The reboots of Evil Dead and Poltergeist

I’ve always been a big believer in letting a work of art speak for itself, whether it’s a movie, an album, or a book.

A lot of people like to use hyperbole when promoting something, and it can often get ridiculous, especially when things are hyped up to the moon. 

Having written about horror films extensively, this can especially be true of fright flicks, but this also been part of the genre for a long time. A lot of horror film promotion grew out of the carnivals, where they dared you to walk through the freak shows, and the thought of seeing something so scary you wouldn’t be able to handle it has always been part of the fun. You won’t actually have a heart attack or lose your mind watching a horror film, but it’s fun to scare yourself into thinking it’s possible.

Next April there’s two remakes of horror classics coming, Evil Dead and Carrie. So far, the press seems excited about the Carrie remake, and there is definite hope it can live up to the original. (It’s also a very timely story in a time where we’re trying to stop bullying.) The remake of Evil Dead, however, has a much tougher crowd to please. Yet in the tradition of horror hyperbole, as Cinema Blend and I Am Rogue are reporting, the advance poster for Dead “makes a bold promise,” mainly, “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.”

Again, we all know this is in the tradition of the genre, and as I wrote in my horror history Reel Terror the initial goal with the original Evil Dead was to create the scariest movie Sam Raimi and company could make, and the benchmark at the time was Halloween. The original also promised it would be “the ultimate experience in grueling terror,” but what viewers also didn’t know going in was Evil Dead also had a very healthy sense of humor that made the film great fun as well. 

As we’ve reported before on the site, the original Evil Dead gang know it’s going to take a lot to convince the fans, but Raimi, Bruce Campbell and producer Rob Tapert have indeed been behind the new remake all the way. (The poster also has the extra tagline, “A new vision from the producers of the original classic.”) Campbell promised Collider the film would be R rated, and they would give the ratings board “The toughest version that we can give them. We have a screening coming up for the MPAA, I can hear them laughing already. ‘You want an R rating?’”

Raimi is also attached to a Poltergeist remake, another great movie from the summer of ’82 that celebrated its 30th anniversary this summer. David Lindsay-Abaire, who also wrote Rise of the Guardians, talked a little bit about the remake to Collider, telling them, “There are very few people who are as obsessed with the original movie as I am, so I would try to write a script that I would want to see as a fan.

“My version is tonally similar to the first movie,” Abaire continued. “Sort of family-friendly-esque with some real, genuine scares in it. It’s not Saw if that’s what you’re asking. I’m not going to turn it into something else.”