Poltergeist II: The Other Side


Action / Horror

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 39%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 21430


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April 19, 2015 at 06:13 AM



JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling
Heather O'Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling
Geraldine Fitzgerald as Gramma-Jess
Craig T. Nelson as Steve Freeling
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 5 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DeuceWild_77 7 / 10

Reverend Kane - a trademark in the realm of 80's most iconic & creepiest villains !!

After the critical and box office success of the original movie, the screenwriters (this time without Spielberg) developed a sequel to further explore the secrets behind "the other side" and its connection to the Freeling family, especially the younger one, Carol Anne.

Back were the original main cast: JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson as the devoted parents; Heather O'Rourke and Oliver Robins as the kids (because Dominique Dunne was murdered after the original movie, the production opted to exclude her character, Dana, who is only briefly mentioned) and Zelda Rubinstein as the eccentric psychic Tangina.

English director Brian Gibson (an odd choice for director) was chosen to helm this sequel which is way more darker than the previous film, but at the same time a little more pedestrian directed.

The original story was expanded here and it positively links without being too far-fetched and the inclusion of the Reverend Henry Kane, played superbly creepy by the ill-fated Julian Beck, was top notch. Reverend Kane directly entered to the pop culture as one of the most frightening villains that came out from the 80's decade and the "Poltergeist" franchise forever will be associated to his character.

Will Sampson, who also died 1 year later (due to the Poltergeist "curse", if you believe in that) is very good playing straight, but with a sense of humor, the benevolent Shaman Taylor and the veteran actress Geraldine Fitzgerald used as a fill-in for the Beatrice Straight's character in the original, leaves her mark as the Motherly figure despite her less than 10 minutes on-screen.

"Poltergeist II - The Other Side" have its flaws, even if the original story flows well for this sequel, the novelty factor was over and Gibson couldn't reproduce the same eerie atmosphere, the mastering of suspense or the creativity behind the camera-work, and the fact that MGM butchered the movie from the initial length of 130 minutes to just 91, most of the scenes / plot extensions felt incomplete and, most especially, the ending confrontation when the audience can finally have a look on the other side, was too short and the impact was kind of dull.

The effects are good and 'au pair' with the original film, even if some of them are considered too cheesy for the nowadays standards and others being too disgusting (the worm scene involving Craig T. Nelson who, strangely, acted his Steve Freeling way more over-the-top / campy here, maybe a deliberated decision between him and the director or he forgot how to play the character right or even, he was just in for the paycheck, not believing in the material).

Heather O'Rourke's role is less prominent here (once again, too much Craig T. Nelson...), but the child actor still delivers, her first encounter with Reverend Kane in the Mall is unforgettable as a good piece of thrilling cinema (it helped, that little Heather was in real life scared of Julian Beck, who sported a gaunt look due to his stomach cancer).

In short, it's a good follow-up film, not as exceptional or a masterwork of the genre as the first, but way more showy, visually horrifying & visceral.

For fans of Horror B-movies with large budgets, this one is worth a watch !!

Reviewed by beetle-259-554148 3 / 10

A bad sequel - do not recommend

WARNING: This review contains spoilers that may ruin the first movie.

This movie starts with a Native American ceremony which I feel could've been cut out and just replaced with Tangina meeting with Taylor at the site of the Freelings's house.

The Freelings are now living with Diane's mother while Steve is now selling vacuum door-to-door while trying to successfully file an insurance claim for their old house. The Freelings got rid of every TV in Diane's mothers house and now get entertainment from a small portable radio. One of the Freelings doesn't appear and that's Dana, the eldest daughter from the first movie.

One day while at a mall, Carol Anne is separated from Diane and Robbie. A creepy old preacher keeps her company until they find her.

Later that night, Diane's mother passes away in her sleep and the spirits that were after them in the first movie are after them again, except it's revealed that the spirits were not of Native Americans but instead those of members of a religious sect led by Reverend Kane, the old man from the mall, in the early 1800s. He convinced them all that the apocalypse was coming and they sealed themselves in an underground cave. When the day came and went, Kane wouldn't let anyone leave and they all starved to death in the cave which is under where the Freelings's house was. Kane was so evil that his soul became a monster and they want Carol Anne because she almost lead them into the light.

Several Native Americans appear at the house and do several things to protect the house and the Freelings.

Tangina shows up eventually, saying they all have to go back to the site of their house and fight Kane. Upon trying to, their car gets smashed up by the spirits while they're still in the garage but they manage to escape.

The big climactic battle with the Kane Monster happens and he is defeated. Taylor says that their car wants to go with him so he drives off. The Freelings realize they need the car to get back to Diane's mothers house and they start chasing after him on foot. Roll end credits.

Overall, this isn't a very good sequel for a number of reasons. First of all, Dana's disappearance. She couldn't physically appear because the actress who played her, Dominique Dunne, was murdered by her boyfriend shortly after the first movie was released. What bothers me is that she isn't referred to or mentioned even once. When Tangina says they all need to go back as a family, no one mentions contacting Dana, the siblings never talk about wanting to see their older sibling. In the script it was written that she was attending college in this movie which would've worked to explain her absence.

Second, the spirits belonging to members of a cult that starved to death in a cave instead of Native Americans in a burial ground underneath the house ruins the first movie a little bit but also raises some questions; if none of the people in the cave died in a coffin, how were there coffins popping up inside the house?

Third, I felt that the scene with Robbie's dentures being used to wrap up him and Diane and nearly electrocute them was too over the top.

Overall, I do not recommend watching this movie. It is very inferior to the first and some of the writing ruins the first movie. Only watch if you're that much of a die-hard Poltergeist or supernatural horror fan.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 5 / 10

Sometimes it's amusing, but mostly it's just lame.

Here we have yet another belated, completely unnecessary sequel that only barely gets by. After their otherworldly encounters, the Freeling family has relocated and are now living with Dianes' (JoBeth Williams) mother (Geraldine Fitzgerald). They don't get much of a breather before supernatural forces again begin to plague them. And these forces still want to get their hands on little Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke). Diane, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Carol Anne, and Robbie (Oliver Robins) this time receive assistance from a wise Indian (Will Sampson), while Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) makes an encore appearance.

Technically, "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" is reasonably well made. But it's so lazily conceived that it's very hard to care what happens here. Making things tolerable are a still very likable bunch of actors, but they have some pretty bad material to work with this time around. A lot of the dialogue is simply abysmal. Attempts at humor largely fall flat. Director Brian Gibson is no Steven Spielberg, or Tobe Hooper, and can't generate any suspense or excitement at all. The efforts of a very talented visual effects team (supervised by Richard Edlund) can only do so much to help. It's hard to believe this was written by the same guys who wrote the first film.

This is not to say that this sequel is devoid of highlights. One pleasure is in watching the supremely creepy Julian Beck as a malevolent "reverend" who puts a human face, of sorts, on the antagonistic spirits. One ingenious moment involves Robbies' braces; the other is a sequence many people do enjoy about this sequel. That would be the "vomit creature" sequence. It turns out there are consequences for swallowing the worm at the bottle of a tequila bottle.

The family is still worth rooting for; young O'Rourke is as adorable as before. It's just too bad they're stuck in such a blah story.

H.R. Giger ("Alien", "Species") is credited with conceptual design.

Sadly, the final film for both Beck and Sampson.

Five out of 10.

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