"They're heeeere!" Crawling meat. Awful skin conditions. TV sets with programming that really, really sucks you in. Creepy toys. Trees that will reach in your window and eat you. Carol Anne!
Yep, the scares brought to a whole generation of movie viewers by way of 1982's "Poltergeist" still linger today, particularly among Gen-Xers. It may have been only rated PG, but it was directed by the genius behind "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Tobe Hooper) and cowritten by Steven Spielberg, two men who definitely knew what they were doing.
And now, it's back. "Poltergeist" has been remade with a PG-13 rating and a trailer that reminds us all over again just what made the original (if not its two sequels) so memorably terrifying.
Here's what we learned by watching the newly-released teaser:
1. Things are in the closet.The original made much of the television's role in drawing the little girl (named Madison, not Carol Anne this time) into the world beyond. That seems to be true here, too ... but as in the original, the bedroom closet is also the sight of some hair-raising antics.
2. Help from the outside is definitely more mundane than before.Who could forget the small medium who was at large in the original house, declaring it "clean" (wrongly, as it turned out), Tangina? This time, it looks like the savior of the family and the ridder of demons is "Mad Men's" Lane Pryce! (OK, Jared Harris. Who we like. But still.)
3. There's still a lot of clowning around.After the original "Poltergeist" (and any number of horror movies made later), who would ever bring a toy clown into a child's playroom? Just like in the original, there's nothing funny about this joker.
4. This is a bigger, badder house.While a lot of what happened to the Freelings in the original seemed designed to get the family to leave the house (the pool that nearly drowned them, the tree that gabbed the son), in this movie there's more malevolence indoors — arms sucked into walls, drills nearly poking holes into a head, Madison yanked up the steps. That said, both do have a bright portal vortex raging away. So there is that.
"Poltergeist," the 2015 version, is due in theaters on July 24. Meanwhile, watch the original by streaming it on Amazon!