Producer Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist remake will undeniably face an uphill battle when it debuts in theaters this May. Fans of the beloved 1982 original will question the need for yet another version of an iconic horror classic, but as the film’s first trailer showed us, the storyline has remained remarkably similar.
Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move their family into a suburban fixer-upper only find themselves neck-deep in otherworldly forces when their youngest daughter Madison (Kennedi Clements) is taken by the supernatural element living in the house. Now, a new and shorter trailer for Poltergeist (watch it above) mostly ditches the slow-burn approach of the first look and teases that classic line from the original: “They’re here!”
While the first trailer was heavy on exposition, this new one jumps right into the meat of the story, with medium Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris, taking over a role originally played by scene-stealing Zelda Rubinstein) explaining that a poltergeist has taken Madison and that she’s still alive. A handful of new scares are showcased here, but again a new version of that horrible clown doll from the original film torments young Griffin Bowen (Kyle Catlett) as Madison is shown communing with the the TV people.
The original Poltergeist was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) but legend has it that producer Steven Spielberg took charge and called the shots. That the original film is pretty buoyant for a horror film is evidence of Spielberg’s influence, and the claim by star Sam Rockwell that the remake focuses more on the child protagonist underscores the PG-13, relatively family-friendly tone.
Still, while fans of the original may be sated by the front-loading of the first film’s big twist – that the house was built over a cemetery – dropping this information in the movie’s trailers could indicate that although many of the original’s story beats will be hit, we may be in for a much different surprise in the remake’s third act. With Fox moving the film’s release away from July’s big titles – but head to head with the highly anticipated Tomorrowland – is there still some mysteries the trailers are leaving out? Let’s hope Raimi and Kenan have something up their sleeve.
Poltergeist opens in theaters on May 22nd, 2015.