strongly suggest watching the 1982 original.
    Full Review »
  2. May 22, 2015
    7
    If you're stingy about remakes, stop reading now and stay far away from this movie.

    Okay now that the basics are gone, this was actually a
    If you're stingy about remakes, stop reading now and stay far away from this movie.

    Okay now that the basics are gone, this was actually a good movie. Good. Not great. It's obviously more inspired by the likes of Insidious than the original Poltergeist, which does make this significantly different than the original. It's certainly not a shot-for-shot remake. The first act is really busy with a lot of scares popping out at you like a haunted house at a carnival, but some of them are very well constructed. After calling the paranormal investigators, it does become significantly more tame. It's never boring, but the scares die down after the 30 minute mark. The scares also get a little more intelligent. There's one scene in particular involving a drill that could rival anything from the original movie. It's a very scary and clever scene that is certainly the most memorable part of the movie. The performances from a majority of the cast are very good, especially Sam Rockwell. What surprised me most was the last 15 minutes. It went a direction I certainly didn't expect, and it ended the movie very well. The biggest problem with this movie is that it is underwhelming for the most part, and the short running time doesn't allow the viewer to really connect to the family. Poltergeist is still a satisfying and worthy remake of the classic; just don't expect to lose any sleep over it.
    Full Review »
  3. May 24, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This actually impressed me quite a bit. Going in, I thought that I was getting an almost shot-for-shot remake with a few modern touches (like a flat screen TV), but what I got was a modern re-imagining of a classic that only kept the basic plot. There were some really cool effects, like the world of the undead. Watching the movie, I didn't find any technical errors, but there were probably plenty looking back. The issue to me was that what I thought would be the scariest sequences actually made me laugh, but they were still a good time. So if you are a fan of the original or the horror genre, this is a must. Full Review »