Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Coscarelli has captured the texture of a disjointed, half-remembered nightmare, full of figures and events that seem to have some symbolic value, but which have lost their precise meaning in the process of floating up from the subconscious.
The difference between the "Phantasms" is the difference between "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010." Coscarelli's sequel is a fast, entertaining fright show, but it's not inspired in the way the original was.
There are some grotesquely stylish and scary moments in Phantasm II, the sequel to a 1979 film that Don Coscarelli made as a precocious 25-year-old. Unfortunately, these episdoes seem to take as long to arrive as the sequel did.
The original Phantasm was an inventive fever-dream, but the sequel, unfortunately, lacks that delirious youthful imagination. There are some memorable moments along the way--fleeting images scattered throughout the film that have a cumulative effect--but when the shocks do come, they are mostly retreads of highlights from the first movie.
Portland Oregonian
Individual scenes are OK for bogus suspense and special effects. The acting is as good as it has to be. But on the whole, the film feels like a 90-minute version of something that was many hours longer. [13 July 1988, p.D4]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Nowhere in Phantasm II is there the wit of Phantasm the first. [8 July 1988]
Washington Post
After interminable delays and unresolved digressions, we finally get to see some decent special effects, but hardly enough to warrant sitting through the entire film. [12 July 1988, p.D6]
Miami Herald
In the end, Phantasm II is a bland mixture of the horror movies its predecessor spawned. [8 July 1988, p.C5]
The target audience for Phantasm II obviously is teenagers, especially those with abbreviated attention spans, who require a thrill a minute. No character development, logic or subtlety is necessary, just a sensation every now and again to provide the impression that something is happening on the screen.

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