I don’t understand. Carrie (2013) was unnecessary. The Amityville Horror (2005) was unnecessary. Does anybody remember Psycho (1998)? Rebooting classic horror movies simply doesn’t work (95% of the time, at least). Perhaps the only exception to this rule that can be found in recent history is The Evil Dead (2013), which I surprisingly enjoyed.
Why, then, do these painfully unwanted reboots continue to happen? I understand that studios believe bringing old successes to a new generation of moviegoers will translate into more money. But that doesn’t make the experience any better for people who want to see quality horror films.
So, when I saw the trailer for the 2015 reboot of Poltergeist, the 1982 Tobe Hooper classic, I was reasonably lukewarm about it. The trailer isn’t shy about showing jumpscare after jumpscare, all bundled up in the short bursts of non-diegetic sound effects that we’ve all come to recognize as the cheap shots that they are. There are definitely cool moments in the trailer, especially near the end. The drill through the wall shot is particularly noteworthy, despite the fact that it is reminiscent of one of the best scenes in the The Evil Dead remake.
There are redeeming qualities about this film that might save it from being the utter disaster that it could be. Namely, we have Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead franchise) putting his hands into the mix as a producer. This is good considering the inexperience of director Gil Keenan, who has no true horror movie in his short filmography.
Additionally, Sam Rockwell as the top-billed actor is promising. Rockwell is one of my personal favorite actors. He isn’t always cast in the best movies, but he almost always has something good to bring to his roles.
My thoughts on horror movies these days are usually as follows: “This will probably be a train wreck, but I hope I’m wrong.” That’s all I can say about Poltergeist. I hope that it will pleasantly surprise me like the The Evil Dead reboot did. But this trailer doesn’t succeed in making me excited for this film.