Poltergeist ii: The Other Side (1986)

Rating 15

Length 1Hr 31

Release 19.9.1986

About The Freelings have escaped their haunted house, which is now being studied by paranormal investigators, including shaman Taylor (Will Sampson). When Taylor realizes that the Beast, masquerading as the Rev. Kane (Julian Beck), knows where young Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) now lives, he goes to warn the family that their daughter is in danger again. To protect Carol, her father, Steve (Craig T. Nelson), and the rest of the family must plot to take down the Beast.


First Thoughts

I think this was the film that traumatised me as a kid. I was an odd one growing up, in the sense that I love my shows and films about oldies. Cocoon, Batteries Not Included and Dad’s Army were among my must watches. Along with these, I absolutely adored Golden Girls and it just so happened that an episode was on the same tape as, what I can now confirm was, this film.

I think it was the vomit scene that I managed to land on and I was as petrified then as I was watching this film last night.

Treat

  • The sequel has better pacing and narrative flow. There’s even some retrospective explanations that make the franchise a little more coherent.
  • The film attempts to explore the themes of PTSD and grief. There are some sweet scenes, even if its not fully developed.
  • It’s a scary film. From the ghost man, Pastor Kane and his skeleton face to the tequila sperm Gill-Man that Steven gives mouth-birth to. It’s all god damn fucking hide under your duvet scary. Also, if I’d ever seen the braces scene (well crafted too) I would NEVER have spent my childhood wanting braces.
  • The addition of Taylor is really interesting and it adds some Native American ideas to the situation.

Trick

  • Steven is a fucking dick throughout this movie, to the point where I’m not sure the actor is playing the same character. His “say hello to the magic munchkin” in regards to Tangina is downright disrespectful at the best of times, let alone when you consider the woman saved your child’s life.
  • The film is just so rapey! Not in a “Baby it’s Cold Outside’ snowflake way. In a proper ‘this is fucking rapey’ way. First we have Pastor Kane who wants, and needs, Carole Ann. It’s even said ‘he tasted her life force’. Then there’s the husband-but-not-husband attempted rape before he chucks up the tequila sperm Gill-man. It’s nasty and scary, even if Steven was possessed by the tequila sperm. Oh and to bring it full circle, Kane-as-Steven talks about needing Carole Ann while grinding on Diane. As I said; rapey!!!
  • The throwing up tequila sperm foetus was quite possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on tv. I’m curious about something that was mentioned in Grey’s Anatomy last week about muscle memory in regards to trauma and I wonder if the fear of this scene is more to do with how scared I was of it as a kid?!

Final Thoughts

Am I fuck ever watching this film ever again. It’s well made and much better than its predecessor, but nope, nope, nope, nope. This film can go away. Please.

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