Two 'Poltergeist' Remake Trailers Haunt Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie Dewitt

Thursday, 05 February 2015 09:52 Written by  iamrogue
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Two 'Poltergeist' Remake Trailers Haunt Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie Dewitt

The poster declares that the Poltergeist remake is a "terrifying new vision," but the first two trailers make it clear that this vision looks a lot like Tobe Hooper's.

Maybe it's just the trailers, but this take on the material looks very, very similar to the 1982 original.  Some names have been changed, the TVs are bigger, there are smartphones in play, and Zelda Rubenstein's beautifully weird Tangina has been replaced by Lane Pryce from Mad Men, but by and large, this Poltergeist sticks to the original's playbook.

Hooper and Steven Spielberg's suburban haunted house movie was a rare effects-driven horror tale, and this version, from director Gil Kenan and producer Sam Raimi, sticks to that.  Of course, the effects are digital now, but they actually look well-executed.

Regardless of how nicely done the effects and some of the scares are, though, there's a smell of familiarity here that's about more than this being a remake.  Poltergeist has been influential for decades, providing inspiration for all manner of horror films.  So even though Poltergeist preceded a lot stuff like, say, Insidious, this remake might smack of staleness to anybody not familiar with the first movie, which spawned two inferior sequels.

Like the original, the redo follows a middle class family (the Freelings in the first, the Bowens in this one) who discover their new house is thoroughly haunted when their adorable daughter is yanked out of the realm of the quick by malicious spirits. 

Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt star as the parents, with Kennedi Clements as Madison, who was named Carol Anne in the original.  Her siblings are played by Saxon Sharbino and Kyle Catlet, with the great Jared Harris stepping into the role of the powerful psychic who helps the Bowens get their daughter back.  Harris is awesome and will provide some welcome gravitas, but we'll dearly miss Rubenstein's profoundly weird, consistently entertaining presence.

Poltergeist opens in 2D and 3D (the spookiest format) on July 24th.

Here's the official synopsis and the first teaser poster:

Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi (“Spiderman,” “Evil Dead”, “The Grudge”) and director Gil Kenan (“Monster House”) contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter captive, the family must come together to rescue her before she disappears forever.

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