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Joe Dante… sometimes you wonder where all these legendary filmmakers of times past end up, what they do twenty, thirty years after rising to fame (Piranha, Howling, Twilight Zone, Gremlins… what a run between 1978 and mid-eighties!). In a recent interview with him, I learned what he was doing the last three years, at least: waiting for his film to be released. Seems that with they were shooting in authentic 3D, waited for more cinemas to be able to present it properly, and then were overtaken by a deluge of retrofitted 3D Summer blockbusters that occupied all the screens. Finally, last year in the UK, and recently in the US, they managed a limited  release, but apparently with a pretty disheartened distributor. What else could explain that this film is not the kids Summer hit of the year? It has all in it: ghosts and ghouls, clowns and comedy, young love and young adventure. The motives are classic: haunted house (maybe), evil forces (definitely), late revenge, ignorant adults and brave kids. What’s not to like? One way of assessing it is as a film that is brave enough to old-fashioned, and maybe that’s what broke its neck at the box office? The recent efforts in old-fashioned’ness did not pay off too well (I remember being very underwhelmed by “Super 8” myself). I hope this one has a long life on the DVD shelves of modern kids, it does not look as if it would look outdated very soon, it may have the Poltergeist spirit in it.

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