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New Poltergeist Movie: Reboot or Sequel?

This is news that will no doubt split the options of horror fans completely down the middle, but word is that the casting for the new Poltergeist film is well underway. The director is Gil Kenan (Monster House, City of Ambers) with Rob Tapert, Roy Lee and Sam Raimi on the production side of things (Raimi at the moment just seems like he will produce any horror film he can get his hands on!). The screenplay is in the hands of writer David Lindsay-Abaire (with previous work from Juliet Snowden and Stiles White among others). No news on who has been cast so far, but filming will start in Autumn 2013 and will take place in Toronto. Monster House is a fun little children’s movie, but not very scary while the original Poltergeist in places made kids jump out of their seats. Can Gil get the right balance of fun and fear that the great Spielberg and Hooper managed to do?

In this slightly different story Eric Bowen and his family move to a new town after Eric loses his job. Madison, his daughter is abducted and Eric comes to the realization that nothing is more important than his family. Eric’s wife Amy has the ability to communicate with the dead, and Carrigan Burke; host of the TV show ‘Haunted House Cleaners’ is brought in to help out. The movie will also feature Carrigan’s ex who just so happens to work as a parapsychologist at the local university and pops up to look into Madison’s disappearance.

poltergeist remake kid clown

Now let’s turn the movie on its head; it would seem the plan is not for a straight reboot, but in fact more of a sequel, much like the new Evil Dead was. It will take place years after the Feeling’s left town. One key scene in this new vision of the Poltergeist universe has the children finding that classic cinematic tool a sliding panel. Guess what they find? Loads of stuff from the Freeling’s which includes the Star Wars bed sheets, Christmas decorations and that classic black and white TV. Personally, I would have just burned all this stuff after their traumatic events, but that’s Hollywood thinking for you. So like the Evil Dead remake we are getting a new set of characters mixed with the old style of movie we expect from this series including the killer tree, the clown and the unseen ghost people Madison talks to in the original.

poltergiest

I appreciate the fact that these changes are meant to give a fresh look to the 1982 movie, but I am unclear on if this is for the better. The girl in the Poltergeist is the thing that most people remember from the original, so reaction may depend on how much we actually see or hear of her in the movie. If the film focuses on the parent’s tribulations and they have no chemistry together then we may have a film devoid of emotional content.  Nice inclusion of a Most Haunted style TV host, but it seems like we have already seen this type of post modern twist before with the Fright Night remake (I know he was an illusionist in that, but it is the same type of cocky character I am expecting to see here to). Will we see a happy ending here? I doubt it Hollywood hates happy endings in horror at the moment. Will we see the house get sucked into limbo? Will it look as good with CGI effects or is the movie going to employ physical effects to create the ghosts? The look of the ghosts in the original movie were superb and even today are fun to watch. Can the new movie live up to these spectres?

poltergiest spirit

The final question we need to ask ourselves here is do we even need another variation on Poltergeist? Recently film goers have had remakes, reboots and sequels thrown at them from every possible genre and it seems like no film is safe from getting taken off the shelf and given a cinematic new lick of paint. With the amount of ghost and demon possession movies already out there now and all of them seeming very similar, what is Poltergeist the remake going to offer that we have not already seen? Still this approach seems to have worked for the new Evil Dead movie, giving us a new set of characters and new Deadites to enjoy, so there is no reason why this sequel will not have the same success. If nothing else it will bring in new audience to this classic movie and the established fans will no doubt be interested to see how this new movie plays out. It is early days yet and it will be interesting to see where this project goes. More news when it arrives.

Sources: Bloody Disgusting, Beware the Horror, and Moviehole

Evil Dead Bonanza! Interviews with Cast and News of More Sequels?

The internet has been on fire recently with tons of Evil Dead news, so here is a breakdown of some of the more exciting pieces of information all in a handy digest form. First off to wet your horrific appetites are some new clips and photos from Uproxx and Bloody Disgusting showing us a little bit more of the new Evil Dead film before its release this weekend. Below are the recently released clips of the movie showing us a little bit more deadite action.

http://movies.yahoo.com/video/evil-dead-going-die-190024102.html?format=embed&player_autoplay=false

This clip, though short does have some horrific intensity to it, mostly from Mia (Jane Levy) amazing eye acting. The way she stares at everyone and calmly says they are going to die gives the viewer the same uneasy feeling the original delivered on. Below are the final two clips, one a short scene involving a mirror and the last piece a trailer from Wondercon 2013 with introduction by Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell and Fede Alvarez.

The new photos released are not that special, but they do give the viewer a good look at the stars and some of the sets that will be in the movie. The attention to detail is great, it feels like the original Evil Dead log cabin and woods, but there is just enough of a difference to make it feel its own movie.

Evil Dead, Ash Williams

Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Moving over to Dread Central now where a whole bunch of cast interviews were put up promoting the movie. Just so you know these interviews are intended to be watched after the viewing of the new Evil Dead and have the cast revealing some serious SPOILERS, so be warned.

http://ictv-dread-ec.indieclicktv.com/player/embed/9f0e17cb15c705e5d103853141ed8ae9/515ca24a33bbb/56/0/defaultPlayerplayer.swf

For interviews of the non-spoiler variety, there are these two videos one with the cast and the other with Campbell, Tapert and Alvarez.

http://ictv-dread-ec.indieclicktv.com/player/embed/9f0e17cb15c705e5d103853141ed8ae9/51479b9f2d465/56/0/defaultPlayerplayer.swf

http://ictv-dread-ec.indieclicktv.com/player/embed/9f0e17cb15c705e5d103853141ed8ae9/514653b516d28/56/0/defaultPlayerplayer.swf

All these stories lead us to the final piece of news that has to be considered the bombshell of the entire Evil Dead franchise. Bloody Disgusting reported that while promoting the film at Wondercon, director Fede Alvarez said this new movie is actually a sequel. Following that he then said that Evil Dead 2 and 3 and the recently announced Army of Darkness 2 would all link together and form Evil Dead 7. This fourth film will have Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams Evil Dead universe teaming up with the new remake universe to make one epic Evil Dead cross over. This all seems too incredible to believe. For horror fans this would be the equivalent of The Avengers movie, a group of horror characters from two franchises joining forces.

Evil Dead, Ash Williams, Bruce Campbell
ARMY OF DARKNESS photo from bloddydisgusting.com

Before you think this is all one sick joke by Fede, Bruce Campbell himself gave us news on this at Wondercon in an article by Geek Exchange. Campbell went on to say that this is just in the planning stage in Sam Raimi’s head at the moment and it would all depend on the success of the new movie. But in theory, both Campbell and Alvarez envision two sequels coming out at the same time, one focusing on where we left Ash Williams and the other following the events of the new Evil Dead universe. This would be a great treat for Evil Dead fans because they get two Evil Dead universes to enjoy which would mean no one feels left out. Hopefully this would result in the proposed combined universe of Alvarez and Raimi, where Ash crosses over to the new Evil Dead universe and fights combined Evil Dead/Army of Darkness deadites.

This is all the more reason to watch the new Evil Dead movie and see if anything pops up that could support these theories. Theory is all they are at the moment, but with the success of cross over movies like The Avengers it is not that unlikely that this mind-blowing news could one day become a reality which is great news for Evil Dead fans old and new. But before you go to the cinema, see what you think of this picture from Bloody Disgusting which shows a very iconic car from the original Evil Dead movie popping up in the new movie…

Evil Dead

and just in case you do not make the connection, here is the original car from the Bruce Campbell Evil Dead. Makes those theories seem that bit more possible.

Evil Dead

Evil Dead, movie poster
Evil Dead Red poster from vilereviews.wordpress.com

A little bit of history for you Evil Dead buffs – it’s none other than Ash Williams and company at the opening of Evil Dead at Detroit’s Redford Theater.

Evil Dead