They’re heeeere all over again, as Poltergeist looks to scare up some box office this Memorial Day weekend. And as any producer behind an enterprising film looking to make a splash will tell you, 3D is the way to go if you want that little extra margin of box office grosses. Which means it’s once again time to ask that immortal question Shakespeare would ask if he existed within our time: To 3D Or Not To 3D!
Now while we won’t be evaluating the quality of the film itself, we will be telling you if you should seek out your nearest 2D screening or if you should give up the ghost and go three dimensional all over this baby! So put away the mouthwash, secure your clown collection, and follow us into the light as we score Poltergeist’s 3D worthiness!
Poltergeist is a middle-of-the-road sort of prospect when it comes to a 3D conversion. While some elements would make excellent 3D gags on a good day, there isn’t really too much material in this film that screams for a third dimension. The fact that this was announced in 3D was bewildering, to be honest, because Poltergeist is one of the last movies you’d think would need a 3D component.
Planning & Effort Score
3D conversion is the name of the game for Poltergeist, as the film was converted over to the next dimension by the good folks at Legend 3D. It seems like the 3D was a little bit of an afterthought on the filmmaking end, though, as there aren’t really a lot of moments that fully take advantage of the format. The few gags that do show up work wonderfully, however, so the film has that going for it.
Before the Window Score
While the planning and effort of Poltergeist's 3D isn’t particularly up to par, the execution is still on point. A scene involving a pyramid of comic books, as well as the spirit realm itself, are highlights of the film’s third-dimensional moments. Unfortunately, there aren’t any flinch-worthy moments in the film, but there is an impressive scene with a menacing willow tree grabbing a child through a window.
Beyond the Window Score
The highlight of Poltergeist's 3D undoubtedly is the beyond-the-window factor! This is best shown in a scene where the Bowen family are staggered in front of and behind the living room couch, and not only do the individual members look good in 3D, but so does the "distance" between them. Watch out for some really cool depth-perception tricks in the spirit realm, as well.
For a film as dark as Poltergeist can be from a lighting perspective, the 3D was surprisingly bright. While the superior Mad Max: Fury Road had a little bit of a problem with night-time action, Poltergeist has no problem with darkly lit rooms being rendered in a way that the audience can see them.
Glasses Off Score
The blur is strong with this one, as you’ll see the moment you lift your glasses over your eyes during Poltergeist. While there’s a fairly consistent level of blur, the image is a little cleaner than some of the other 3D on the market. There’s some front and center clarity in some of the film’s more intimate moments, but even in those moments the background is alive with action.
Audience Health Score
For the most part, the 3D is a pretty even keeled when it comes to the eyes and stomach of the audience. That said, Poltergeist actually had a couple of moments where the motion was a little straining, and those moments involve the sequence involving the spirit realm and a remote-controlled drone. Whether it’s following the motion of the drone, or the POV shots from the drone’s camera, those sequences are a little hard to experience.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: While Poltergeist gets the conversion part of the 3D equation right, it doesn’t really feel like the sort of movie that needs a third dimension. There aren’t too many moments that really justify the usage of the medium, but the execution of the 3D is marginally hampered by that drone sequence. 3D horror is a great concept, but if filmmakers are going to release their films with the extra bells and whistles, they really should include some more bang for the buck.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.