Compared are the Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut (both available on the US Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox)
- 8 differenes, among them 2 with alternate footage and 2 recuts
- Length difference: 432 sec (= 7:12 min)
In 1982, Steven Spielberg produced the classic horror film Poltergeist with Tobe Hooper as director. It has become common practice these days that such successful films get a remake. And in 2015, a new Poltergeist was released. This time, it was directed by Gil Kenan - knows for Monster House and City of Ember. The more interesting fact for horror fans however is that Sam Raimi was listed as producer. Unfortunately, the result can't keep up with the original and the remake leaves one behind underwhelmed. The remake is watchable but it is nothing memorable.
As reported before opening day, the remake was rated PG-13 while the original - thanks to Steven Spielberg's support - got the lower PG rating (although the PG-13 rating did not exist yet back then). At the very least, the most famous scene of the original makes it very doubtful that this would even be possible nowadays. Whether that was the reason is debatable but the matching scene in the remake is in fact rather harmless.
Shortly after opening day, we were able to inform you that an Extended Cut with approx. 7 additional minutes would be released for home theaters. Kenan explained he was very pleased with the Theatrical Version and that just a few scenes regarding the family's introduction were cut. The following comparison will shed some light on wheter or not further alterations in order to get the PG-13 rating were made as well.
The Extended Cut
...has been released on 09/29/2015 in the US. Unfortunately, only the Theatrical Version is in 3D.
Just a heads up: there is no additional violence in the Extended Cut. One jump scare is more detailed though: Griffin's encounter with the tree-like undergrowth is more delayed in the Extended Cut. Certainly not necessary but it is a nice little bonus.
Other than that, there are a few more family scenes in the first half of the movie (as mentioned earlier). Nothing that would put the movie on a new level nor do the characters have more depth. Since there is not much action in this segment anyway, the additional family footage does not lower the pace. Furthermore, there are 2 recuts in the Extended Cut. These 2 scenes now appear during the additional footage.
All in all, a rather unspectacular result - just like the movie itself. But enough with the criticism, this was just an evaluation of the different versions.
Time index refers to
Theatrical Version Blu-ray / Extended Cut Blu-ray
07:14 / 07:13-09:39
More footage of the family moving: Amy criticizes that Eric brought too much useless stuff. Eric takes the chance to play with Griffin with the baseball he brought. But Griffin seems to lack motivation because when Eric throws (admittedly pretty bad), he does not make the slightest effort to catch the ball. Thus Eric makes Griffin get the ball.
Madison is behind the house. To Griffin's question about the ball, Madison points upwards: the ball is at the treetop. When Griffin looks up, there is a blast of air and he fearfully runs back inside to his parents.
Amy calms him down by explaining it was an old tree and those make noises sometimes. Then she takes his mind off other moving things.
145.4 sec (= 2:25 min) in total
09:14 bzw 10:36-11:23 / 11:39-15:04
After Madison and Griffin admired the electrifying impact of the doorknob, there is an additional scene at night with Amy in the kitchen. A coin ends up behind the washing machine and when she bends over to pick it up, the door suddenly opens. She looks at her hand and notices some oily red fluid. Being digusted, she returns to the dining room. Eric does not seem impressed by her previous experience.
After that, Kendra watches Haunted House on TV while skyping with a friend. At some point, Amy shows up and tells her to go to sleep. This scene is also in the Theatrical Version after Griffin has been left alone in bed - hence no screenshots.
Subsequently, Amy takes care of Madison. When she comes in, Madison is sitting in front of the closet with Griffin who is holding her little toy animals like a magnet. Griffin makes a little comment about it and Amy concentrates on Madison who explains er friends were living in the closet - the "lost people". She adds they were living there but they did not like it. Amy just says the house would belong to their family now. At least for the time being.
Length of the additional footage: 157.8 sec (= 2:38 min)
28:59 / 34:02-35:06
When Eric gets home bearing gifts, there is an additional conversation between him and Amy in the master bedroom. She is worried about Griffin, he attempts to trivialize it. Money is an issue again which makes him a bit angry of course.
63.6 sec (= 1:04 min)
30:07-30:09 / 36:14-36:17
Small, insignificant alteration, the dinner starts differently: the Extended Version contains an additional shot while the first interior shot starts a little earlier in the Theatrical Version.
Extended Cut 1.6 sec longer
Alternate / Partially Recut
37:45-37:46 / 43:53-44:31
The Extended Cut contains a slightly longer shot of Griffin approaching the stairs. Then he remains still resp. he is being held by the poltergeist.
Then Kendra who is still stuck in the basement. She manages to get free and then panically calls for Griffin at the door. The freeing part is a little later in the Theatrical Version, the context of it is different as well.
Griffin still can't move and the tree is coming closer.
In the Theatrical Version, the tree takes action during the stairs. As a result, there is a lot of action in that scene.
Extended Version 36.9 sec
40:10-40:15 / 46:55
Before the shot of the parents in the car, the Theatrical Version now shows Kendra freeing herself (introduced with an additional close-up of her).
+ 4.9 sec
62:15 / 68:55-69:18
Before Carrigan Burke gets to Madison's room, he looks at the soil near the house. Amy and Kendra look disgusted.
85:11 / 92:14-92:23
Extended shot of the family driving in the street plus they avoid hitting another car.