31 Days of Horror: Poltergeist II: the Other Side (1986)


I saw Poltergeist II in the theater when I was six years old.  It terrified me, to my very core.  For that reason and that reason alone, I continue to put it on the list to be eligible for the Top 100 Horror films of all-time.  But over time the Poltergeist movies, the series as a whole has become less terrifying. This does not mean I do not enjoy all three, I do, way more than the pitiful excuse for a remake.  Talk about horror movies that did not need a remake, Poltergeist may be near the top of my list.

The movie picks up a year after the first movie, although it has been 4 in real time.  The Freeling family is now living with Diane’s mother.  Of course, her mother dies and we meet Kane.  From there paranormal things happen, Carol Anne gets to say, “there back”.  That is a chilling moment.  When we meet Kane, the main antagonist in the film, he gives off this creepy vibe from the get go.  Singing different religious songs to Carol Anne and one day comes to the house to try and break through.

Ok, so the story is about Kane who led his people to believe the end of the world was coming.  He trapped his followers in a cave where they died…The cave happened to be under the Freeling’s old house.  Kane found Carol Anne on the Other Side in the first movie and wanted to bring the angel with him to his people.  He is fighting throughout the movie to get Carol Anne, Taylor an Indian helps the Freelings.  He does not get directly involved, but helps them on their path.  Eventually they are able to face Kane on the Other Side as a family.

There are a lot of people who think this movie is no good.  I don’t see why.  Sure there are some parts of the story that are not great.  But, I think over all it is solid.  There are some truly creepy moments in the movie, especially with Kane, played by Julian Beck…He was superb in the role, I believe he was the religious mad man.  Julian Beck was dying while playing the role, which may have added to the passion in his voice.  The scene at the front door is very epic in many ways.  Julian Beck had to put everything he had into that scene, he was pefection.  Reverend Kane is one of the more memorable horror villains from my youth, the singing, the faces, he can go from rage to calm in a blink of an eye.  He was amazing and I can truly see why his followers trusted him and followed them to their death.

If you don’t like Poltergeist II, give it another shot.  It is a good one and I think part of the issue, you are following up one of the best horror movies made.  Poltergeist is a top 25 horror movie for me.  Give it another shot.

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