It is more to be discussed than experienced, if only it had the sassiness that it was building towards.
Hooper is a messy filmmaker. He makes messy films. Full on. Widen your imagination as much as you can and he has got that too. Blood baths, annoying amount of screeching and screaming and more cringe worthy images than probably necessary. All of this comes under his recipe to make a fine horror film; a classic to be honest. The director Tobe Hooper has Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais and Mark Victor as writers in his backroom and there are no regrets. And Spielberg is going all the way in on his signature emotionally cheap family drama dose that works, as always, all the time in the film.
In fact, that is the only thing binding this unholy spirited house with one single thread. For daft performance, cheesy visual effects and dogmatic opinionated characters are pushing the film out of the window whenever they get the opportunity. And adding to those teary sketchy scenes is the mythology weaved as a narrative. And even though it’s rigid and arrogant in its views, there is enough room for you to rest comfortably.
Just the whole portal and the other dimension and the way it functions, every bit of that aspect of the storytelling is squeezed properly for a satisfying experience. The horror, the humor and the drama, it checks off this list boldly whenever it faces its demons. It also concerns for the generation gap, property investment, gullibility, misuse of resources and taking it all for granted, into account to ground the film with deeper resonant themes. The supporting characters are also saving this illegal activity surprisingly and smartly. I mean, the guests entering this haunted house are more comfortable than the ghosts, the Poltergeist, demanding not equal, but all the rights to the land that they supposedly own- talk about a bad investment and a bad day.