'Poltergeist' Reboot Trailer Hopes to Traumatize a Whole New Generation (VIDEO)

Poltergeist remake

If you asked me to name the one movie that I saw as a kid that completely and thoroughly scarred me for life, I wouldn’t hesitate: Poltergeist. I don’t remember how old I was when I saw it, but even though I never re-watched it as an adult, I can pretty much recite the entire movie by memory. It had quite an impact on me, that’s all I’ll say without lying on my therapist’s couch, and I can vouch that I’d rather see the just-released trailer for the 2015 Poltergeist remake a million more times than see the original ever again.

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With very few exceptions, horror remakes never quite measure up to the movies they’re based on. I’ll allow that John Carpenter’s The Thing is a great improvement on '50s era The Thing From Another World, but note that the 2011 remake/prequel pretty much sucked donkey balls.

So I’m not holding my breath that the Sam Raimi-produced Poltergeist reboot will be worth much, but I also can’t say I’m completely uninterested in a fresh take on the movie that scared the BEJESUS out of me all those years ago. In the new version, Sam Rockwell (who is totally my weird movie boyfriend, by the way) and Rosemarie DeWitt will play the parents who go looking for help when their daughter is taken by evil spirits. The supernatural researcher brought in to help them out? Jared Harris from Mad Men.

It sounds like a potentially cool spin on the iconic scares served up in the first movie ... but let’s go ahead and take a look at the trailer:

Yeah, I’m just not sure. For one thing, the current trend of startle scenes trumping legitimate dread always feels cheap to me, and there’s no reason to make something that was just plain scary in the first movie (effing CLOWNS, man) and gussy it up with the unnecessary ability to fly through the air. I’m also slightly over little brunette girls facing walls, having freaky unformed facial features and/or moving unnaturally, and digital effects that are going to look like total shit in 36 months.

Still, maybe they’re playing it safe with the trailer and the remake will have a little more going on than a series of updated jump scares. Director Gil Kenan promises that the cast and crew put a lot of effort into the project:

Whenever someone approaches material that's so beloved, there's a reflexive reaction to be worried. It's a responsibility we take very seriously. We're working to make a Poltergeist film that lives up to the original's legacy.

Interestingly, Sam Raimi hints that the TV-as-conduit theme will be amped up in this new version, thanks to modern technologies:

The original film commented on how we've let television get out of control, babysitting our kids. It's only gotten worse with the handheld portable devices. Screens are everywhere.

Haunted iPods! Demon Kindles! Yes, but will this new movie permanently damage young people and make them forever terrified of thunderstorms, pools, ancient burial grounds, static displays, and the phrase, “Run to the light, Carol Anne”? We’ll just have to see when this comes out in July.

What do you think of this Poltergeist trailer? Does it look as scary as the original?


Image via YouTube

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