Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
The movie is choppy, uneven and rushed. I admit a certain fondness for the original, but that does not cloud my judgement in telling you this is simply a lackluster movie. And I happen to think horror remakes are almost always worth exploring.
So… There was some good though, right?
Of course, ya goof. It’s still a movie and provided a level of entertainment. It just seems better suited for an AMC or SyFy Halloween marathon rather than 12 bucks worth.
In some ways, it’s good to know Sam Rockwell can’t always save a movie. He’s entertaining, actually both he and Rosemarie DeWitt (always respectable and lovely) are, in a “kinda-crappy-parents” kind of horror movie cliche way, kind of spot-on.
Actually, though, the two strong points for me were to two young actors, always an impressive feat.
I thought both Kennedi Clements (Madison) and Kyle Catlett (her brother, Griffin) were great. And especially in horror movies, the children can be very distracting if they’re awful. All three Bowen kids captured the creepiness and dread of the overall desired tone of the movie.
Oh, so is it scary?
While there are some good creepy visuals, nothing was particularly frightening. The scenes of the “in-between” were disturbing, for sure, and possessed clown dolls? Well that’s always terrifying.
Also, the movie does have a great freaky scene with black goo in a garage. I dug that. It was weird & unsettling.
But with the exception of the young actors, there is a lack of gravity to the other characters. We’re not invested in them or particularly like any of them. Even Jared Harris, so great at dripping weirdo/creepy charisma as Moriarty and (my personal favorite) David Robert Jones on Fringe, does not fully sell his role as Carrigan Burke. Though he is always entertaining.
So… What should I do?
Watch the original. Then check this out in HBO or something. I do enjoy comparing horror remakes. There’s such an interesting mix of homage and butchering in many.
This movie pays homage nicely, all said. It’s not ‘bad’ so much as ‘flat.’. Disappointing. However, that T.V. scene will always freak me out – no matter how it is presented.