The Poltergeist Remake Looks Surprisingly Not-Terrible

Remakes of 1970s/80s horror films are normally the sole, depressing domain of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes studio, an institution whose money-grubbing cynicism (more horrifying in and of itself than anything they’ve ever released) has brought us such wretched offal as the remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. The story isn’t much cheerier elsewhere, from Carrie to The Last House on the Left. It’s refreshing then to happen upon what would appear to be an example of someone doing it right.

Poltergeist is an undisputed classic, representing one of the highlights of Tobe Hooper’s career, directing a script co-written by Stephen Spielberg. I have no doubt that Heather O’Rourke would have a long, illustrious career at her back right now if she hadn’t tragically passed away in 1988, her performance as the young, haunted Carol Anne is so chilling you could get freezer burn from it. I know that makes no sense, I’m tired, leave me alone. Anyway, being that we now live an age of paranormal activities, insidiousness and Babadooks, it might seem like rehashing this legendary ghoul-em-up is a bit of an arbitrary thing to do, and yet.

Various attempts to make a new version have been bouncing around since 2008, but Sam Raimi stepped to the producing plate for this attempt and he does not fuck around where horror is concerned, whether you’re talking vintage Evil Dead or contemporary Drag Me To Hell. Monster House director Gil Kenan directed a script written by David Lindsay-Abaire, the man behind the Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole. Shooting took place in late 2013 with Sam Rockwell and Rosmarie DeWitt in leading roles and relative newcomer Kennedi Clements as the new child star. That, in and of itself, all sounds fairly enticing, but now the first stills of the film have appeared courtesy of USA Today and damn if it doesn’t look great, check it (warning, incoming clowns):

It certainly looks suitably and appropriately freakish and with a set release date of July 24th, expect more stills and trailers to start materialising pretty soon.

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