The World Needs Another ‘Poltergeist,’ by Brandon Hartley

Mr. President, esteemed members of Congress and the American armed forces, I thank you for joining me here in the War Room of the National Military Command Center. As you know, our fair nation and the entire world is under attack by forces we don’t quite understand. I’ve got the finest scientific minds on three separate continents compiling data and crunching the numbers as we speak. The situation before us is a dire one. Entire cities could crumble. Untold millions may die.

There is, however, one thing that could save civilization. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to need a remake of Poltergeist.

Please stop laughing over there in the corner, Secretary Hagel. You too, Biden, and no, you can’t have another cronut! However, the butts of every man, woman and child on this planet is on the line right now. We must take this seri–put down that cronut right now, Mr. Vice President!

Does the world really need a remake of the seminal 1982 horror film? Under normal circumstances, no. It’s a classic. But now, I’m sorry to say, the world does need another Poltergeist.

Don’t ask me how the whole thing works. I’m no Einstein sitting in some sorta fancy Einstein Lab in Austria or wherever. The finest scientific minds on the planet say we gotta do this, so we gotta do this. Look, I’m just the messenger here.

I know, I know, Ms. Pelosi, the last thing any of us want to do is sit through another lame remake of a film or a TV show from the ‘80s. Those Transformer films that Michael Bay won’t stop making for some damn reason? Terrible, every last one of them. The upcoming feature-length film version of Jem and the Holograms? You can bet that’s gonna suck. Ghostbusters, but with four totally hilarious women instead of Dan Ayk…okay, that one might actually be pretty good.

Look, everybody in this room has franchise fatigue. We’re tired. None of us can handle another godforsaken Spider-Man, especially if they start all the way over again at the beginning and we have to watch a third pretty boy get bit on the neck. But you know what? That last one? With the electric guy and Paul Giamatti running around in that stupid rhinoceros robot thing? That $200 million piece of  shit saved New Zealand. I’m serious. If my colleagues and I hadn’t gotten that thing in cinemas by the time that we did…well, let’s just say there never would have been a third Hobbit movie.

Oh, come on, Hagel. That scene on the ice lake with the big orc? That’s was pretty cool. Yeah, it sure was, and it wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t saved New Zealand with that dumb Spider-Man remake.

This is what we’re looking at. We’ve got 11 days. That should be enough time for us to slap together 90 minutes of cheap jump scares and “fan service” references to the original Poltergeist that will appeal to older audiences. No, we won’t have time to test market it, but that isn’t the point, is it, Secretary Kerry?

Some demonic CGI clowns, some ghosts popping out of a plasma TV, and a bunch of product placement for the Playstation 4, and Avengers action figures in Carol-Anne’s bedroom, and bingo bango bongo, folks, we’ve saved the whole world.

Oh, Christ, Hagel. You want us to redo the notorious “chicken crawling across the kitchen counter” scene from the original? Yeah, I know it’s one of horror’s freakiest moments but we haven’t got much time here. No, President Obama, we can’t toss in the endless hallway sequence, or that totally gnarly shot of the mom clinging to the doorknob as she tries to not get sucked into a closet vortex. And dammit, Biden, I realize that Peter Dinklage uttering the words “this house is clean” would be cool but I’m pretty sure he’s tied up with Game of Thrones. PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PIPE DOWN! PLEASE STOP SHOUTING OUT YOUR FAVORITE SCENES FROM THE ORIGINAL POLTERGEIST! THIS DOESN’T NEED TO BE A PERFECT REMAKE!

Senator Cruz, everybody knows that Steven Spielberg ghost-directed the original because Tobe Hopper was allegedly high on smack, and we’re all familiar with “The Poltergeist Curse.” If you don’t stop reading random factoids off the trivia section of the original’s IMDB page you’ll never get to be the next president of the United States. Because there isn’t going to be any more United States if we don’t act!

Steven Spielberg must be rolling in his grave right now.

What? Oh, thank you. Well, that’s just great. According to this report I’ve just been handed, we’ve just lost India. The entire subcontintent is gone. Whole damn place just spontaneously combusted.

Look, I know this is a scary time for all of us. As a civilization. As a species. But we cannot go extinct without a fight. We’ve gotta do this thing, even if the end result will totally blow goats. Maybe, if this film is successful, we can put more effort into a remake of Poltergeist II: The Other Side. We couldn’t possibly do any worse than what wound up on the big screen back in ‘86. What a piece of garbage that was.

Brandon Hartley is an American writer who lives in the Netherlands. He is currently working on a novel about a kitten that learns how to play a guitar.

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