Releasing one week after Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Poltergeist (2015) represents an altogether different resurrection of a decades-dead film franchise. Whereas Fury Road is a loose sequel to the three Mel Gibson-led Mad Max films (1979, 1981, and 1985), Poltergeist is a more-or-less direct remake of the 1982 film of the same name. Furthermore, Fury Road’s Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 98%, nearly triple the 33% score that Poltergeist has received.
Both films, however, are typical of the contemporary Hollywood trend of attempting to breathe new life into film franchises, both beloved and not-so-beloved. The idea is that making films related to other films that carry name recognition and brand awareness represents less of a financial risk than a film based on an original idea. Film series continuation forms include the direct sequel or prequel, the loose sequel, the reboot, and the remake. Continue reading “They’re Here: “Poltergeist” and Franchise Hauntings” »