Before I get closet-deep into the Poltergeist trailer, it’s important, as a journalist, that I disclose all conflicts of interest. Okay, here goes: As a young kid, I lived in a haunted suburban house. Yes, it’s true—my family and I heard the piano playing by itself at night, disembodied whistling in the halls, and everyone’s terrified screams every time I attempted something athletic. So when I saw the original 1982 Poltergeist as a kid, that haunted-house shit was already old hat to me. I was grizzled and unimpressed. “Getting sucked into the underworld through my closet by an angry, demonic force? Been there,” I’d think, smoking several packs of cigarettes at once. “A wacky medium taking over my suburban home and talking about spheres of consciousness? Come on, Tobe. Gimme something new here.” (At that point, director Tobe Hooper and I were on a first-name basis. We’ve since fallen out of touch.)
So when word came out earlier this year that the forthcoming reboot of the movie—starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, produced by Sam Raimi, and directed by Gil Kenan—would be more of a “kid’s movie” than the original, I was all, “Wait, the original isn’t a kid’s movie?” Should I be in therapy, guys? Anyway, today, MGM and Fox dropped the first trailer for the remake of the movie, and it looks like it’s pulling much of its inspiration from its source material. Which is to say, it looks like a delightful suburban romp, replete with sentient toys, staticky televisions (and hair), adorable youngsters being terrorized, parents who don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, a closet that doubles as a portal to the opposite of Narnia, and a cocky ghost expert who just walks into the house (which, surprise! was built on a cemetery) and tells everybody what to do. Here it is:
The trail of the tape
Director: Gil Kenan
Screenwriter: David Lindsay-Abaire
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Nicolas Braun, Jane Adams
Release date: July 24, 2015
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “Something’s wrong, mom.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
Not scared at all by that trailer? That little light-up, pink piano not doing it for you? Yeah, me neither. What? I’m not crying. I just have some ectoplasm in my eye.
In a very appropriate and not at all exploitative move, the team behind Poltergeist has launched a promotional tie-in that lets you find out if anybody ever died in your house. All you have to do is hold a seance in your home and hope that the vengeful spirits don’t bludgeon you to death with your own kitchen table. No, actually, all you have to do is visit Diedinhouse.com (catchy!) and enter the promo code POLTERGEIST. I started to enter my info, but then all of this just got too real and I had to go pet some ponies.