They’re heeeeeeeere . . . agaaaaaain! Poltergeist Then and Now

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This week’s blog is a “vs” feature where I will pit a popular scary movie against . . . itself and see which one comes out on top. I’m talking original vs remake here–fun, right? Although I will have my decided favorite going in, I’m also keeping myself open to the possibility of being pleasantly surprised and possibly being swayed by whatever information I dig up. I hope you enjoy and welcome you to weigh in.

Part 1 of 3

Poltergeist: Original vs Remake

1982

2015

How awesome are scary movies from the 80’s? For me, 80’s scary movies were just as much a part of my whole “coming of age” as any John Hughes’ movie. Friday nights (almost always after a high school football or basketball game) consisted of a rented VHS, Cheetos, and vodka–any kind would do. Since we were usually making our purchases with allowances and saved up lunch money, the cheapest vodka was the only way to go. My mom had an art studio in the garage, in which my friends and I could be found on any given Friday, making camp with mountains of blankets and pillows, crunching on Cheetos, and swigging cheap vodka. Our choices in movies ranged from mainstream film freakouts (Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween II, The Shining, Hellraiser, and Poltergeist) to the lesser known (The Stuff, Sleepaway Camp, Creepshow, The Entity, and Witchboard) but no less disturbing. And because of these frequent Friday fright fests, my friends and I spent the better part of our teens like this. But enough about me and my trip down a creepy, poorly lit memory lane. Let’s get started.

In this post, I’ll be taking a look at the original Poltergeist (1982) and its remake (2015). Here’s what we’ll look at:

  • trailers
  • similarities
  • differences
  • the fucking clowns

Poltergeist (1982)

What it has:

  • Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg
  • Tangina (“This house is clean”)
  • Real skeletons
  • Carol Ann

 

What it has:

  • Poor Griffin
  • A rolling red ball
  • Strong visuals
  • Too many credit plugs

 

 

Similarities

  • They’re heeeerrrrre!
  • Creepy-ass clown
  • Closet is portal to the spirit world
  • You think all is good once the little girl is saved and then–BAM!!! Shit gets real . . . real scary!!!
  • A tree that suddenly goes berserk and tries to kill the boy.
  • Suburban family that gets the seriously short end of the becoming homeowners stick.

Differences

Poltergeist (1982)

  • Wicked horror–from beginning to end, this movie packs a paranormal punch!
  • Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams were more believable as parents that were clearly in a world of shit but willing to step up and do what it takes to save their family.
  • Perfect at building up a sense of dread with the audience, making the big payoff–well–payoff.
  • Mom saves daughter.
  • The “monster” looks bad ass.
  • The mother f-ing face peeling scene . . . Arrrrghhh!!!!

Poltergeist (2015)

  • Much better at being funny than scary.
  • When there’s no big bad ghosties on the screen, the story drrrraaaagssss.
  • Great, new ideas that (unfortunately) never reached full scare potential.
  • Brother saves sister.
  • The spirit realm is more detailed and (imo) creepy af!!
  • Crawling of worms and bleeding of eyes . . . gross, but not terrifying.

 

Fucking Clowns

Let me know how this one plays out, guys, because you can bet your apple bottom jeans that I did not (nor will I ever) watch this video. Never! Never, ever, ever!! Never!!!

I was going to post some pictures of the 2 versions of the clown, but I started getting really freaked out and could barely close the browser page because I was hardcore shaking and crying like a little girl. But please, by all means, feel free to check them out for yourself. I will say this, however, in the original we don’t see a lot of the clown, but the fear is tangible. On the other hand, the little fecker is a lot more actively seen in the remake, but without the build up, the “scare” isn’t as effective. Sometimes less is more. And in the case of clowns, less is always, always the way to go!

And the winner is . . .

The movie’s tagline is: “It knows what scares you”. Yes, it does. The remake wasn’t terrible, but I feel it forgets one important element. The all to important build up. I mean, I think the remake does have its build up moments, unfortunately, it spends too much time building up the wrong parts of the story. For me, you’ve gotta mess with my imagination before you assault me with the visuals, because then . . . well . . . then you will successfully scare the shiitake mushrooms right outta me.

Here’s a bonus:

After the credits and the logo of the MGM lion is shown, we hear children laughing. Fans of the film have assumed that the laughing children are those who have been released from the beast and have crossed over the threshold into the next life. Whaaaat?!?

Until next time . . .

Happy Haunting

 

 

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