Actress Rosemarie DeWitt tells us why the original Poltergeist is still scary and the important elements that have been retained in the remake
Rosemarie DeWitt has done her share of juggling between different mediums like television, movies and theatre. The 43-year-old has performed on Broadway multiple times, including in director Jonathan Demme’s Family Week and John Patrick Shanley’s The Deep Blue Sea. She made a mark on television with the showtime series United States of Tara (as Tara’s sister) and on the big screen, the award winning role in Rachel Getting Married. She tries he hand in horror with director Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist. This one is a 3D contemporary take on writer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper’s 1982 classic, about a family whose youngest daughter is abducted by a poltergeist shortly after moving to a suburban neighborhood. DeWitt tells us more:
Do you remember watching
the original movie?
I remember being terrified by it when I was a kid. I don’t remember where I saw it; I just remember how it sat in my psyche. Then when we were going to remake this movie I started watching it again but more from the actor’s perspective, because JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson were just so awesome..
Why does the original still seem scary?
I think at its heart it’s an abduction story, and for parents it’s terrifying because that’s a nightmare. And for children, we all remember getting lost in the mall, and this girl gets lost in her house, sucked into the TV! Plus technology is such a big part of the first one, in terms of the TV, and now we’re living in a whole new realm with this family being very disconnected. They have too many gadgets going at the dinner table every night, and you wonder how connected we even are to each other, and would you notice if one of the kids was slipping away from you… on a metaphorical level, I think it works too.
Which were the most important
elements to keep from the original?
Really, the only thing you want to keep intact is the story itself and hopefully the heart of the family,
because we have to care about them. You can go break it all down and say what’s important, but it’s not a shot-for-shot remake. The speed of life has changed so much since the original, which means the pacing is different. This movie has a lot of faster edits, and the kids are playing computer games… it’s very different.
Scheduled to release today.