poltergeistWhen Hollywood runs out of ideas (on a daily basis) it turns to the tried and true formula of The Remake. The new Poltergeist movie seems to be an unneeded update of the original. Will I see it? Oh, mais oui, I will be first in line to see the remake. I love horror. I love some of the actors in the movie (damn you Academy for no Moon golden statue for Mr. Rockwell). I love Sam Raimi (and I sure the hell hope Bruce Campbell kicks the Groovy level of this movie up a notch). I am a horror junkie. I saw crappy sequels of  movies that I didn’t know the original existed (I’m looking at you random Netflix movie!).

Back to the original Poltergeist. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all been (if you were my age) scared shitless of tv sets for a bit. How many years in therapy did it take for me to be able to turn off the damn tv when the channels finally went to bed? Thank God for HDTV. Kids today will never know the horror of the snow sound n vision.

Besides making me scared of tvs, Poltergeist had a lot of other life-defining items for me. The little girl? Something about her never sat well with me. She was an awesome actress though. She brings out the ‘you feel for her’ that Exorcist never really did for me. The scenes of the primal fear of thunder/lightning bring to light a good grasp of psychology. Even the spirit guide was a little person. Think of that: Two of the main driving forces (Heather O’Rourke and Zelda Rubinstein) in this film were under 5 feet tall. Did the casting go with our fear of the ‘non-normal’?

Does the movie have its version of bang horror? Yes, but it builds up slowly….slowly…slowly….it keeps building to the point where even the tv set can give nightmares. That’s pacing, folks. That is suspense. That is also (mostly) what is missing in current horror today. The tease, as it were. Can the remake bring the tease back? Only time will tell.


Jim Phoenix

El Jefe

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