Which Poltergeist trailer is scarier: 1982 or 2015?

Feb 5, 2015 at 9:16 p.m. ET
Image: YouTube

Everyone has that one defining movie that scared the bejesus out of them when they were a child. For me, that movie was Poltergeist.

I don't know if it was the terror of being sucked in through the TV by demons, the worry of your own home being built on an Indian burial ground, the face-melting scene in the bathroom or the fact that I slightly resembled the main character, but the movie just brought me to my knees and had me sleeping under my bed. I did, however, keep watching it — repeatedly.

Naturally, when I heard it was being rebooted, anger instantly sunk in. I've been feeling that the remaking and desecration of old favorite movies has gotten out of hand for a while now, but when you dare to remake a Steven Spielberg movie, you're crossing the line. I mean, what's next? E.T.?

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However, upon watching the trailer, I have to admit the new movie looks pretty frickin' scary. Although the names of the characters have changed, there are a lot of similarities and it might be just as creepy as the first. Might be. Check out both previews.


Images: YouTube

To avoid bias, I decided to break down both the 1982 and 2015 trailers by individual scary aspects and see if it's possible that the new trailer might just be as scary as, if not scarier than, the original.

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1. The little girl

Carol AnneImage: YouTube

You've got to give it to the 1982 version here. There's something about the towheaded Carol Anne that is eerie. Sure, her brunette counterpart in the 2015 reboot has a creepy little giggle, but she just doesn't hold a candle to the original child abducted by poltergeists. The words, "They're here," were never the same after this movie.

2. The clown

Image: YouTube

Um, no competition. The new version blows the old one out of the water.

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3. The psychic


Image: Giphy

Zelda, the clairvoyant seeking to clear the house in the 1982 version, may quite possibly be almost as scary as the poltergeists themselves. Mad Men's Jared Harris plays the updated version and I still can't get past seeing him as Lane Price, therefore I am unafraid.

4. The little girl's hands on the fuzzy TV

Image: YouTube

The 2015 version takes this one. A billion hands equals a billion evil spirits waiting to steal your soul.

5. The flying people

Image: YouTube

Yes, it's pretty frightening when the little girl zips up the stairs at the end of the 2015 trailer, but the image of the mother desperately trying to get to her children while flying through the air is forever etched into my brain.

6. The flying objects

Image: Giphy

Call me crazy, but something about the chaos of so many things flying though the air in the old trailer really freaks me out. Yeah the 2015 trailer has some good explosions and what not, but I still find the older images worse.

OK, upon closer review, obviously I wasn't able to remove all bias, because I clearly still think the 1982 version is scarier.

Which Poltergeist trailer terrified you more: 1982 or 2015?

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