The Poltergeist Diaries takes the well-worn and out-played found-footage paranormal horror themes and tropes of the movies and turns them into a series. A 10-episode series that comes in at around 250 minutes overall. If that makes your blood run cold, then it’s best you stay away from this Amazon series.
Had this been a movie, coming in at around 70-80 minutes, the complaints about the ‘same-old’ stuff cropping up would be valid but more forgivable. To get through this entire series of exhausting clichés, horrid filming techniques and jarring jump scares, you have to drag yourself through nearly 4 hours of content. Whatever goodwill it creates with some creepy atmospheric moments and early build is dashed to the wind come the halfway point.
Putting it simply, if you’ve ever seen any paranormal horror before, you’ve seen The Poltergeist Diaries. Things go bump in the night. Everyone films no matter what happens and the ‘terror’ is mostly made up of loud noises and people jumping out at the camera. Such fun and there’s 250-odd minutes of this.
The plot surrounds a man who moves to a new home only to discover it has a poltergeist. Initially amazed, it begins to cause him problems but leaving isn’t on the cards as this poltergeist follows.
It seems almost impossible for such a bare bones concept to be dragged out as a series, yet it is. Resulting in many an episode that has the most minimal of developments. Quickly, very quickly, it becomes all too apparent that The Poltergeist Diaries has no tricks up its sleeves and it will play out exactly as you expect.
After only a couple of episodes, its story feels played out and the repetitive scares have no impact. By the final episode, it is still doing ‘people hear noises so they go and investigate’. Tiresome is the polite way to describe this and the less said about the ‘is that it?’ ending, the better.
Of course, as established earlier, this is a found-footage series and all the worse for it. Now, it is not the worst example of this horrid style of horror but it’s not far off. All logic goes out the window as everything is filmed. Regardless of terror, regardless of context, regardless of events…it’s all filmed.
Then we have all the tropes you expect from this style. Peering into darkness, shaky camera work and static, obnoxiously loud noises that threaten to blow out speakers and of course, everyone’s favourite…running and holding the camera at an angle where you can’t see a thing.
Bravo, The Poltergeist Diaries. You’re worse then a ton of found footage movies thanks to you being nearly 4 hours long and doing absolutely nothing original.
The Poltergeist Diaries (2018)
The Final Score - 2/10