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Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Year: 1986
Studio: MGM
Director: Brian Gibson
Cast: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubenstein, Will Sampson, Julian Beck
At the time this movie came out I really liked the way it explained everything that happened in the first film, with the religious nut Kane and the sect of followers he convinces to seal themselves inside a cave to await Armageddon.

I found it really scary and really effective, even if I recognise now how hokey it is. If the wisened old Indian - Taylor - doesn't make you roll your eyes at his faux-Kenobi-ism, then the 'light of a family' that holds off the big mutli-headed beast in the spirit dimension will.

But despite some cack-handedness, there are some effective shocks, genuinely scary scenes (wait for the rainwater dripping on the toy phone) and a truly creepy villain in Kane (Julian Beck, one of the victims of the Poltergeist curse along with Dana, played by Dominique Dunne from the original, and Carol Anne's Heather O'Rourke, having died soon after filming).

Trying to pick up the pieces of their life, the Freelings have found a temporary home with Diane's mother. But something's followed them. It wasn't the houses they wanted at all, the spirits that sent corpses burrowing up into the pool in the original are still after little Carol Anne.

Spielberg and Co all bailed, only the original cast returning and (in a supposed extension of the curse) all their careers subsequently taking a dive.

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