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Movie Monday: The New “Poltergeist”

Poltergeist 2015PR is ramping up in anticipation of the new Poltergeist film to be released on May 22, 2015. New stills were released last week. A couple are included below, along with two trailers. All of which I snagged from

Even as campy and outdated as far as special effects go for the original 1982 version, it’s still a classic. The storyline and characters are enduring.

It appears they’ve kept a lot of the guts of the original Poltergeist, but of course there are some tweaks. Such as:

  • It’s still set in a neighborhood built over a cemetery. Except the house isn’t brand new like in the original, it’s a fixer upper.
  • The characters have been renamed. In the 1982 version the family’s last name was Freeling. In the 2015 version it’s Bowen.
  • Makes sense that since the last names were changed so would the first ones. I guess Carol Anne was too outdated for the little girl’s name? They chose to update it with the more-of-the-times Madison. (The other siblings also got equally modern first names, Kendra for the older sister, and Griffin for the brother.)
  • Sadly for all you coulrophobiacs, they kept the possessed clown too. (I think the one in the original looked a lot creepier though.)
  • Surprisingly a TV still comes into play. TVs are firmly rooted in our culture even 30 years after the original Poltergeist so it’s not that surprising. However, technology has changed a bunch. Back in the early 1980s, cable TV was not what it is today. In fact, unlike today’s households, the majority didn’t have it. TV channels also didn’t have 24/7 programming and would go to static after midnight. Not the case today. Yet, a static-y TV factors in the remake.


Still of Kennedi Clements who plays Madison Bowen in Poltergeist (2015)


I’m of course planning on seeing it, though maybe not in theaters. We’ll see if the reviews warrant it. I have to admit I’m not as disappointed as I expected to be with what I see from the trailers, but…I’m also not smitten.

Which is to be expected. I have fond memories from the summer the original was released. That Poltergeist was a huge hit and what all my friends were talking about. It’s firmly rooted in our adolescents.

The new version may do the same for today’s kids, but I’m not sure it will endear itself to those who were around to remember the mark the original made. We’ll soon find out.

What about you? Excited for the remake? Like what you’re seeing so far? Planning on seeing it in theaters?



Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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