Movie Review: POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE was directed by Brian Gibson and stars Craig T. Nelson as Steven Freeling; JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling; Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne Freeling; Oliver Robins as Robbie Freeling; Will Sampson as Taylor; Geraldine Fitzgerald as Jessica Wilson; Julian Beck as Reverend Henry Kane; and Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons.

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.

They’re back! This sequel picks up after the events that took place in the original Poltergeist where the Freeling’s have now moved in with Diane’s mother. For some strange reason, the restless spirits follow them and continue to scare the crap out of the family, but the big question now is, why did they follow them? It has to do with Diane’s family secret that has been passed down to Carol Anne and the spirits have latched on to her. She’s the key! This time the viewer gets to meet Kane, the supernatural cult leader of these restless spirits. The family recruits the aid of Taylor, a medicine man who has had some experience in dealing with supernatural forces, as well as Tangina who returns to help out her favorite family. Carol Anne goes deep into the other side this time and the young girl’s entire family has to follow her in there so they can ultimately save her.

Okay, even though Poltergeist II: The Other Side doesn’t come close to the 1982 classic, this 1986 horror sequel is a fun roller coaster ride in its own right and delivers some really terrifying moments. I enjoyed the story that follows the aftermath of the first movie that left the Freeling’s scarred for life. This sequel brings back the spirits and takes everything to the next level. We get to meet Kane which is a character that’ll give any horror fan nightmares. In my opinion, this character was easily the best thing about Poltergeist II. This supernatural horror sequel also has a scene that goes full blown creature feature which ends up being one of the craziest parts of the movie. You’ll think twice before you swallow the worm inside that bottle of tequila next time, that’s for sure! Moving on to the cast, I thought they did a great job with their characters who were put in all kinds of terrifying situations this time around. There’s much more going on and the viewer gets to go even deeper into the other side. To compliment the fun story and talented cast are the impressive looking special effects and it all looks amazing.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the creepy cool all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits, so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the cover. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. The movie is featured in Scream Factory’s all-new 2K scan (2.35:1) and I really didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. Another fantastic job by the always impressive Scream Factory gang.

Bottom line is, I had a really good time revisiting Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Even though this sequel doesn’t come close to the magic that the original Poltergeist possesses, it’s still a fun horror movie and it’s one that gets better as it ages. Director Brian Gibson and the returning cast deliver a wild ride of supernatural thrills and chills, along with a little humor. I always like it when a cast returns for a sequel because it puts some of my worries to rest, but adding this new character of Reverend Henry Kane was a fantastic addition. Julian Beck delivers an amazing performance as this supernatural cult leader that ends up being one of the creepiest characters in cinematic history. There’s also Craig T. Nelson who gives the movie a nice dose of humor at times and Heather O’Rourke who gives it some innocence. To top all of this off are the impressive special effects that range from practical to visual and it’s all really well done. This supernatural horror sequel is easily worthy of a high-definition release like this and once again Scream Factory went all out. Not only does the movie look and sound great, but there are all kinds of new extras included. Scream Factory will release Poltergeist II: The Other Side on this amazing Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on January 31st and it is definitely one that’s worth adding to your collection. Highly recommended!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 90 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! This Blu-ray is loaded with all-new extras that include a few commentary tracks and interviews with some of the cast and crew. There’s also some extras that have been imported over from previous home video releases.

  • 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 (14:25)
  • NEW The Spirit World – An Interview With Special Effects Designers Richard Edlund, Steve Johnson And Screaming Mad George (22:09)
  • 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 (21:02)
  • Vintage Featurettes: They’re Back: The Making Of Poltergeist II (06:15), Monster Shop (02:45) And Ghostmakers: The Magic Of Poltergeist II (06:28)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:22)
  • TV Spots (02:04)
  • Still Galleries (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills, Posters) (06:12)
  • Script Pages (10:17)

 

 

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