Wait, The Poltergeist Remake Is A Children's Movie?

If you've been under the impression that the upcoming Poltergeist movie is going to be one of the scariest films of 2015, I have some bad news for you. It turns out that this new film isn't necessarily that focused on being that frightening, and has been described by one of its stars as being more of a "kid's movie."

That quote comes directly from Sam Rockwell, who recently discussed his work on the movie in an interview with Collider. Discussing the approach that the new version of Poltergeist is taking, the actor explained that there is a bit of a perspective change and that the resulting film is perhaps going to be a bit lighter than horror fans may be expecting. He explained,

“The 10-year-old boy is really the protagonist this time. JoBeth Williams was the protagonist for the most part in the first one, and now the kid - it’s really through his point-of-view. So it’s more of a kids’ movie, so I don’t know if it’s gonna be like rated-R scary.”

Further proving this point is the fact that the MPAA has actually already certified the new Poltergeist. It has been rated PG-13 for "intense frightening sequences, brief suggestive material, and some language." To hear Sam Rockwell tell it, however, those aforementioned sequences won't exactly have you screaming in the movie theater. The actor told the site,

“It’s not like Conjuring type of scary. You know, it’s a different kind of movie. It’s more of an adventure. It’s essentially a child abduction film when you come down to it. I mean, the original Poltergeist is too.”

Beyond the already established rating, certainly one element that has long hinted towards Poltergeist skewing younger is the fact that it's being directed by Gil Kenan. The filmmaker made his first feature with the animated Monster House in 2006, and despite its horror title, it too was much more kid friendly than scary. Kenan continued to speak to a young audience with 2008's City of Ember, and now it appears that 20th Century Fox brought him on-board to do something similar with this remake

We've been hearing about this Poltergeist redo for so long now - dating back to 2011 - that it's actually kind of amazing it's actually almost here. Based on a script by David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), the film has a rather fantastic cast that, in addition to Sam Rockwell, also includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Nicholas Braun and Jane Adams. The film won't be arriving until summer time, scheduled to come out on July 24th, but it shouldn't be too much longer before we get our first look at some footage in the form of a debut trailer. It will definitely be interesting to see what kind of tone it takes.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.