I can’t necessarily speak for the film this trailer is for (yet), but I do know that every time I see the trailer I am filled with rage, RAGE, RAGE!!! So it makes perfect sense to cover it here. Here it is, folks, your moment of rage: POLTERGEIST (2015) Trailer. Oh, and there’s probably going to be a spoiler or two of the original movie, which if you haven’t seen, stop reading now and go watch the original immediately. I would hate to ruin one of horror’s best films for you unnecessarily.
I am a HUGE fan of the original POLTERGEIST (1982), HUGE!!! I love every single moment of it. Not a scare went by that didn’t affect me on some level. The real power of the original POLTERGEIST was the relatability with the characters, and even their situation. Every time that scene where JoBeth Williams ‘feels’ here daughter’s spirit go through here plays, I cry like a baby (hell, even just thinking about it while typing the description made me shudder and feel weepy. Also, same thing when I watch the 1982 trailer). It isn’t often a horror movie can deliver on both levels, and I have my doubts whether a remake can match this emotional manipulation.
Okay, so maybe it’s a little unfair for me to already be crapping all over the remake (or reboot, whatever) just because the original was so good that I think it can’t reach the same levels, but based solely on the trailer, I gotta say that I’m scared, and not in the way they want me to be.
So let’s not compare movies, can’t do that because haven’t seen the remake (or reboot, who cares). Let’s, instead, compare trailers. The 1982 trailer starts off soft and sweet, talks about the family, the subdivision they live in, but then it turns, something mysterious that is only marked by the words “They’re he-ere”. The tension builds as they question the mysterious force that has not yet made itself known, and then we start seeing scary shit all over the place. But it’s controlled, it’s maintained, never once do we see an entity, never once is the biggest plot point (Carol Anne’s disappearance) revealed. They also don’t reveal any of the really big scares. Sure they show a few of the minor moments, but never any of the ACTUAL scares instead, choosing to show character reactions instead, which builds up the tension and the ‘holy-crap-I-need-to-see-this-film-if-for-nothing-more-than-to-see-what-they’re-seeing’ feeling in the viewer. And it throws producer Steven Spielberg’s name around all over the place, even though it’s directed by THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE creator Tobe Hooper (although, apparently according to word on the set, Spielberg did quite a bit of it, too. For example, the face peeling scene? Those are reportedly Steven Spielberg’s hands pulling off chunks of flesh). Oh, and super eerie creepiness from the late, great, Zelda Rubinstein.
Now onto the trailer for the remake/reboot (the full-ish international trailer). Creepy introduction which is a copy of the TV scene montage in the 1982 trailer, but there’s an added scary twist. Which goes against the grain of what is expected, and would have probably gotten a big jump out of the audience had they not revealed it in their goddamned trailer (this isn’t the last time they’ll do that, either)!!! Then we get a bunch of scary shots of scary things for a few seconds, after which they reveal the biggest plot point, Madison’s disappearance (it’s a different family from the first film, but they still are a mother, a father, an older daughter, a younger son, and their youngest daughter). After which they show their answer to Zelda Rubinstein, Jared Harris…? What? Really? You’re going to shit in my mouth and call it ice cream? I don’t really have anything against Jared Harris, but you could have presented him differently so that he wasn’t a carbon copy of the Zelda Rubinstein character (even going so far as to recycle her lines in this trailer). Why not change him up a bit so assholes like me stop comparing him to Zelda Rubinstein? Goddamn this movie had to be made my idiots. Coincidentally, it makes sure to tell us it’s produced by Sam Raimi (director of THE EVIL DEAD trilogy, the original SPIDER-MAN trilogy, DRAG ME TO HELL, etc.) written by David Lindsay-Abaire (accomplished writer who wrote RABBIT HOLE, ROBOTS, and several plays), and directed by Gil Kenan (director of the awesome CGI film, MONSTER HOUSE). That’s a talented group of people for me to be calling ‘idiots’, maybe it’s a momentarily lapse in judgement? Anyway, the worst part, and the thing that makes me rage so hard I’ve never raged like it before, it shows the clown scene.
The clown scene from the original film is pants-shittingly terrifying. Firstly it’s scary because it’s foreshadowed in the beginning when Robbie throws a coat over it at night because it scares him (and yet, he has it. What’s up with that?), it isn’t until later when things go totally sideways that the clown comes to life and delivers one of the best scares of horror history, attacking Robbie. Secondly this is scary because the clown is legitimately scary looking. So let’s look at the end of the trailer for the remake.
First sin, THEY SHOW THE SCARE!!! Hey filmmakers, there’s a whole new audience who have probably never even heard of the original and you just wasted your (probably) biggest, best scares by showing it in the goddamned trailer (I call this the THE CONJURING effect, for reasons you’ll find out when I write my review on THE CONJURING)!!! Second sin, the clown is a f*cking joke. What happened, did the filmmakers go to the props department and say “Hey, we need you to find the least scariest, creepiest, clown you can get your hands on. We don’t want to freak anybody out like they did in the original”? Seriously, I think they actually said that. I think even coulrophobics (people with a fear of clowns) would think it tame. Here’s a hint, in THE CONJURING they open with a scene centering around a ‘possessed’ doll named Annabelle who was for realsies. Trouble was the real doll was actually a Raggedy Ann doll. So the filmmakers, very wisely, decided to use a different looking doll, a very creepy looking doll. SEE POLTERGEIST? THAT IS HOW THAT’S F*CKING DONE!!! AND YOUR SOURCE MATERIAL WAS IMMENSELY BETTER THAN THE CONJURING HAD! HOW COULD YOU F*CK UP SO HORRIBLE!?!? ARGH, IT MAKES ME RAGE SO HARD THAT I HAVE TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS! WITH SEVERAL EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! BECAUSE IT’S THE CLOSEST I CAN DO TO GET ACROSS HOW MUCH SCREAMING AND YELLING I’M DOING RIGHT F*CKING NOW!!! GODDAMNIT 2015 POLTERGEIST!!!
So there, I am all raged out, and I hope that you are too through reading my rage. Now we wait for the movie, which I will see opening night, because I’m hoping, I’M HOPING, I’m wrong. That everything they showed in the trailer was a lie, all footage shot just for the trailer and that the real movie is comprised of completely different scenes. Ah, a boy can dream.
Quick update. Last night, when I went to see [Mad Max: Fury Road](tag:41445) I saw a gigantic poster for Poltergeist that had a clown on it. This clown looked NOTHING like the one in the trailer. It was actually kind of scary. So I hope that poster clown is in the film, and trailer clown isn’t.