One of the underrated elements of the horror community is how many of them have the opportunity to meet their heroes. When famous actors and filmmakers die, they tend to be remembered at a distance on the quality of their work; when horror icons like George Romero or Wes Craven pass, however, people have first-hand accounts of meeting them at festivals and conventions. So as word spreads today about the death of legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, you’ll hear more than a few first-hand accounts of what it was like to talk about the genre with Hooper. That’s the power of the horror community.
In what has now become something of a bi-annual tradition in Hollywood, yet another person has come forward with yet another claim that Steven Spielberg was the real director of Poltergeist. This time around it’s John Leonetti, the filmmaker behind the new horror film Wish Upon, who outs himself as a Poltergeist truther with his not-entirely-shocking assertion about who actually directed Tobe Hooper’s spooky 1982 classic.
If you haven’t heard about the Five Nights at Freddy’s series, have a chat with the video game aficionado in your life and they’ll tell you all about it. A smash hit on both computers and mobile devices, these games cast the gamer as a security guard in a Chuck E. Cheese-style family restaurant...where the animatronic animals come to life at night...and try to kill you. Now, the film adaptation of the series has found a director in Gil Kenan, best known for Monster House and this year’s remake of Poltergeist.
What if there was a place, a secret place where nothing was impossible? How would you introduce people to that place? For Tomorrowland director Brad Bird, the answer to that question was a show-stopping, six-minute unbroken take that follows its heroine as she explores this magical wonderland for the first time. She watches men in jetpacks zoom overhead, rides a floating monorail, and nearly accepts an invitation to board a rocket ship headed for outer space — until her invite runs out of juice and she’s returned home.
Tomorrowland may have taken the top spot at the box office in its debut weekend, but things still look awfully grim for the George Clooney sci-fi vehicle. Not only did the film open far below expectations, it faced serious competition in Pitch Perfect 2, which continued to kick aca-butt in its second weekend. And it wasn’t the only new release to under-perform, with the Poltergeist remake also falling short of early predictions. If you were a new release this weekend, things were awfully rough.
Everything that goes wrong in Poltergeist stems from an act of desecration; the building of a cookie-cutter housing development on top of an old cemetery. Some might find the sheer act of attempting a remake of Poltergeist similarly disrespectful; the 1982 original is something of a masterpiece of suburban terror. But if viewers can look past the sheer audacity of attempting another Poltergeist, they’ll find a solid modernization, the cinematic equivalent of a decent cover version of a great rock song. It’s totally superfluous, and not nearly as satisfying as the original, but well-performed and effective in its own way. It’s nice (or, in this case, deeply unsettling) to revisit an old classic in a new arrangement.
The upcoming remake of Poltergeist is attempting to “contemporize” the original story for a more modern audience, since, you know, young modern audiences generally take issue with anything “old.” The first clip from the film gives us a taste of what they mean by that with a new take on an iconic scene, swapping “they’re here” for “they’re coming,” which is kind of the same, but different.
Temperatures are getting warmer, days are getting longer and the movies are getting bigger. Yep, summer is here and it’s brought with it one of the most jam-packed movie schedules in years. From superhero movies and post-apocalypitc adventures to rom-coms and animated family flicks, the summer of 2015 has something for everyone. In fact, it may have too much of everything for everyone. You are going to be spending a lot of time in movie theaters over the next three months.
And with that, these are the 25 movies you have to have on your radar this summer. Read this list. Study it. Watch the trailers. Create a game plan. Oh, and stay hydrated. Living on popcorn is thirsty business.
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.