Whenever a remake of a fan-favorite horror movie is in our future, it’s often the talk of the community, with constant news and widespread hatred spreading out all across the internet. Which is why it’s quite surprising that a big time remake is headed our way later this year… and nobody is really talking about it.
Yes, Poltergeist is next up on the remake chopping block, and we’re here today to tell you everything we’ve learned about the movie thus far.
Beginning in 1982, the original Poltergeist franchise was comprised of three films, the first sequel coming out in 1986 and the second in 1988. The death of star Heather O’Rourke in ’88, just four months before Poltergeist 3 was released, spelled the end of the franchise, though several attempts were made in the subsequent years to continue it. Sequels like Poltergeist: In The Shadows and Poltergeist: Kayeri have been rumored and talked about in recent years, though none of them ever ended up getting off the ground.
It seemed that a sequel was being tossed aside in favor of a remake (this is Hollywood we’re talking about, after all), and news of a Poltergeist reboot began making its way onto the internet in 2008. Stiles White and Juliet Snowden, the married couple behind 2005’s Boogeyman, were tapped to pen the script, and a release date of November 2010 was soon thereafter set, with House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman in the director’s chair. Of course, that date came and went, and the film never saw release or even found its way in front of the camera. MGM was experiencing serious money issues at the time, to the point that they had to file for bankruptcy, and Poltergeist was one of the many films put on the proverbial back burner as a result.
In 2011, MGM revealed that Poltergeist had found its way back onto their radar, and initial rumors indicated that Sam Raimi would possibly be replacing Perelman. It didn’t take long for the clarification to come that Raimi wouldn’t be directing but rather producing, under his Ghost House Pictures banner. Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire was hired to write the new script, and it would be a full two years before a director was found, an announcement in March of last year confirming that Monster House filmmaker Gil Kenan was helming the ship.
With the writer and director in place, Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt were cast as the father and mother of the Bowen family, which is the remake’s answer to the original film’s Freeling family (…but more on that in a second). After Eric Bowen loses his job, he relocates his wife and three young children to a new town to start over, and in the outdated suburban home they move to, his youngest daughter Madison is kidnapped by a supernatural force. It’s up to paranormal investigator/TV show host Carrigan Burke and his parapsychologist ex-wife Dr. Brooke Powell to solve the mystery behind her disappearance.
The most interesting thing about this remake is that it will be taking place in the same universe as the original Poltergeist, making it both a sequel and a remake. The house the Bowen family moves into will apparently be the same house that the Freeling family lived in, and the events of the original film will be referenced within this modern day upgrade. From what we’ve heard, the Bowen kids will discover some of the Freeling family’s possessions inside the house, and the iconic ‘evil tree’ and even the super scary clown doll will return to terrorize them.
Poltergeist was filmed at the tail end of last year in Canada, and a release date of July 24th, 2015 has been tentatively set. With a talented cast and crew all around, and a desire to cater to fans of the original series while at the same time giving the classic story a modern day makeover, it seems that all the right checks are in all the right boxes for this one, leading me to believe that we’ve got the makings of a solid remake on our hands. As always, however, only time will truly tell.
What are your freelings… I mean… feelings… on the Poltergeist remake? Excited? Uninterested? Comment below and let your voice be heard!