POLTERGEIST: Then and Now, with Dueling Trailers

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Remakes are not a new idea in Hollywood. Anything but. And, horror is just another genre to rip off these days.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I do think that with thoughtful writing and the advances in special effects, a remake might not be so bad. More to the point, for me, as long as it’s scary, bring it on.

Poltergeist, the classic horror film that I first saw at the inappropriate age of two, is on the 2015 remake list. Die hard fans of the original might live in fear that it won’t be as scary. But I project that the new version will be a fright classic in its own right.


poltergeist-movie-poster-1982-1020168887 Story telling narration, thoughtful editing, and just enough to scare the pants off of you. Written by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor, this frightening family horror was pretty traumatizing.

Directed by Tobe Hooper, of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame, Poltergeist really amped up everyone’s fear of clowns. Although it would be another eight years before Stephen King’s IT came to the big screen and solidly established coulrophobia in everyone’s psyche.

The Poltergeist set was fraught with all sorts of mysterious happenings. The skeletons used as props on both the original and the first sequel were later discovered to be just that; real human skeletons. Talk about “not okay!”

The film’s zeitgeist is aptly captured in the original 1982 trailer.


remake poltergeist poster

Very much updated, this film is firmly set in the present.

Penned by David Lindsay-Abaire, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer who, up until now, has been best known for scripting family friendly screenplays like Robots and Oz The Great and Powerful Oz. Poltergeist is quite the departure in genre for him and I look forward to his version. Sam Rockwell and Rosemaire DeWitt will fill the shoes worn by Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams in the original. Horror legend Sam Raimi produces while Gil Kenan, also with only family films on his resume, directs.

It’s quite an interesting mix of folks familiar with and new to the horror genre, but with Raimi in the producer’s chair, I have to trust my gut that the scares will be there. And, that stupid clown is still there for sure.

Some of the scenes look as though they’ve been structured shot for shot to the original. I will admit it, I am pretty excited — based on what I’ve seen in the trailer.

Thoughts on the remake? We’d love to hear them!

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