‘Poltergeist’ Trailer: There Goes the Neighborhood Again
They’re two of the most famous words in the history of the horror genre, spoken by Heather O’Rourke in the original Poltergeist from 1982. That version was directed by Tobe Hooper and produced (and, if you believe the urban legends, ghost-directed, no pun intended) by Steven Spielberg, and starred Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams as the parents of a family whose lovely suburban home is haunted by malevolent spirits. This trailer is for the new remake, which is directed by Gil Kenan, the fine filmmaker behind the animated children’s horror film Monster House. This time, the parents are Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mad Men’s Jared Harris plays the ghost expert who helps rid them of their spectral problem.
I’m not surprised someone would try to remake Poltergeist (because I’m never surprised anymore when anyone in Hollywood tries to remake anything), but I guess I’m impressed they found people willing to tempt fate and sign on for the project. Again, if you believe the urban legends, the franchise is kind of cursed; O’Rourke died in 1988 at the age of 12 during surgery, and three other cast members met similar premature demises in between the releases of Poltergeist and Poltergeist III. The story goes that in a key scene involving skeletons, the prop department used actual human remains instead of plastic phonies, angering the spirits or whatever (which, essentially, is the premise of Poltergeist itself, so it’s a case of afterlife imitating art).
I don’t tend to believe stuff like that, but that story would definitely make me nervous if my agent called to gauge my interest in a remake. Hopefully Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt aren’t superstitious people. Barring some kind of curse-related delay, Poltergeist opens on May 22.