Directed By: Gil Kenan

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Jane Adams

The end of an era has come.  It's the real thing.  Buying the world a coke and concluding the story of Don Draper, Mad Men has ended its incredible seven season run.  While I'll certainly miss this truly one-of-a-kind show, the thing that's on my mind this weekend is a long forgotten partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Price.  That's right.  I'm talking about Lane Price and the man who portrayed him, Jared Harris.  Since his run on Weiner's acclaimed show for several seasons, he's done nothing worthwhile on the big or small screen.  Just look to films like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Quiet Ones, and this weekend's remake Poltergeist.  These films aren't exactly cinematic gems.  After becoming advertising royalty on television, it's a real shame that his career has been on anything but an upward trajectory.

Despite the fact that money is tight, Eric and Amy Bowen (Sam Rockwell & Rosemarie DeWitt) intend to purchase a new home for themselves and their three children — Kendra, Griffin, and Madison (Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett & Kennedi Clements).  When an irresistible sale lands in their lap, they make a quick purchase.  They should have resisted, however.  After the family moves into the new home, they just can't get quite acclimated.  It may be because of the fact that strange phenomena take place within the new house repeatedly.  Griffin and Madison are the first to notice.  Soon, the two realize that these aren’t just strange occurrence.  There's actually a supernatural presence in the house.  When Eric and Amy go out one night, they leave Kendra babysitting her younger siblings.  On this night, that supernatural presence strikes out at the family and gives them a reason to regret their purchase.

Poltergeist is another bad flick Jared Harris can unfortunately add to his resume.  As his on-screen character Carrigan Burke utters, this house is not clean.  There's no need to reopen this chapter in horror history.  The Poltergeist house is a franchise from a campier point in movie history that comes with its own baggage.  It just won’t work today.  In the era of Paranormal Activity, The Conjuring, and a million other ghost stories, a remake of an older supernatural franchise is an outdated move and a clear cash grab.  Given that the film is marked by an underwhelming plot and a striking lack of genuine horror, this couldn't be clearer.  This remake is an obvious attempt to piggyback off a once-venerated brand.

While Jared Harris mails in his performance and adds another poor career move to his filmography, he's not alone.  Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt certainly don't bring their best to this production either.  For their parts as Eric and Amy Bowen, they fail to deliver the comedic spark and emotional heft the film could really use to ratchet up the terror.  We know they're both fully capable of doing so.  They just choose otherwise. I can't say that the young actors portraying the Bowen children do well either, and we all typically cut child actors some slack.  They just didn't bring the charm needed to make their characters compelling in a horror movie like Poltergeist.

Poltergeist just happens to be the very brand I associate with marathons on Syfy back in the day, not with a franchise ready to be brought back to life on the big screen.  Unfortunately for me and for plenty of other moviegoers, I was right.  On this Memorial Day weekend, this dud simply disappoints.  Devoid of any horror whatsoever, another not-so-scary movie bites the dust.  Poltergeist gets a 0.09% rating.  Have a few gin martinis with this one.