This sequel doesnít come close to topping the original but it doesnít
deserve the horrible reputation itís been getting for all these years.
The film has many positive aspects.
The strong family unit
"The Freelings" are all back (minus Dominique Dunne, see
Bullseye) and I fell in love with them again, the chemistry is still
there. The film walks itís own twisted path instead of attempting to
copy the original and even though the film has a different kind of story
it still manages to capture the feel of the first. This sequel also has
more "physical" entities (Kane, monsters) and a deeper
"spiritual" flavor (Maybe itís a bit too spiritual for itís
The character of Taylor
(Sampson) brings a new perspective to the "ghost" phenomenon and
much humor when it comes to his bantering with Steve (Nelson). I loved
that whole relationship with Steveís car thangÖfunny stuff!
Where the film weakens
is that it explains too much and makes things a bit too complicated. A few
characters wind up being psychic and the ghosts have a history thatís
revealed. What was fun about the original is that the family were average
Joeís that we could relate too, making a few of them psychic kind of
ruined it a bit. Knowing more about the ghosts does give way for extremely
frightening scenes with Kane but also takes away from the pleasure of NOT
knowing whatís going on and why.
My biggest complaint is
the "light show" finale on the other side. Itís way too
supernatural and I imagine that the Freelingís will have to sit through
therapy sessions for years after that event. The finale is corny, the main
bad guy is defeated way too easily and for me it just didnít work. Itís
too out there.
The film loses
the grasp on reality that the first one had and winds up all over the
place but that doesnít mean thatís itís a turd. The film still
offers strong performances, some great effects (loved the braces scene),
some chilling moments, a "possession" segment thatís sure to
chill your blood and some well handled humor. Lets give Poltergeist 2 a