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Vadim Perelman To Direct Poltergeist

Remake of the classic Spielberg chiller

When MGM made the decision to plunder its stellar back catalogue for a series of (hopefully) lucrative remakes, the company could have taken the easy way out: announce a bunch of titles, hire a cadre of hack, and set them to work. (A cynic would say this worked for The Pink Panther; Empire, of course, doesn’t have a cynical bone in our body…)

But, commendably, MGM has actually done the opposite, instead setting a series of top helmers to work on their crown jewels, from Darren Aronofsky on RoboCop, through to giving top second unit director, Dan Bradley, his shot at the big time with Red Dawn.

And they’ve continued in a similar vein by announcing that Vadim Perelman is to direct their recently-announced remake of Steven Spielber – sorry, Tobe Hooper’s 1980 horror classic, Poltergeist.

If you’re wondering, ‘Vadim who?’, he’s the super-serious director behind the ultra-depressing flicks, The House Of Sand And Fog, and The Life Behind Her Eyes. So, while he may not immediately seem the perfect fit for a commercial horror flick about a family whose home becomes haunted by an evil entity, he – and we - would beg to differ. A master of establishing an unsettling tone and exploring the dynamics of a family under pressure, Perelman might be perfect for this gig, as he’s likely to avoid cat-in-a-fridge type scares.

At the moment, little is known about the Poltergeist remake. The story seems relatively intact, but we don’t know, for instance, whether it will again focus on a family called the Freelings, or whether it will focus on their intuitive young daughter, Carol Anne. Or if it’ll have a freaky mini-psychic. Or that bit where the researcher claws off his own face in the bathroom. Or that bit where Jobeth Williams runs down the corridor, but it gets longer and longer as she goes. Or the bit with the tree. Or the bit with the clown. Or the bit…

OK, we’re big fans. And normally we’d say – in a scary Zelda Rubinstein voice – ‘leave this film alone!’ But we’re intrigued by Perelman’s appointment, so we wish him well.