May contain spoilers…..you have been warned.
Remaking a Spielberg classic (for those who don’t know, he penned the original’s screenplay) was always going to be a tough ask as the original has achieved cult status for being a truly scary movie. I mean we have small children sucked into vortexes of evil, housing estates built over old burial grounds, things that go bump in the night, neighbours that seem to hear and see nothing at all. Ever.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well a great deal of wrongness happened here.
This re-telling …. or re-imagining as the kids like to say these days …. borrowed very heavily from its predecessor but it did so with what I am sure it saw as snarky fun but came across was snide smugness. An offhanded comment about the new estate being built over a cemetery not being as bad as one built over an ancient burial ground was a sad pre-cursor of what was to come.
Rockwell, he played the dad, is a great actor and did a good job here but his talents were wasted in the genre. He kinda hammed it up right from the start so I wasn’t sure if the movie was straight up horror or was going for an odd ball feel. When his kid disappeared and he got all serious, I couldn’t help but wonder what the first act was all about.
And who is this day and age does not call the authorities when your kid goes missing. I know it’s just a movie but you have to at least TRY to be relevant. 30 odd years ago it was vaguely believable that parents would not immediately assume the worst but today? No way. If a kid is late home from school, parents have started to panic. Nope, this was a big mistake.
The movie has some mild scares but it lacks any genuine horror, especially when compared to the Paranormal Activity or Saw juggernauts of recent years with their genuine dread and fear. These days, people want to be terrified out of their wits or grossed out until they almost throw up. Some lame story about a house with a spooky tree built over an old cemetery will just not cut it.
Don’t waste your money…..go see Mad Max instead.
1 star (okay 1 1/2 because I love Rosemarie DeWitt)
Love Flick xx
Director : Gil Kenan
Starring : Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett, Jared Harris, Jane Adams, Susan Keyward
Running Time : 93 minutes
Release Date : 21 May 2015