Remaking horror classics seems to be like sex with an ex – the obsession and the temptation seems to be too great, even though everyone agrees that the outcome will most probably be disastrous. This new take on the 1982 classic may be a rare exception.
A family buys a house in the burbs, but their new home is invaded by angry spirits. The youngest daughter talks to them through the TV (now monster flatscreens), the spirits take her and hold her captive (you’d think taking her 16-year-old sister via Tinder would have been easier, but angry spirits always favor the dramatic!). There are some nice new touches, such as the creepy clown doll who strangles children, the obligatory CGI (‘when trees attack’ – scary, or just showing off?) and of course in this contemporary setting, the ghostbusters have their own reality TV show.
The original story has a neat and simple set-up to it, with victims who are truly innocent. The themes it picks on – child abduction, the illusion of comfort in the suburbs, the mystery of which child behaviour is normal and which shows them to be in league with the supernatural – have all survived the 33-year gap. The legendary Sam Raimi and his production team do the rest.