Poltergeist is on. It is awful and wonderful. I had forgotten so much of it.
I’d forgotten what a hippy dippy pre-Phoebe Buffet “let’s play slide across the floor with the spirits” type of mom JoBeth Williams’ character was. No wonder she got tagged to go to the other side and fetch Carol Ann. Since I was 8-ish in 1982, I’m guessing that I did not get the pot smoking scene when she and Craig T. are getting goofy after the damn kids go to bed.
(Disclaimer: I have no idea when I saw Poltergeist for the first time. I would think that it was NOT when I was 8. My parents were a little more conscientious than that.)
Oh, the damn kids! What purpose does the teenage daughter serve other than looking annoyed, tearing at her own hair, and screaming while ignoring what people are telling her to do? I mean, hello, every teenage daughter ever.
I’d forgotten the sequence of events and some of the horror show moments. I’d definitely forgotten the rotting, maggoty food scene and the researcher tearing his melting face off under the ceiling heat lamp. We had one of those ceiling heat lamps that was on a timer. It was the shit, but…what if?
Why remake this? Why can’t we have a new movie idea? Poltergeist is perfectly cheesy and horrific without any updates. Have we not learned from The Evil Dead? The 1981 Bruce Campbell is a god original version of The Evil Dead was not so much frightening as weirdly funny, but the recent 2014 remake is just gross. Peel your own skin off, close up on wounds gross. Gross does not scary make. A remake of Poltergeist has that same gross out potential if the emphasis is updating the special effects.
I heard an interview where the two new leads were yammering on about how this is a “re-imagining” of the original and how both versions are about poking holes in the concept of the American Dream, but pre and post recession. Wealth and consumerism versus just trying to provide a home for your family. Because really, it’s all about family blah, blah, blah.
I enjoy picking apart movies as much as the next geek, but my mind may not delve as deeply as the implication of Craig T. Nelson’s corrupt real estate boss. You can’t JUST move the headstones.
I’m more concerned with why the morning after getting Carol Ann back would Craig T. Nelson be like, “Hey, JoBeth, I know you just went to the other side and rescued our daughter and we totally need to move like NOW, but I have some paperwork to do at the office. Don’t wait up”?
I mean the woman who he made munchkin and Oz references about less than 24 hour hours ago just said that the house was clean so it must be fine to head in to the office for a while. (Evil corporate empires!) Right?
Clearly this is a good time (to ignore every horror movie bit of advice) to have the children sleep in the possessed room with the closet to Hell. Why exactly do Carol Ann and Robbie agree to this much less spend time bickering over a toy?
It also seems like a good time to take a long soak and dye those unsightly grays that going in to the spirit world gave you. I seriously could not remember if the bathtub ate JoBeth or what. But I was ready for it!
At least I now know that Scary Movie 2’s Tori Spelling climbing the walls and writhing in a jersey and undies scene was referencing the end of Poltergeist. You go, JoBeth. No Chubb Rub issues there.