Though I saw the “Poltergeist” remake on Friday, I am just now writing about it because I couldn’t initially think of anything to write. It wasn’t a bad movie; it wasn’t a good movie. The only thought I had in my mind after watching it was that I wanted to watch the original. That makes me think that if the original “Poltergeist” had never been created–meaning this latest “Poltergeist” were completely new–I would have liked this 2015 version more. I’m just too attached to the original to get into the new one.
This is a trend with me, and I have wondered over the years if other people who are not middle aged suffer the same condition: resistance to new things. I’m not even out of my twenties yet and I can’t handle a “Poltergeist” remake. My connection to the original “Poltergeist” is barely there. I wasn’t even born when the original came out in 1982. My mom hadn’t birthed her first child, my brother, at that point. In fact, she was only twenty five years old at the time of the original’s release, which means she was younger than I am now. The movie had already been out for over a decade by the time I was old enough to see it (provided my mother was throwing a blanket over my head every time a scary part came on TV). It would be several more years before I could watch it without risking nightmares. To me, “Poltergeist” was just that classic horror film that occasionally came on TV. I watched parts of it here and there, and I felt bad for the poor little girl trapped inside the TV set. Weirdly, I still loved putting my hands on the TV when I was little.
Years after my first viewing of “Poltergeist,” when I no longer required a parent to cover my head with a blanket during the scary parts in movies, I asked my dad if he wanted to go see “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” He said he didn’t want to because he had already seen “The Exorcist.” I told him “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a different, unrelated movie. He responded that once you’ve seen one movie about exorcism you’ve seen them all. I wonder if he would have been more likely to go with me to the theater if I had said “The Exorcist” was being re-released. Maybe he didn’t want a new exorcism movie, because the old one is already perfect.
Some movies just shouldn’t be remade. Certain classics that have attained a cult status need to be left alone. I guarantee that the “Poltergeist” remake will never reach the same level of popularity as the original. The remake (?) of “Fright Night,” which looked absolutely nothing like the original classic, has been easily and quickly forgotten since it came out in 2011. The original “Fright Night” was released in 1985, a year before I was born, and I still feel more connected to that movie than I do to the 2011 non-version. It may be time to take a break from remaking classic horror films in general.