At First Glance: “Poltergeist (2015)”

There may be hope for remakes yet. Wait… Did I just say that? That I did! Don’t get used to it. It’s incredibly rare to actually get a film that far exceeds that of the original, but it happens. Even more amazing, is to get a trailer for a remake film that already has me more excited than I previously thought I could or would be.

The upcoming 20th Century Fox film “Poltergeist”, might not have all the things that make the original so memorable, but it certainly is going to work hard to scare you and pay homage to what came before.

This horror thriller stars Sam Rockwell (“Loitering with Intent”, “Laggies”), Rosemarie DeWitt (“Men, Women & Children”, “Kill the Messenger”), Jared Harris (“The Boxtrolls”, “The Quiet Ones”), Saxon Sharbino (“Touch”, “Trust Me”), Kennedi Clements (upcoming “Wayward Pines”, “Jingle All the Way 2”), Kyle Catlett (“The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet”, “The Following”) and Jane Adams (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, “Axe Cop”).

The film is directed by Gil Kenan (“City of Ember”, “Monster House”), and written by David Lindsay-Abaire (“Oz the Great and Powerful”, “Rise of the Guardians”).

The film is expected to hit theaters on July 24, 2015.

I’m so incredibly amazed at how I’ve responded to the trailer, and thus the idea of this remake. It helps that there are people involved that know the horror genre pretty well. Sam Raimi, a producer of many things and director, let’s not forget that, directed “The Evil Dead” and produced the remake “Evil Dead”, so that’s so helpful for getting me on board. “Evil Dead” was definitely one remake that was lucky to turn out quite good (my opinion), and end up being totally worth it. I never pass up an opportunity to watch it if I’m at my parent’s house, and it’s on one of those movie channels. Anyway, it looks like it could actually be a fantastic Summer film, which is another thing to point out, it’s a Summer film!

The thing I want to say about the cast is quick. I like them. The kid actors, are new to me, so on to the adults! I’ve seen Rockwell, DeWitt, and Harris in numerous things, and they look great already, so I’m expecting many great things from them with these characters, plus good performances!!

FREAKY CLOWN!!! Now this serves two purposes. One… okay, maybe three, let’s see if I can stretch it to the third one. One, this clown just shows how much of competition it is when it comes to giving any level of horror fan what they want. In the last decade, and even the last few years, there’s been so many things, be they creepy dolls or masks or creatures, that are being designed to really put you on edge. Things that really get that fear going and make you incredibly afraid, not just after the film is done, but during. That’s when you know you have a good film. Okay, probably pretty good, but sometimes even, a great film! Second, it’s a creepy clown. Clowns for many are creepy in general. Ronald McDonald is creepy in general. [Shudders] So, this film has that going for it, which is okay, I guess. Third (wooho!), there’s the fact that there’s a creepy clown. It’s vastly different from the original, which makes sense on so many levels, but it’s different enough (according to the trailer), so it’ll have, I’m hoping, more it can do. The one in the original was very limited, or just used in a very limited capacity. This new one, looks like it could kick the other clowns ass. It, if you hadn’t figured it out, throws back to the original. I can’t say straight out if it’s a bad thing, mainly as I’m sure most audience members would be expecting to see a clown. It was practically a given.

The special effects, are of course going to be updated and look better, but that doesn’t actually mean it’ll make the film scary or even close to scary. It will certainly keep you in the moment a little better than if you were watching the original and expected high quality graphics. Yeah, you’re not going to get that per se. If you scare easily or can get into the film pretty deeply, then those effects will work just fine. But, hey, it was the early 1980s, so you can’t really complain. Instead, look upon them with awe and amazement, as the work accomplished for that time was fantastic! Keeping all that in mind, I’m pretty confident in the way the special and visual effects are going to look in the film.

The thing I hate about the trailer the most, which fortunately will be drowned out in just the coming weeks, is that this film’s trailer seems to give a lot of its best moments away. I am fully aware, of course, that you have to give people something. There needs to be a reason for anyone to pay 10 dollars, if not more, for a ticket. So, whomever cut this trailer, did just that. However, while there’s enough that fully gets me on board, it’s also enough too make me wonder, are there any scares left? I looked closely and there are a ton of recognizable moments, again as a throwback, that I’m not sure what else can be done. I don’t recall hearing much score, so maybe that will help scare or creep me out a bit. I’m not changing my mind on wanting to see this, but I am now going to be a little more cautiously optimistic than before.

While I still detest remakes, or simply the idea that we need to remake/reboot something, I can’t fully say that I don’t spend quality time analyzing the new version. It’d go against every fiber of my being. It also, more simply, lets me know if something will indeed look like crap or not. Seldom am I eager to see a remake, but here, once again, I’ll gladly watch any footage I can until the film comes out. Then, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to watch it in theaters!

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