Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Brian Gibson
Starring: JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke
Rated: PG-13/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
In this thrilling follow-up to the smash hit Poltergeist, the Freeling family (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins) settles into a new home following the annihilation of their former residence by terrifying visitors from the netherworld. But the spirits of the dead are still hell-bent on luring the family’s clairvoyant daughter Carol Anne to “the other side.” This chilling sequel, directed by Brian Gibson (Breaking Glass) also stars Will Sampson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Julian Beck (The Cotton Club) and Zelda Rubinstein (Anguish) returns as Tangina.
Scream Factory has brought Poltergeist II: The Other Side to Blu-ray with a new 2K scan of the inner positives! Picking up some time after the first film, we once again join in with the family at a new house as the leader of the evil that haunted them on the first film is now walking the earth in a ghostly human form called Henry Kane. They are once again after young Carol Ann to show them the way! This time, however, we have no Tobe Hooper behind the camera or Steven Spielberg pulling the strings. That being the case Poltergeist II is still a very solid horror film. While a clear step-down from the original, we still have a lot of fun with the family and we have some fun characters. This time adding Kane does a lot to up the spooky and the medicine man, Taylor, here to help the family also adds something new to the mix. The effects also seem to be still on point with what we got before as we see some really cool stuff done with effects that bring that charming 80’s horror vibe that I know that I at least dig so much. Young Heather O’Rourke perhaps finds her acting chops even more here as Carol Ann and you can’t go wrong with the rest of the cast either. Craig T. Nelson is always a highlight to me when he’s in a movie and as a result, I find him to also be a lot of fun here still. Like I said, it still maintains that Poltergeist vibe for the most part and only loses a little perhaps by having a new director.
The plot moves forward here by only slightly altering the methodology from the first film. We still have the story of a house being built over a graveyard being the key to the issue, but now we learn that Kane was leading a cult that the Indians did away with and the house was over that part of the land. Kane has become a very creepy horror image in the landscape of horror movies over the years and I can easily see why. He’s probably the creepiest part of the whole thing for me. Also, I think everything leads to a worthy finale, something we might be able to say for the next film when we dive into that review next. Scream keeps dong a fine job with their Collector Editions and we see a clear upgrade over the previous Blu-ray release here. We also get some nice interviews and such in the extras to make people double dip with this one without having to feel bad about it. I just wish they had gotten the rights to use the first one because now it looks misplaced after seeing the covers for part 2 and 3 lined up next to each other.
– NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
– NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer Michael Grais
– NEW Audio Commentary With Poltergeist II Webmaster David Furtney
– NEW Robbie’s Return – An Interview With Oliver Robins
– NEW The Spirit World – An Interview With Special Effects Designers Richard Edlund, Steve Johnson, And Screaming Mad George
– NEW Ghosts Of Giger – A Look At The Contributions Of Artist H.R. Giger Featuring Rare Photos And Illustrations And An Interview With Giger’s Friend And Agent Les Barany And Special Effects Designer Steve Johnson, Richard Edlund And Screaming Mad George
– Vintage Featurettes: They’re Back: The Making Of Poltergeist II, Monster Shop, And Ghostmakers: The Magic Of Poltergeist II
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Still Galleries (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills, Posters And Script Pages)
Quality of Transfer: 92%