“They’re Here!” is to be uttered again in theaters everywhere once more in 2014, as Poltergeist the remake has begun filming. Gil Kenan is set to direct an updated version of the epic classic horror story.
The family now moves to a new house, the little girl’s name is Madison, and she has a stepmom now. Her mom is the parapsychologist, and is brought in after strange events take place in the house, and Madison is discovered mysteriously abducted. Hmmm, mysterious child abduction in a haunted house is back? So far we have the plot on point here. What I wonder is exactly how similar this plot will stay, as it has seen successful rivals in the past years.
Looking at the upcoming Poltergeist, one has to wonder if some of the important characteristics about the characters will stay. We for instance, will not have an old lady medium coming back. Now I am also wondering about the little girl herself. Carol Anne, the beautiful sweet platinum blonde child, perfect in childhood innocence, held a place in the heart of the world when she was pulled to the other side the memory of how her sweet sing song voice would cry out to go home still gets people. The name is no longer Carol Anne, its Madison, and instead of Heather O’Rourke we have Kennedi Clements. Now wait for it…aside from the trade in of brown hair instead of platinum blonde hair, Clements is strikingly similar to O’Rourke. The casting is spot on here so far. The same ethereal angelic quality O’Rourke brought to the character I am willing to bet we will see from Clements as Madison. What I worry about is the feel of this remake, because the feel of Poltergeist is what made the movie famous.
The original Poltergeist had a way of building anxiety, few films ever brought that kind of feeling back. The slow small excitement of the strange extraordinary things happening to this ordinary family started it. Slowly, these events build into a smooth (not plot jumping) slightly more aggressive nature, with the TV talking to the little girl. Then it hits and horrifies, the spirits take her, and the only way to hear her is through the static of an empty TV channel. No one will ever forget that scene, the little girl sitting in front of the TV communicating with the other side, with the famous horror quote, “They’re Here!” Here is my warning: if the new producer and director leave this quote out it’s an automatic bad review from me, this quote is the catch phrase! I would also like to beg let’s keep the feel of fascination and horror of the supernatural in this remake. Poltergeist was brilliant because it showed a true human reaction to spirits, the curiosity and fear of it all.
As for the competition to claim the right for scariest horror movie haunted house? Well, Insidious did follow a similar plot. Family has new house, child falls into coma, child is targeted by evil entity, parent with gift must save child in other world. Even the medium was an old lady like it was in Poltergeist. As for a not so obvious similarity, we had The Ring. Don’t forget that even though it was about a videotape that killed within seven days, the plot was deeper. A child is targeted by an evil entity, and there is a slow build of scary events. Eventually the parent does something to save the child. Over the years the haunted child saved by the heroic parent has come again and again, the fact still remains Poltergeist did it best.
So this Halloween when the remake of Poltergeist will possibly be filming, let us all hope for things. Let us hope that Poltergeist had the original scary evil clown by the bed (I still have a thing against clowns because of this). Let us hope the catch phrase comes back. Let us hope there is that incredible build of fascination and fear to give us all anxiety attacks. Let us all hope there is something like an Indian burial ground is beneath this house. Most of all let us all hope the film is being made to remind us of our love of the ever chilling Poltergeist!