Actor Sam Rockwell has declared the upcoming remake of horror classic ‘Poltergeist’ to be closer to “a kids’ movie” than the 1982 original.
Before horror fans everywhere spit feathers, we might do well to emphasise that - as hard as this is to believe - the original film from director Tobe Hooper was in fact rated PG in the USA, producer Steven Spielberg’s clout with the MPAA no doubt playing some role in that. Still, in the UK it was given a 15 which it carries to this day (quite rightly, we think; remember that mirror scene?)
Even so, Rockwell’s comments may do little to allay the fears of those who were uneasy with the time-honoured favourite being remade in the first place.
Speaking to Collider, Rockwell - who takes the father role alongside Rosemarie DeWitt’s mother, with Jared Harris as the parapsychologist - is refreshingly forthright when asked how the ‘Poltergeist’ remake is shaping up:
“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.”
Rockwell goes on to explain how the remake will differ from the original:
“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.
“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.”
No doubt a great many fans of the original will not take kindly to the idea of ‘Poltergeist’ as a children’s adventure movie. However, genre aficionados may take some comfort in knowing that Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are producing through their company Ghost House Pictures, whose recent productions have included ‘Drag Me To Hell’ and the ‘Evil Dead’ remake.
Also encouraging is the presence of director Gil Kenan, whose 2006 animated movie ‘Monster House’ is one of the best child-friendly horror movies since the 1980s.
Whether you’re feeling anxious or optimistic, you’ll be able to check out the ‘Poltergeist’ remake for yourself when 20th Century Fox release it in UK cinemas on 31 July 2015, in 3D.
Picture Credit: WENN, MGM/UA