Sam Raimi has been working on a remake of POLTERGEIST for a while now, but it took the success of his EVIL DEAD remake to really get the ball rolling. In the last few days, we have learned that the Gil Kenan (MONSTER HOUSE) directed POLTERGEIST update would follow a new family suffering the perils of living in a haunted house. Here is the synopsis courtesy of Bloody Disgusting:
the new version follows Eric Bowen and his family who, after he loses his job, relocate to a new town to start anew. His daughter, Madison, is abducted, making him truly understand what’s important in life: family. In the new version, Eric’s wife, Amy, can communicate with the dead. Another interesting new character is Carrigan Burke, a television personality who hosts “Haunted House Cleaners.”” The supernatural doesn’t scare this guy. Dr. Brooke Powell is Carrigan’s ex-wife who is a parapsychologist at a local university.Her team investigates the supernatural events surrounding the disappearance of the Bowen girl.
So, it sounds like the remake is separating itself from the Tobe Hooper original. But, now we have additional details from MovieHole that seem to be putting the screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire (OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL) more in line as a sequel. Check out these details:
Firstly, the Kenan-directed Raimi-produced reboot – much like the Evil Dead remake – exists in the same world as the previous Poltergeist films. So while it is a "reboot" of the franchise, it’s also somewhat of a sequel – taking place years after the Freeling’s [sic] were ran out of town.
In one scene in the new film, the kids’ [sic] find some things behind the sliding panel in the attic. Yep, you guessed it – they find some of the Freeling’s possessions, intentionally left behind. There’s the Star Wars bed sheets (from Robbie’s room), a black-and-white TV set (why, of course!), and some Christmas decorations.
Um, so this is a sequel and a reboot at the same time? Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the house get destroyed in a supernatural wormhole at the end of POLTERGEIST? Isn’t the entire crux of POLTERGEIST II and III that the spirits are following Carol Ann around? I get that this worked for EVIL DEAD because the cabin is still there, but if this rumor turns out to be true, they will have a lot of explaining to do to make it work.
POLTERGEIST ranks as one of the best horror movies of all time and I am not sure if I want to see a sequel forced into existence. I was willing to tolerate a remake because it can be independent of the original. Now, I am a little concerned.