POLTERGEIST Reboot Images; Contemporary Setting Will Feature Screens Everywhere

     February 4, 2015

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First, you’re going to be a little uneasy when a big studio decides to remake a beloved horror classic. Second, it’s a bit alarming when that remake’s release date gets delayed. And third, you’re going to be downright terrified when Sam Rockwell dubs the film a “kids’ movie.” However, with the release of Fox’s Poltergeist remake just about six months way now, director Gil Kenan is reassuring longtime fans that respecting the Tobe Hooper original is a top priority. Here’s what he told USA Today:

“Whenever someone approaches material that’s so beloved, there’s a reflexive reaction to be worried. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. We’re working to make a Poltergeist film that lives up to the original’s legacy.”

poltergeist-reboot-image-sam-rockwell-rosemarie-dewittScreenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire’s version of the story will go down in a contemporary setting. Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt lead as the parents of young Madison (Kennedi Clements). When they move into a “suburban fixer-upper,” they soon come to realize that the house could use a serious spiritual cleansing as well. Just like the original, the entities access our world via TVs, but thanks to the modern setting, there isn’t just a single TV in the living room. The Bowen’s house is filled with screens. Here’s what producer Sam Raimi had to say about the additional conduits to the spirit world:

“The original film commented on how we’ve let television get out of control, babysitting our kids.  It’s only gotten worse with the handheld portable devices.  Screens are everywhere.”

Considering I regularly watch my four-year-old niece sit at the dinner table staring at an iPad, this is actually a pretty disturbing concept. When things get too intense, the Bowens turn to Jared Harris’ character for help. There’s no mention of him being the star of a show called Haunted House Cleaners here, but USA Today does dub him “a respected supernatural researcher and clairvoyant.”

poltergeist-reboot-kennedi-clementsKenan insists that his film is “an emotional story at the core,” focusing on a mother and father’s fight to save their child, but the big question is, is it scary? Here’s what Kenan had to say about that:

“The film is super-scary. And it’s scary on its own terms. I am excited to finally be able to share that with the world.”

I’ll believe it when I see it, or perhaps just when I see a solid trailer, which could come any day now. Kenan really hit the nail on the head with that first quote. There is a reflexive reaction to be worried and, as someone who cherishes the sleepless nights I had as a kid courtesy of Hooper’s film, I’m definitely concerned about the reboot respecting the legacy of the 1982 original.

Hopefully a strong teaser trailer will deliver a confidence boost, but for now, check out the very first Poltergeist reboot images below. The film is due to hit theaters in 3D on July 24th.

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