Wicked Witchboard Remake Channels Searing Scares and Modern Occult Obsessions

The newly released trailer for the Witchboard remake conjures up relentless chills with an early sequence depicting an unwitting seance gone wrong. Hands trembling, makeshift medium Emily grasps the wooden pendulum board as candles flicker ominously. The camera cuts between her terrified eyes and the ominous swing of the pendulum, culminating in a blurry figure rushing towards the screen amidst stuttering camera glitches and Emily’s blood-curdling scream.

Legendary horror director Chuck Russell clearly indicates a much darker tone for this occult thriller compared to the camp and cheese of the 1986 original. Fans can expect plenty of sinister ambiance, tense jump scares, and disturbing imagery as Russell modernizes the story for contemporary audiences. With inventive practical effects and commitment to old-school techniques, Russell returns to his horror roots to terrifying effect in the Witchboard Remake.

Original 1980s witchboard movie, talking about how the original compares to the new one.

The original Witchboard from 1986 has become a cult favorite, thanks largely to its novel blend of supernatural horror with quintessential 80s aesthetics and camp. Directed by Kevin S. Tenney, the story followed a trio of friends who encounter a Ouija-inspired pendulum board that unleashes dangerous paranormal forces. While cheesy at times, it stood out for its occult investigation theme and mystical pendulum as a conduit to the spirit realm.

Witchboard took the Ouija formula in a fresh direction, ditching the standard board for a wooden, swing-arm pendulum with a glass pointer. This unique occult object, along with Tenney’s eerie seance scenes and electronic score, created an original supernatural thriller for its time. And lead actress Tawny Kitaen left a memorable mark as the troubled Emily, channeling sinister spirits to her peril. Three sequels followed, cementing the original’s legacy as a franchise-starter with surprising depth beneath the dated 80s schlock.

Chuck Russell

Director Chuck Russell (The Blob, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3) brings a fresh stylistic approach to this occult-driven plot, aiming to truly terrify audiences with dire implications of meddling with forces beyond human understanding. The trailer depicts glimpses of ritualistic sacrifice, ghostly entities crawling forth, and clever manipulations of perspective, indicating creative and modern techniques to unsettle viewers.

Leading the cast of ‘Witchboard Remake‘ is Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) as the amateur spiritual medium Emma, a role that seems primed to showcase her wide-eyed intensity. Horror icon Lin Shaye (Insidious, Ouija) also joins the project as the mysterious shop owner who presents Emma with the fateful pendulum. Shaye’s pedigree promises clever winks to occult thriller history and interplay with Scanlen’s naivety. Rounding out the central trio is Edward Furlong (Terminator 2) as a technology expert who gets pulled into the pendulum’s dark forces.    

With the vision Russell established in his Nightmare on Elm Street 3 prime and a cast perfectly suited for occult themes, this remake appears ready to dial up the dread far beyond the original. The trailer’s focus on shadowy figures, eerie whispers, and unsettling sound effects proves Russell is more interested in straight-up scares than camp this time around.

The IMDb page provides some additional insights into the production. It’s being produced by A-Nation Media, known for other recent horror films. The director Chuck Russell co-wrote the script with actress Eliza Scanlen, who stars as a young woman that accidentally opens a portal to dark spirits via a seance. The cast also includes veterans like Lin Shaye and Virginia Madsen. IMDb keywords describe it as an occult supernatural horror film involving witchcraft and an Ouija board. While details are sparse, the pedigree of the creatives behind A-Nation Media point to a promising remake of the 1980s cult classic.

Witchboard Remake using quija board in still image

The new take on Witchboard taps into the surging popularity of occult themes in contemporary horror media. With recent successes like Hereditary, Midsommar, and the Netflix phenomena Archive 81 and Midnight Mass, sinister stories grounded in ritual experimentation and supernatural forces beyond comprehension have dominated the genre. This aligns with broader fascinations in reality with spiritualism, meditation, tarot readings and other mystical pursuits gaining mainstream traction. 

Witchboard aims to capitalize on this momentum, timed perfectly to attract audiences hooked by complex mythologies, uncanny entities, and dangerous consequences of new age occultism taken too far. It also piggybacks off the Ouija franchise’s continued appeal to younger demographics intrigued by stories of meddling with mystic forces shrouded in mystery. The original’s unique pendulum board gimmick already aligned with larger Ouija traditions. This remake seems primed to deliver the truly spine-tingling experience today’s occult-obsessed audiences crave.

Take a peek at the first trailer for the Witchboard Remake below, let us know what you think of the first remake trailer.

Based on the chilling trailer, Witchboard appears poised to become a new horror classic that both honors the original while establishing its own distinct supernatural thrills. Director Chuck Russell seems to have conjured just the right amount of sinister ambiance, ghastly imagery, and tense scares to make the most of the occult investigation concept. With committed performances and clever practical effects teased in the preview, the remake promises to fully realize the bone-chilling potential at the core of the original film’s pendulum board storyline.

Russell’s pedigree in horror paired with rising star Eliza Scanlen and the legendary Lin Shaye provides the perfect storm of cinematic talent to actualize an updated vision. For nostalgic fans of the 80s original looking for a fresh take or newcomers craving an authentically eerie occult thriller, the new Witchboard slashes through expectations with wicked intent to terrify on levels the original only hinted at. Forget previously witnessed seances – this pendulum summons ruthless new spirits and nightmare-inducing scares tailor-made for contemporary horrors.