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 ORourke) 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.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side is a 1986 American supernatural thriller film and the second entry in the Poltergeist film series. A sequel to Poltergeist, it features the return of the original family, who are once again confronted by a spirit trying to harm their daughter, Carol Anne. It received mixed reviews from critics and did not gross as much at the box office as its predecessor, although it was still financially successful. It ended up making over $40 million against a $19 million (estimated) production budget and was nominated for the Academy Award for Visual Effects. The film was also nominated for a Razzie Award for Zelda Rubinstein as Worst Supporting Actress. It was followed in 1988 by Poltergeist III.
The Freeling family move in with Diane's mother in an effort to escape the trauma and aftermath of Carol Anne's abduction by the Beast. But the Beast is not to be put off so easily and appears in a ghostly apparition as the Reverend Kane, a religeous zealot responsible for the deaths of his many followers. His goal is simple - he wants the angelic Carol Anne.
One year after the events of Poltergeist, Cuesta Verde, the Freelings neighborhood from the first film, is being evacuated and turned into an archaeological paranormal dig, centered around the spot where the Freelings home stood before it imploded. The excavation leads to the discovery of an underground cave by a ground crew. Its existence is revealed to psychic Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein), who tells a friend of hers, Taylor (Will Sampson), a Native American shaman. After investigating the cave for himself, Taylor realizes that Rev. Henry Kane (Julian Beck), a deceased, insane preacher, has located Carol Anne and goes to defend her.
The Freeling family, Steven (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), Robbie (Oliver Robins), and Carol Anne (Heather ORourke), has relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and now live in a house with Dianes mother, Jessica "Grandma Jess" Wilson (Geraldine Fitzgerald). Having lost his real estate license, Steve is reduced to selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door while filing repeated insurance claims to cover the missing home. Grandma Jess is highly clairvoyant, and says that Diane and Carol Anne are clairvoyant as well. Grandma Jess later dies from natural causes, but not before telling Diane one last time that shell always "be there" if she needs her.
Taylor shows up as Kane begins his first assault on the home. Unable to get in through the television as the family has removed all television sets from the home, Kanes minions are forced to find another way in, this time through Carol Annes toy phone. The attack fails, and the family gets out of the house quickly. Taylor introduces himself and convinces them that running would be a waste of time since Kane would only find them again, and they return to the house, which Taylor has made safe for the time being.
Kane himself shows up at the home one day in human form, and demands to be let in, but Steven stands up to him and refuses. Taylor congratulates him for resisting Kane, and then takes Steve out to the desert and gives him the Power of Smoke, a Native spirit that can repel Kane. Tangina shows up at the house and helps Diane to understand the history of Kane and how he became the Beast that is now stalking the family: he was once a man, the Reverend Henry Kane, who led his followers into the cave because he believed the end of the world was coming, then leaving them to die after the date he predicted came and went. Because he was so evil, Kane became a monster after death. Taylor warns the family that Kane is extremely clever, and will try to tear them apart.
One night, Steven lets his guard down and gets drunk, swallowing a Mezcal worm that is possessed by Kane, who temporarily possesses him. He attacks and tries to rape Diane, who cries out that she loves him. Steven then vomits up the worm possessed by Kane, which grows into a huge, tentacled monstrosity. In this form Kane attacks Steven from the ceiling, but Steven uses the smoke spirit to send him away. The Beast then decides on another assault, and this time, the family decides to confront the Beast on his own turf, the Other Side.
The Freelings return to Cuesta Verde and enter the cavern below their former home, where Kane pulls Diane and Carol Anne over into the Other Side. Steven and Robbie jump in after them through a fire started by Taylor. On the Other Side, Steven, Diane, Robbie, and Carol Anne unite, but Kane (now a horrifying, gigantic monster) grabs Carol Anne. Taylor gets a charmed Indian lance into Stevens hands, and Steven stabs Kane with it, defeating the monster and causing him to fall into the afterlife. Carol Anne nearly crosses over into the afterlife as well, but Grandma Jess spirit appears and returns her to the family. The Freelings then return safely to The World of the Living, and thank Taylor and Tangina.Craig T. Nelson as Steve Freeling
JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling
Heather ORourke as Carol Anne Freeling
Oliver Robins as Robbie Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein as Tangina Barrons
Will Sampson as Taylor
Julian Beck as Rev. Henry Kane
Geraldine Fitzgerald as Jessica Wilson
Dana, the eldest daughter from the first film and portrayed by Dominique Dunne, was originally intended to be away at college in the plot of the second film. However, that scene was not filmed for the final theatrical version, as Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend shortly after the first film was released.
Principal photography began on May 23, 1985. The film was at one point intended to be filmed in 3-D. Several scenes, such as the appearance of the Beast and the flying chainsaw were filmed to take advantage of the process.
Several scenes that appeared in press stills or promotional posters were cut from the finished film, including one in which Tangina confronts Kane when he tries to enter the house, and another in which Steve and Diane see a flying toaster during a breakfast scene.
Swiss surrealist artist H. R. Giger was commissioned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to create several designs for the film. Because Giger did not want to leave Zurich for long periods of time, his colleague Cornelius De Fries was hired to represent Giger at the studio during production. Giger was ultimately disappointed with the end result, later attributing the failure to his lack of presence. "When the movies eventually came out I thought, Oh shit. But I couldn’t change it," said Giger. "There was no more time. So I thought that’s the wrong way to work. If you work on a film you have to be there all the time and be always looking at what they’re doing otherwise they’ll do what they want." Only two of Gigers designs appear in the final cut of the film, including "The Great Beast" version of Kane.
After actor Julian Becks death, voice actor Corey Burton was brought in during post-production to loop some of his lines.
The musical score for Poltergeist II: The Other Side was composed and conducted by composer Jerry Goldsmith, who had written the Academy Award-nominated soundtrack to the first film. Though "Carol Annes Theme" returns from the first films soundtrack, the score for The Other Side consists of mostly new material blending traditional orchestral elements with new electronic sounds. The soundtrack album has been released four times: through Varese Sarabande in 1986, Intrada Records in 1993, a deluxe edition by Varese Sarabande in 2003, and a 2-CD set from Kritzerland in 2013.
Although it was financially successful, The Other Side proved to be a box office disappointment when compared to its predecessor. Nevertheless, the film still grossed a respectable $40,996,665 at the United States box office. This film and its successor were rated PG-13 by the MPAA. The original was rated PG, as there was no PG-13 rating at the time (the rating was created in 1984, largely in response to films such as Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom).
MGM released Poltergeist II on DVD for the very first time on August 26, 2003 in a double feature collection along with Poltergeist III. To date there has been no standalone DVD release of the film in Region 1. On September 13, 2011, MGM released the film on Blu-ray.
MGM has also released the film on DVD in Region 2 and Region 4. It was released in the UK on October 23, 2000 and in Australia on September 1, 2006. A double feature pack containing Poltergeist II and III together was released in Region 4 on November 8, 2010.
The novelization, titled Poltergeist II: The Other Side, was written by James Kahn and published by Ballantine Books in 1986. The cover features an image similar to the films poster.
The film holds a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 18 reviews.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side and Poltergeist are part of the same movie series. Poltergeist II: The Other Side and Poltergeist III are part of the same movie series. Thirteen Ghosts (2001). Scary Movie 2 (2001). Jerry Goldsmith composed the music for Poltergeist II: The Other Side and The Haunting.