Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Director: Brian Gibson

Cast: Brian Gibson, JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O'Rourke

     
 

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One of the more effectively spooky and financially successful horror films of the '80s got an inevitable sequel with this effects-heavy installment. The Freeling family is trying to grapple with the devastation wrought by the ghosts and ghouls that destroyed their lives. The insurance company doesn't believe their story about what happened to their house, so Steve

Overview

One of the more effectively spooky and financially successful horror films of the '80s got an inevitable sequel with this effects-heavy installment. The Freeling family is trying to grapple with the devastation wrought by the ghosts and ghouls that destroyed their lives. The insurance company doesn't believe their story about what happened to their house, so Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), and their kids, Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) and Robbie (Oliver Robins), have been reduced to living in the home of Diane's mother, Jess (Geraldine Fitzgerald). Unfortunately for the Freelings, however, their new residence, just like their last, is situated on a haunted patch of unholy ground. A century before, the mad cult leader Kane (Julian Beck) slaughtered his followers nearby, and his evil spirit has returned in an effort to kidnap Carol Anne. When the Freelings realize what's happening, they call upon the psychic medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein) to help them again, and they also receive aid from a kindly Native American spiritualist, Taylor (Will Sampson). Noticeably absent from the sequel was older daughter Dana, who had been played by actress Dominique Dunne; Dunne was killed in 1982 by her obsessed boyfriend.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The original Poltergeist mixed visceral scares and sympathetic characters in a way that really personalized the plight of the Freelings, making audiences suspend disbelief so totally, only the lights coming on in the theater convinced them the family was out of danger. So it's a bit nauseating watching Poltergeist II: The Other Side knowing that life and art really did cross over, that the actress who played eldest daughter Dana (Dominique Dunne) was strangled to death by her boyfriend. The stench of real death puts a damper on the film's potential, especially as it was crassly pushed forward despite Dunne's murder and the departure of both the original director (Tobe Hooper) and writer/producer (Steven Spielberg). Circumstances aside, Poltergeist II seriously lacks inspiration, content to restage set pieces that went over well the first time. When Robbie's braces shoot from his mouth to entangle him, it's a silly retread of the tree outside his old house that tried to get him, and Steven Freeling vomiting up a tequila-worm monster is serious shades of the chicken-maggot/face-peeling incident from part one. The one breath of fresh (or perhaps crypt-stale) air is the casting of Julian Beck as the haunting reverend Henry Kane, who sings chillingly unwholesome songs as he stalks the Freelings to their new home. The fact that the actor was dying of stomach cancer lends him a pitch-perfect skeletal horror, accounting for a lot more scares than the inorganically used special effects. A fault with both films -- all the more so here -- is that the finale collapses into ridiculousness. The so-called "Poltergeist curse" would continue with an unwatchable Poltergeist III and the death of young Heather O'Rourke soon after it finished filming.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2011
UPC:
0883904239239
Original Release:
1986
Source:
20Th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:30:00

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
JoBeth Williams Diane Freeling
Craig T. Nelson Steve Freeling
Heather O'Rourke Carol Anne Freeling
Oliver Robins Robbie Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein Tangina Barrons
Will Sampson Taylor
Julian Beck Rev. Henry Kane
Geraldine Fitzgerald Gramma Jess
John P. Whitecloud Old Indian
Jamie Abbott Kane's Person
Ann Louise Bardach Kane's Person
David Beaman Kane's Person
Syd Beard Kane's Person
Jaclyn Bernstein Young Diane
Helen Boll Mother
Nobel Craig Vomit Creature
Pamela Gordon Kane's Person
Chelsea Hertford Kane's Person
Rocky Krakoff Kane's Person
Robert Lesser Kane's Person
Carrie Lorraine Kane's Person
Susan Peretz Daughter
Kelly Jean Peters Young Jess
Haley Taylor-Block Kane's Person
Kathy Wagner Kane's Person

Technical Credits
Brian Gibson Director
Roy Barnes Set Decoration/Design
Barry Bernardi Producer
Richard Edlund Special Effects
April Ferry Costumes/Costume Designer
Freddie Fields Executive Producer
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Michael Grais Producer,Screenwriter
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
Andrew Laszlo Cinematographer
Thom Noble Editor
Greg Papalia Set Decoration/Design
Mark Victor Producer,Screenwriter

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