Last night the first official trailer for the highly dreaded remake of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist made its way onto YouTube. My first reaction was remembering that I STILL haven’t actually watched the original all the way through; a fact that I really must sort out before this is released. My second reaction was a pre-emptive sense of despair, bumped up by recent promises made by star Sam Rockwell that it was “more of a kid’s movie than the original”. As is my ultimate stance with every remake/sequel/reboot/re-imagining/spin-off though, I decided that since this remake is happening whether I like it or not, let’s just hope they do a good job. Such optimism is usually crushed mercilessly but I always come back for more punishment. Here’s the trailer in question:
…It actually looks good…
I mean, it looks like EVERY Ghost House and/or Blumhouse horror movie made in the last 5 years but I just so happen to like them so I’m easily sold there. Whoever at Ghost House Productions fed Sam Rockwell the lines in the article I linked above certainly got the wrong memo somewhere along the line, because it doesn’t hold back on the scares. Maybe they’re really going for a “scare the whole family” approach similar to Joe Dante’s The Hole which I’m always keen on. Some cool modern takes on key images from the original, not limited to the 50-inch LCD “They’re Here” moment, show off the Raimi-influenced flair for visuals and ability to make the smallest things unsettling.
Either the completed film takes a dramatic Shyamalan-style twist in the third act where it turns out to be set in a parallel universe where smartphones work via analogue aerials like TVs did before the turn of the century or this scene is utter bullshit. Genuinely, I can’t understand why this is okay. Static doorknobs, cool. Animate clown doll, cool. House exploding into blue light, cool. But this. Nope. For the rest of the trailer I’m quite looking forward to this film, but I’ll call it now. If the above scene remains in the final cut, I’m out.