5 reasons why the Poltergeist remake won't work.
I try not to be narrow minded. Before whenever I heard the dreaded term "remake" I would groan, roll my eyes, and bitch constantly about what a slap in the face it would be to the original. I mean I remember back when they announced the Dawn Of The Dead remake, I got on my high horse saying I was going to boycott it. Well, in the end as it turned out I ended up seeing the Dawn remake several times when it was released and ended up down right loving it. Was this film as iconic and good as the original? Hell no! But as modern telling or standalone film it was great. In fact, this has happened to several other remakes. I love the original Hills Have Eyes, but ended up really enjoying the remake and thought it was down right terrifying. This goes as well for the My Bloody Valentine remake as well. Now the Prom Night, Black Christmas, and When A Stranger Calls, weren't anything to hold a candle to with the original classic films, but still are huge guilty pleasure movies for me. What leaves a sour taste in audiences' mouths are remakes that are just cranked out to make money quickly and don't improve or tell a standalone story from the original (Cough, cough - A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Fog, ect.) So many films have been remade but I've matured enough to know that they will never take away from the original film. That no matter what the originals will still be there waiting for fans.
When I learned Poltergeist was getting the remake treatment I wasn't at all susprised. I mean they seriously are remaking almost every horror film that's been released. It's only a matter of time that every film is targeted. Poltergeist is a classic Hooper/Spielberg film released in 82 and very well reflected the time it was made in. I'm a huge sucker or haunted house movies (Burnt Offerings, Rose Red) so as soon as I heard Sam Raimi was attached my ears perked up, and I decided to wait and see before any judgement was made. Well the trailers came out, and well…I hate to say it, I'm not very impressed. Now for all I know I'll see the movie and love it and this entire post will be a waste of time, but until then…here are my reasons on why I believe the Poltergeist remake won't work.
1) No Heather O'Rourke
- I understand that life movies on. Hell, it just dawned on me that John Carpenter's classic Assault on precinct 13 was remade in 2005 and the late Dawrin Joston was replaced. His character being played by Lawrence Fishburne. This isn't a slap in the face, it's just a new actor playing the same character. But that's never how I look at it. There will always be on Wilson in Assault, and that being played by Joston. Sometimes actors playing roles years later, know they have pretty big shoes to fill and the job isn't exactly always easy. Still, I'll give credit where credit is due. Sometimes, and I stress not always the actor gives it their all to pay tribute. With this remake, there is no Carol Ann character. Instead there is a little girl named Madison "rolls eyes" who does indeed get taken by the spirits of the house. This little girl does seem adorable, but I'll cast judgement after I watch the film. I understand this is all about making money, but Heather was the true star of the first three movies and seeing the films move on without her breaks my heart. Hey at least they didn't make it a direct sequel and have somebody else play her part.
2) Not set during the 1980's
- Everyone loves a modern telling of a classic tale, but what made Poltergeist so good was the fact it was set during the 1980's. Tract housing was huge, cramming in as many units as possible to all look exactly the same. I loved the Star Wars posters and sheets, the old school toys, and how simple it was back then. I mean I highly doubt they are going to have the two parents laying in bed smoking dope. Just something about the Freeling family was very likable. The parents were hippies that started their family young, and are now somewhat settled down trying to live the american dream. Just looking around the house gives you pleasant memories of a more simple time with gold railings going up a staircase. (What only my house?) What can I say, these 1980's movies (ET) with a messy crammed house always brought back warm fuzzy memories for me.
3) No scientist, an Irish/English Priest?
- Argh, a huge reason why I loved Poltergeist was that it's original idea came from The Entity that was released just a year before. A group of scientist try to find a logical reason behind whatever is going on, only to learn they can't explain it. I feel a priest character should belong in films like The Exorcist, or The Omen. Just hearing the priest tell everyone to clear their minds had me rolling my eyes. I think this film is trying to be ten different movies at once. I mean bring in me some clueless scientist that have zero idea what's going on, bring in huge clunky equipment, and have the shit scared out of them. I better see tribute paid to the original movie. If somebody doesn't see maggots burst out of a steak i'm going to scream!
4) CGI realness
- I understand CGI improves films. But nowadays, only if it's blended in nicely with practical effects. Plenty of films do it, why not this one? From what I saw from the trailer, is a BUNCH of CGI. Even the TV screen! Also, yeah creepy clown but, seeing it fly around gives me horrible flashbacks to the Carrie remake. I want awesome shots like people clawing their face away, giant grasshopper monsters, corpses popping out of pools, children sliding across floors, and of course flawless shots like the chairs all being stacked together in one single tracking shot! Is that too much to ask?!
5) No Zelda Rubinstein
- You might have this Irish/English priest character, but where's the short adorable little psychic? Zelda Rubinstein made horror history with her over sized glasses, cute little walk, and of course classic line "This house is clear." Along with Heather, she's the only character to return for all 3 films. Zelda is yet another cast member who passed away over the years, adding to the Poltergeist curse. It just seems the lack of memorable characters just aren't there. Like I said I don't want to judge a book by it's cover, but all of these characters from the trailer seemed paper thin. No development, no nothing. Eh, just not feeling it.
Like I said, for all I know this remake could really be awesome. But these 5 key reasons are why I'm not going into it with high hopes. But you never know until you check it out. This remake is due out later this month and let's see if we can capture just a little of the original magic!