Sam Rockwell Calls POLTERGEIST Remake an Adventure; Story Told from the Son’s Point of View

     January 14, 2015


Thanks to Poltergeist I grew up thinking the tree outside my bedroom window would burst through in the middle night and that if I let my TV transmit static, evil entities would come through and get me.  I was about eight-years-old when I first saw the film so that might have been the problem, but according to the MPAA, there was nothing wrong with that.  Tobe Hooper’s 1982 release is actually rated PG.  (It originally scored an R rating, but Steven Spielberg talked the MPAA into giving it a PG rating instead.)

I had my fingers crossed that Gil Kenan’s upcoming reimagining of the classic would score an R and embrace it, but based on Sam Rockwell’s description of the project, it makes sense that it wound up a PG-13 film.  Hit the jump to find out what kind of scares you can expect from the July 24th release.

sam-rockwellAfter discussing Rockwell’s upcoming movie, Loitering with Intent, I asked him if he’s seen any footage from Poltergeist:

“I’ve seen a little in looping.  I hope it’s good.  I really don’t know.  I really wish I could tell you.  I’m praying that it’s – I mean, it’s gonna be hard to live up to the first one.  The first one’s pretty damn good.  This one’s gonna be in 3D though, I can tell you that.”

The movie’s been described as a reimagining and as a sequel, but all we really know about the new plot is that Jarred Harris plays a character named Carrigan, a guy who ditches the world of academia to host the show Haunted House Cleaners.  Rockwell also added this key detail:

“The 10-year-old boy is really the protagonist this time.  JoBeth Williams was the protagonist for the most part in the first one and now the kid, it’s really through his point-of-view.  So it’s more of a kids’ movie so I don’t know if it’s gonna be like rated-R scary.”

I knew there would be some limitations due to the PG-13 rating, but I certainly didn’t expect Rockwell to dub it “a kids’ movie.”  He elaborated:

“It’s not like Conjuring type of scary.  You know, it’s a different kind of movie.  It’s more of an adventure.  It’s essentially a child abduction film when you come down to it.  I mean, the original Poltergeist is too.”

To be completely honest, that’s not really what I wanted to hear.  I was hoping for a new Poltergeist that’s reminiscent of the original and will make me want to hide under the covers all over again, but, then again, there are some great PG-13 horror movies out there like InsidiousThe Ring and The Last Exorcism so perhaps Kenan can still deliver a truly nightmarish scenario while keeping the movie teen (or kid) appropriate.

You can check out the clip of Rockwell talking about Poltergeist below and be sure to keep an eye out for our full chat with him, Marisa Tomei, Adam Rapp, Michael Godere and Ivan Martin coming soon.

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