A reboot of the Hooper Directed/Spielberg Produced 1982 horror Poltergeist is scheduled to arrive in theaters this summer. Children of the 1980s have mixed feelings, and with good reason. Poltergeist played on our biggest fear, that something evil would crawl through our televisions and drag us to a hell dimension. These days that process is called “streaming content”, clearly the work of a demonic entity thus confirming our suspicions. But perhaps nerds everywhere should warm up to this Sam Raimi produced reboot. Recently actor Sam Rockwell, who portrays the father in the story, sat down with Collider to quell our fears, and encourage us to see the film in a different light…(Carol Anne):
“I’ve seen the a little in looping. I hope it’s good. I really don’t know. I really wish I could tell you. I’m praying that it’s – I mean, it’s gonna be hard to live up to the first one. The first one’s pretty damn good. This one’s gonna be in 3D though, I can tell you that. The 10-year-old boy is really the protagonist this time. JoBeth Williams was the protagonist for the most part in the first one and now the kid, it’s really through his point-of-view. So it’s more of a kid’s movie so I don’t know if it’s gonna be like rated-R scary. It’s not like Conjuring type of scary. You know, it’s a different kind of movie. It’s more of an adventure. It’s essentially a child abduction film when you come down to it. I mean, the original Poltergeist is too.”
It’s hard to put one’s stamp on a film before it’s finished. So much about horror storytelling has to do with pacing, editing, and music – all of which are added after the principle shooting has wrapped. The reboot has a lot going for it with Raimi (Evil Dead, Spiderman 1 & 2) producing, Gil Kenan (Monster House) directing, and the always scene-stealingly awesome talents of both Jared Harris (Fringe, Mad Men) and Rosemarie DeWitt (United States of Tara) in supporting roles. Optimists might be convinced that this could be a break-out hit of the summer! Pessimists might cringe at the thought of a more family-focused adventure in 3D.
Of course pessimists and horror aficionados alike might also remember the equally compelling E! True Hollywood Story entitled “Curse of Poltergeist” from the early 2000’s. This fine piece of investigative journalism revealed that real skeletons had be used as props in the first two Poltergeist films thus cursing the cast, and playing a role in the death of four of the principle actors from the series (Dominique Dunne, Julian Beck, Will Sampson, and Heather O’Rourke). From this light it’s surprising that Hollywood would go near this franchise with a ten-foot pole, heeding some kind of omen from the “curse”. Fear not nerds, if anyone can side-step such mumbo-jumbo it’s the guy who played the redshirt from Galaxy Quest (and survived)!
Poltergeist is expected to be released in theaters on July 24th, 2015.