The Best ’80s Horror Movie Is Attempting A Major Revival 

An unconfirmed report suggests Amazon is looking to revive the Poltergeist franchise.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated


The ’80s was a decade that birthed some of the horror genre’s most classic films. Now, one of the best ’80s horror movies may be getting a huge revival. According to entertainment journalist Jeff Sneider on this week’s live-streamed episode of The Hot Mic co-hosted by John Rocha, Amazon is looking to bring back the 80s classic horror film Poltergeist.

During the interview, Sneider related that Amazon is looking to “prioritize” the Poltergeist franchise which, although vague, is promising to fans of the original film. Sneider noted that the situation is “complicated by the fact that Spielberg would likely need to be involved.” He continued that “All this stuff is so up in the air,” and that “[Amazon is] still figuring out, ‘What do we have here in MGM, what do we want to do with it, and how do we want to do it?’”

Horror revivals have become increasingly popular in recent years, with remakes and new installments of classic horror IP garnering commercial success and popular attention. One strong example is the popularity of the series Wednesday, which draws from lore from The Addams Family franchise. Other examples include the revival of the Jamie Lee Curtis-fronted Halloween franchise in 2018 and the ongoing success of the Scream franchise with Scream 6 slated to open in theaters later this month.

Slasher films and television series have been making a killing at the box office, but can an Amazon revival of the Poltergeist franchise do the same? The previous film may serve to temper expectations for any revival. Released almost a decade ago in 2015 and directed by Gil Kenan, the film captured some commercial success but failed to live up to critics’ expectations. 

Starring Sam Rockwell, 2015’s Poltergeist had a disastrous production period starting in 2008 that was delayed and stalled numerous times before its 2015 release. The film was a remake of the original but didn’t have the same magic. Unfortunately, the franchise went cold after the film’s release.

The Poltergeist remake

The original 1982 film Poltergeist is one of the classic films in the genre. Directed by Tobe Hooper, the screenplay was adapted by Michael Grais and Mark Victor from a story by Steven Spielberg. It starred JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and Beatrice Straight as a suburban family whose peaceful home is turned upside down when it is invaded by angry spirits.

When the spirits abduct the youngest daughter, the family must work together to reunite and overcome their unfortunate circumstances. 

The film features a number of iconic scenes, including when ghosts abduct the youngest daughter Carol Ann and she communicates through the television, and an infamous clown doll scene which definitely contributed to a whole generation’s fear of both dolls and clowns. The Poltergeist franchise consists of the original trilogy Poltergeist I (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), and Poltergeist III (1988), as well as a television series Poltergeist: The Legacy (1999) and 2015’s Poltergeist remake.

As Amazon figures out what a return to the Poltergeist franchise could look like, it’s encouraging to know that they view it as a priority. This could be because of how popular horror and supernatural franchises have been recently or could be proof that the company feels that fans deserve another return to a fan-favorite classic horror franchise. Either way, readers should stay tuned for more news on the subject in the coming months.