Poltergeist: Sam Rockwell Vs. Craig T Nelson

Not to give the 2015 remake of the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg (whoever's film really was) classic too much air-time, it's more to focus on the two lead actors: Craig T. Nelson (Poltergeist 1982) Vs. Sam Rockwell (Poltergeist 2015).  Sam Rockwell for me has been one of the best actors around (Confessions of A Dangerous Mind,  Moon and Choke). But when I heard he was getting the part once performed by the great Craig T. Nelson in the new Gil Kenan's Poltergeist remake, half of me was expecting good things.

Aforementioned above, I will not be reviewing the film, although it's not terrible by any means. Quite pleasing that at least the essence of the original is still present, but with some modern day iPhones and Macbooks' thrown in.

Sam Rockwell stars as Eric Bowen, a father going through a tough time financially, Rockwell portrays those elements perfectly. I'm not sure how intensely 'into' this performance Rockwell is, I do feel a sense of an actor going through the motions with this performance. But with Rockwell as we've seen in so many of his best performances, there's a good mix of his comedic value and his general weight as a major actor. His timing is perfect when the movie needs some light-relief, and something Craig T. Nelson's performance lacked.

I do love the original,  and as much as it has it's problems in places, I always thought Jobeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson over-act at the wrong times. I never felt myself growing tiresome of Sam Rockwell despite becoming bored of the movie and I think this is part of his charm as an actor, there's no role he can't do in terms of versatility and it's just reigning in those movies that he's doing  just for the pay check.

Craig T. Nelson stars as Steve Freeling. T. Nelson is an actor who threw his upper-limit into this movie. Once Carolann goes missing, we genuinely see the decline in the character's appearance both physically and emotionally. This is something you just don't see in the 2015 remake. When Craig's character finds out later on in the movie, that the real estate moved just the headstones and not the actual bodies, he looses his shit and knocks seven shades out of the estate agent.

But in the remake, Sam's character just learns the truth and moves on to the next plan. Towards the end of 1982's Poltergeist, I think both the parental character grate on you the more time they are on screen, it's a relief when Carolann returns from the other-side.


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