The “Poltergeist” Remake is still alive! The 1982 Steven Spielberg produced masterpiece was a groundbreaking horror film, described as being ahead of its time when it was released. The idea of remaking the cult classic horror film has been embraced by some with anticipation, and mostly by others with negativity. It is still unclear as to whether the Poltergeist reboot will be a remake of the 1982 film or will it be a sequel. The film was initially set to be released in November 2010, but nothing positive was happening for a while to push things forward. At one point it was easy to assume that the movie was not happening anytime soon or that the production was canned.
We will try to put things in perspective with this update:
Director, Producers and Production:
MGM confirmed a while ago that they are moving forward with their remake of “Poltergeist”. They have also signed a deal with Fox 2000 Pictures to co-finance the film, and have organized worldwide distribution. Monster House director Gil Kenan will helm the reboot from a script written by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz the Great and Powerful). The “Monster House” and “City of Ember” director is definitely a wild card considering his short resume and lack of experience.
The sole reason to be excited about the remake is the inclusion of horror duo Sam Raimi and Robert G. Tapert who are serving as producers. We can rest assured that Raimi and Tapert will assist to manage fan expectations. Raimi and Tapert made names for themselves as one of the best Horror director/producer teams in the business. They are seasoned veterans in the art of scaring people and boast with many successful horror titles that are loved by many fans of the genre. Based on the duo’s last remake they produced of their own original horror franchise “The Evil Dead”, I am sure many will agree that with their guidance we don’t have to be concerned with Kenan serving behind the lens. Raimi and Tapert will produce the “Poltergeist” reboot via their Ghost House Pictures banner along with Roy Lee, while Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Filming started in September in Toronto, Canada.
The “Old” and “New” stories:
The 1982’ “Poltergeist” tells the story of the Freeling family who’s tormented by the many spirits that inhabit their home, which is built on an old Indian burial ground.
The “new” story is about a man called Eric Bowen who moves his family to a new town. Cash-strapped and hoping to make a new start in an outdated suburban home they are confronted with an angry spirit. His youngest daughter is kidnapped under mysterious circumstances with the only clues leading to the poltergeist as the culprit.
How has the story changed?
- The father in the new take is called Eric Bowen, rather than Steve Freeling.
- The Freeling family were already in their home when they were harassed by the spirits. The Bowen’s are new arrivals.
- Zelda Rubinstein, who played the psychic Tangina in the original Poltergeist trilogy, sadly passed away a few years ago. She is replaced by a number of new experts in the field of the supernatural.
- Eric Bowen’s wife, Amy Bowen, has the ability to communicate with the dead, and his ex-wife, Dr. Brooke Powell, works as a parapsychologist at the local university, and will more or less play the same role as Dr. Lesh by bringing in a team of researchers to investigate the house.
- Carrigan Burke is a new addition, he hosts a TV show called Haunted House Cleaners, who is apparently unfazed by the manifestations of the supernatural.
The storyline seems more or less the same with the premise holding on to a haunted house, a kidnapping and paranormal investigators. Even though the two stories carry similar thematic elements, it’s difficult to classify the “new” Poltergeist as a “true” remake considering the changes as mentioned. The “new” film will share themes with the original, but is a completely different story. Producers Raimi and Tapert will take a similar approach which proved successful with their “Evil Dead” remake released last year.
Sam Rockwell will take on the role as Eric Bowen, Rosemarie DeWitt as his wife and Saxon Sharbino has been cast as 16-year-old Kendra Bowen (the eldest of the three Bowen children). The film is supported by Jared Harris, Nicholas Braun, Jane Adams, Kennedi Clements and Kyle Catlett.
Poltergeist is set to be released on February 13th, 2015. (Friday the 13th!)