The Good: Similar to the movie Insidious, this film presents a nice, creepy interpretation of the spirit world. It also tries in many ways to pay homage to the original Poltergeist (1982) film. You'll notice some memorable scare tactics are used and some quotes as well. The film also makes a decent attempt at utilizing the 3D special effects in combination with the scary scenes.
The Bad: This was what I call, "ABC-123 Horror". It followed the typical formula of the horror movies we're already accustomed to, and that takes away a lot of the scare factor. You'll see the setups for the scary parts coming a mile away. They'll still get you with a jump scare, but you won't be having any nightmares later that night. (Unless you're afraid of clown dolls. If you are, you're screwed.) The movie also has some points where it tries to lighten the mood with very subtle humor, but it only further distracts from the overall feel of horror. There are some scenes that seem to have some serious potential for being really creepy and then...nothing. (Kind of reminds me of this). Carrigan Burke (played by Jared Harris) serves as the spiritual expert in this film, but falls short of filling the shoes of the late Zelda Rubinstein. (You'll miss her famous line even more now.) Last but not least, I cannot forget to mention the characters. One minute they seem rational and brave, and the next minute they're just stupid. The kids are all bad and annoying. I'll just say this... I couldn't be their parent. -_-
The Reason: One would think that this film would be modernized for this generation but sadly it just doesn't come close. It almost seemed like the film was stuck on using 1990's horror tactics, and not even come close to the likes of The Conjuring, for example. The jump scares are there, but again, you get over them rather quickly. I feared that this film had much more expectations riding on it due to it's hype back in the 80's. The movie just misses the mark at being a solid horror, and I expect it will sadly be forgotten rather quickly. If you do decide to go see it in theaters, (which I'm not recommending), see it as a matinee. Oh, and save your money on the 3D. It just wasn't enough to justify even the few extra dollars. On second thought, I'm not sure I'd recommend this even as a watch at home/rental/download. Just writing this review is making me feel even more disappointed. *sigh*
The Rating: 6/10