Poltergeist II: The Other Side Movie Review

Poltergeist II: The Other Side

They're back.


JoBeth Williams, Zelda Rubinstein, Craig T. Nelson, Julian Beck

Will Sampson, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Geraldine Fitzgerald, John P. Whitecloud, Noble Craig, Susan Peretz, Helen Boll, Kelly Jean Peters, Jaclyn Bernstein Update Cast


They're back ...And still after cute little Carol Anne Freeling.

Poltergeist II was released May 23, 1986 receiving mixed reviews from the critics and great box-office success taking in $40,000,000 in it's opening weekend in the US. The sequel was written & produced by Mark Victor & Michael Grais who co-wrote the original with Steven Spielberg and follows the doomed Freeling family four years after the original classic left off...

The Freeling family are now living with Diane's mother following the aftermath of Carol Anne's abduction by the Beast, years previously. But the Beast has finally found her and is not about to be put off so easily and appears in a ghostly apparition as the Reverend Kane (Julian Beck), a religious zealot responsible for the deaths of his many followers.

His goal is simple... he wants the angelic Carol Anne, but with the love of her family, the return of psychic Tangina, along with an elderly native American known as Taylor, They are prepared to fight for her life before Kane finally possesses her spirit and takes her to the other side.

I have always regarded this Movie as a decent follow up with its flaws (which it is) and can still not understand how this movie made its way from a running time close to "131 minutes" down to a mere "87".

I think it's down to MGM rushing the movie's production and ordering savage cuts. Some of this movie's editing is really poor and it's a shame because the movie is actually pretty good and only really falls apart at the end when you can see how bad a hack job it really received regarding the ending battle with Kane which lasts about 2 minutes.

Maybe the franchise should have been sold to UNIVERSAL (The company Steven Spielberg first approached about the original). They may have given this movie the justice it deserved. As for the third movie I really don't care, nothing could have saved the third movie from being bad. Regardless of the problems in Poltergeist II, I still loved the characters in the movie, especially Carol Anne & Kane, the plot was an interesting way for the story to go and the special effects held up.

Wrapping everything up, this movie is a decent sequel and had the advantage of retaining most of the original cast from the first movie (minus Dominique Dunne sadly, Beatrice Straight who was ill and not willing to shoot at the time and Richard Lawson who's schedule did not work with MGM's, he was already filming a 'poor' TV movie called "Under the Influence" when he was approached for this movie) also there were some really good classic moments in this sequel, one being... "The Vomit Creature!"

...check your tequila for strange worms swimming around in it next time!

Author: Gregory AndersonUpdate This Review


Decent follow up to "Poltergeist" which provides an interesting back-story to the first movie and marks a welcomed return for the 'Freeling' family.

Cast performances especially young "Heather O' Rourke" and "Julian Beck" as Kane. Terrific music score by Jerry Goldsmith. Keeps pretty much in touch with the original Poltergeist and does not go to far as some sequels do..."Poltergeist III" anyone??
Editing, Post-Production, Running Time.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Brian Gibson
Writer: Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Producers: Lynn Arost, Freddie Fields, Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Locations Manager:

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Release Date: 23 May 1986
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: MGM
Production: MGM
Genre: Horror / Occult

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The Movie Trailer
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1986 MGM
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