Theeeey’re heeeere. The trailer for Poltergeist, the reboot of the 1982 classic by Tobe Hooper has arrived. Starring Sam Rockwell (Laggies), Rosemarie DeWitt (Men, Women, & Children), and Jared Harris (The Boxtrolls), the film is directed by Gil Kenan and tells the story of a family haunted by ghosts whom initially appear to be friendly but ultimately terrorize and kidnap the youngest daughter. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz the Great and Powerful), the film is being produced by Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell) through MGM and 20th Century Fox.
The trailer for the film harkens back to a lot of what made the horror of the original work so well for audiences, focusing on the initial harmlessness and even playfulness of the ghosts as they amuse the children with some literalyl hair raising antics. True to form, however, things take a decidedly darker path and the spirits become hostile and terrifying. The film references the classic static television scene from the original, but manages to expand on it by also making use of cell phones. It also has some more modern horror elements, as a moment in the trailer with Sam Rockwell consoling his youngest daughter may remind some viewers of the Japanese Horror-style effects of remakes such as The Ring, The Grudge, The Eye, and One Missed Call.
The original Poltergeist is considered a classic in the horror genre, but moreover it’s also developed a bit of legend and superstition over the years due to the tragic circumstances revolving around the death of two of the actresses who played the daughters in the original film. Because of the circumstances of their deaths, the film has been labeled as being cursed.
Sam Rockwell’s last foray into horror was 2007’s Joshua. More interestingly though, the film is a departure of sorts for director Gil Kenan, whose previous two efforts are Monster House and City of Ember. The former is an animation about a similarly haunted house, but carries a more comedic and familial tone, while the latter is an outright family fantasy film. Writer David Lindsay-Abaire shares a similar fantasy/animation background, having written the aforementioned Oz as well as Rise of the Guardians. For both men, Poltergeist is their first straight horror picture. Poltergeist will be released on July 24th.