When the Tobe Hooper-directed, Steven Spielberg-written-and-produced "Poltergeist" scared its way into theaters in the summer of 1982, it quickly became the quintessential blueprint for all suburban haunted-house movies to follow and an offspring of the kind of serious cinematic summertime thrills and chills Spielberg brought to 1975's "Jaws." Three-plus decades later, it still holds up spectacularly well, the key to its success not only in its power to creep the viewer out, but in its perceptive and sympathetic portrayal of an everyday nuclear family. The "Poltergeist" reboot, as it has been labeled by the filmmakers and marketing department, is really just a remake, and pretty much a faithful one at that. When a film relies so heavily on the story beats of the original version, it is difficult to carve out a place for itself without constantly inviting comparison. This "Poltergeist," then, never quite escapes from the shadow of its predecessor, but gets a lot of mileage out of Gil Kenan's (2006's "Monster House") polished direction and the sheer likeability of his cast.
The Bowen family—parents Eric (Sam Rockwell) and Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt), and children Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and Madison (Kennedi Clements)—have just moved into a slightly run-down single-family home on the opposite side of town. With Amy a stay-at-home mom trying to kickstart a writing career and Eric unemployed for too long after an untimely layoff, they have had no choice but to downsize their way of life. Their struggles with credit card debt and providing for their kids soon become the least of their worries when 6-year-old Maddie suddenly goes missing and reappears as a voice through the static of their television screen. Faced with circumstances so wild they don't dare go to the authorities, the family instead seek the help of Dr. Brooke Powell (Jane Adams), a parapsychologist who informs them they are dealing with dangerous poltergeist activity. As it turns out, the Bowens' home was built years ago atop a cemetery; while the headstones were relocated prior to the construction, the bodies were left behind.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review