Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Poltergeist II: The Other Side
I’ve been looking forward to this one as I really enjoyed watching the first one during one of our other 31 Days of Halloween.
The Freeling family relocate and live with Diane's mother in Arizona. However, they soon learn that the spirit of an insane preacher is causing trouble for them.
Set 1 year after the first film, the home of the Freeling has been demolished and the ground it stood on has been excavated and a large cave has been discovered. Local psychic Tangina informs her friend Taylor, who happens to be a Native American Shaman, about the discovery and he goes to investigate it himself. During his investigations, he finds that the spirit of Reverend Henry Kane, who was an insane preacher, is after Carol-Anne and Taylor goes to defend her.
The Freeling family have moved cross country to Pheonix, Arizona – and I mean who can blame them after last year! They live with Grandma Jess, who just happens to be a clairvoyant, and believes Carol-Anne and her mother, Diane, possess the gift too – if you can call it a gift. Jess dies – of natural causes – but tells Diane before she dies, that she will always be there if she needs her.
Rev Kane begins to attack the home just as Taylor arrives. Now after last year the family are taking no chances and have removed ALL of the TVs, but it’s okay Kane decided Carol-Anne’s toy phone; however his plan doesn’t succeed and the family leg it out the house. Taylor introduces himself to them – not sure how he plans to save them at this point – but he explains there is no point them running again as Rev will just find them again, so they give up and go back inside – what idiots.
Kane decides that rather than sending his minions in to try and fail to launch his attacks, he shows up at the house in human form, but Steve manages to resist him as he demands to be let in. Taylor is one proud shaman and takes Steve to the desert and gives him the “Power of Smoke” – seems weird to me – and Taylor tells him it will help ward off Kane. Tangina – anyone else keep reading it as Tangerine or just me? – arrives and talks to Diane about Kane and explains how Kane’s history, including being the head of a apocalyptic cult, has turned him into the beast that is now stalking the family. She explains that Kane lead his cult followers across the desert and into the cave under their old house, because he believed that the world was ending, but then rather than accept he was wrong, he just kept them trapped and let them all die – he sounds like a delight. Kane, we learn, was so deranged and evil that he became a monster after he died and controlled the souls of his followers. Taylor, back from the desert with Steve, tells them that Kane is very clever and they need to keep their wits about that as he will try to tear them apart – anyone else getting a bad feeling about this?
Taylor has left the family alone, and they are not doing so good. Steve gets pissed and swallows a Mezcal Worm that looks bastard disgusting, like seriously why? And to add insult to injury, Rev Kane has possessed the worm and them temporarily possesses Steve – honestly this is why you shouldn’t eat bugs. Steve tries to rape Diane, but true love shines through when she shouts that she loves him and Kane’s grip on Steve weakens. Steve then spews up the worm/Kane, which turns into some sort of vomit monster – I won’t lie this bit was creepy – and tries to attack Steve, but he uses his Smoke Power to drive him away. The Beast tries to attack again, but the family leg it, however, realise the only way to beat Kane is to go to the other side and defeat him there.
The Freelings head back to their home in Cuesta Verde and go into the cave below where their house once stood, and Kane pulls Diane and Carol-Ann over to the dark side, sorry I mean the other side. Steve and Robbie jump in after them through the first Taylor made, and Kane, who is now all powerful – or so he thinks – tries to drain Carol-Anne’s life force. Steve has other plans however, and using a charmed native spear, stabs Kane and defeats him. Carol-Ann nearly ends up getting a free pass to stay on the other side, but Grandma Jess comes to the rescue and give her back to Diane & Steve, and they all make it back to reality.
As a way of thanking Taylor for his help, they give him their car as they know he likes it – although it’s no until AFTER he drives away, that they realise they now have no car and end up chasing after him.
I did enjoy this film, but not as much as the first one. It didn’t seem to have the same intensity and the end was much weaker. Reverend Kane however…was fucking terrifying. Ad told me after why he looked as thin and sickly as he did which only made it even creepier, and obviously couldn't help but feel a lot of sympathy for the actor in the end. But, what a performance! He truly made the best of a shit situation and, for me, made the film. I'd say this one is worth watching just for Julian Beck alone.