This movie is not on my rewatch list for a number of reasons; however, it all stems from one central reason: the delivery. On the surface, I buy the premise for this movie; a girl attracts an evil spirit and starts to feel like she losing her mind. Her parents don’t believe her, her siblings don’t either, or her friends. The film even provided backstory hint alluding to the reason why the parents are overprotective due to a previous stalker situation that the family still hasn’t gotten over. Nicely done on that score; however, a lot of the allure is lost simply because of the way the information is provided.
At first blush, I took this to be a suspense-themed film; trouble is the story does a poor job at building suspense. First thing I would have change is the score; to truly build suspense you need an eerie score that sets the mood for the audience. Now, I understand that money is a factor, but you have to pay for quality to achieve your goal.
Next up, the tempo needed to be sped up a little bit in the beginning. I felt like things were unraveling too slowly; subtlety is an underappreciated art form, I am aware, but it would have been more beneficial to increase the events being carried out by the spirit in the beginning. Ominous creaks and scattered flowers were not enough to ramp up the panic level. Plus more unexplained activity would have help sell the performance of the lead actress as she struggles to make sense of what is happening. It also would have been a nice addition to back story hints as well as addiung to making the overall experience slightly scarier.
Another flaw was the special effects, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, because it goes back to my earlier point about financing. I don’t want to keep beating the movie up over something that may have been out of their control; you can’t help it if the budget is tight. Nevertheless, I feel obligated to point out the cheesy appearance of the poltergeist, especially during its initial attack scene. Again, I don’t mean to beat it up, but perhaps had the shot been done from the victim’s point of view rather than a wide shot, it would have gone over better. Or at least it would have with me, because then it would have eliminated the need to see the character struggle against the spirit as well as limit the appearance of the spirit. For example, seeing less of something forces our imagination to fill in the gaps for us, and as any veteran horror fan will tell you, what we imagine is always so much worse than the reality.
In conclusion, it all comes down to delivery. Everything else is secondary to the way you delivery the story. The Poltergeist of Borley Forest did not deliver a suspenseful story in a way that would make me fully invested. Good premise; I was intrigued by that, but not enough to hold my interest and look past the other aspects I did not enjoy.