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Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

PG-13 | | Horror | 23 May 1986 (USA)
1:21 | Trailer
The Freeling family have a new house, but their troubles with supernatural forces don't seem to be over.


Brian Gibson
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
JoBeth Williams ... Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams)
Craig T. Nelson ... Steve Freeling
Heather O'Rourke ... Carol Anne Freeling
Oliver Robins ... Robbie Freeling
Zelda Rubinstein ... Tangina Barrons
Will Sampson ... Taylor
Julian Beck ... Kane
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Gramma Jess
John P. Whitecloud John P. Whitecloud ... Old Indian
Noble Craig ... Vomit Creature
Susan Peretz ... Daughter
Helen Boll Helen Boll ... Mother
Kelly Jean Peters ... Young Jess
Jaclyn Bernstein ... Young Diane
Robert Lesser ... Kane's People


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; but the love of her family and the power of psychic Tangina once again unite, along with an elderly native American, to fight for her life. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Critic Gene Siskel hated this movie. He said JoBeth Williams "had no shame", having twice appeared nude at this point, in Teachers (1984) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). He called Craig T. Nelson a "clothes horse, if there ever was one". He also slammed the movie's production for "putting children in danger" and getting off on that kind of salacious thrill. See more »


(at around 5 mins) When Taylor first arrives at the site of the Freelings' former house, he walks through the entrance to the plot between two brick pillars. In the first movie, each pillar was fitted with an electric lamp on a metal pole, and these lamps survived the complete destruction of the house, and were still illuminated even after the house has disappeared. However when Taylor passes them, the pillars show no sign of the lamps, not even any fixing bolts or holes where the bolts would have been. See more »


Steve: Why the hell won't you LEAVE US ALONE!
Kane: You can't keep her, I AM NOT DEAD!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, the words "Cavern and Mountaintop set materials by Foam-Tec" do not match with the rest of the closing credits. They seem to have been added on later. See more »

Alternate Versions

During post production, at least 15 minutes were cut from the film during the final editing stages, and some of the remaining scenes were re-arranged chronologically. Scenes rumored to be cut included: 1. A line mentioning "Dana," (the eldest daughter from the original film) being away at college. 2. A scene involving JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and a floating toaster oven in their kitchen. 3. A scene in which the "Rev. Kane" appears at the house again and is confronted by "Tangina" right before she is about to leave after visiting "Diane" (Zelda Rubinstein was said to be very upset that this sequence was cut, as she felt it was one of her best scenes). 4. A longer "other side" sequence at the end featuring the family's battle with the Beast. 5. Longer versions of existing scenes featuring additional dialogue. Publicity stills from some of these scenes can be seen at: the fan site: http://www.poltergeistii.poltergeistiii.com/deleted.html See more »


Featured in They're Back: The Making of Poltergeist II (1986) See more »

User Reviews

Another Curiously Frustrating Horror Film Sequel
17 December 2012 | by virek213See all my reviews

JAWS 2; HALLOWEEN II; THE RAGE: CARRIE 2—all of them horror film sequels that I can only label as "curiously frustrating", in that there's enough in them to like, but just as much to be skittish about. This is also true of POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE, the 1986 sequel to the highly acclaimed and highly successful 1982 Steven Spielberg co-produced/co-written horror film classic that Tobe Hooper (of THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE fame) directed, and which ranks with THE SHINING as one of the few true horror classics of the 1980s.

The film picks up one year after the events of the original, as the Frelengs, led by Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams, have now moved off to a desert suburb of Phoenix, Arizona while trying to get a new start, living with Williams' mother (Geraldine Fitzgerald). Nelson is having a rough go of it trying to be a vacuum salesman; he had been in real estate, but the Cuesta Verde incident left him out in the cold. When Fitzgerald passes on, however, it lets open the door for some literal ghosts of the Frelengs' past to haunt them. They become terrorized all over again; and this time, getting in contact with both the famous medium Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein) and an Indian (Will Sampson) well versed in the supernatural, they figure out why. Back in the 19th century, a group of White settlers were confronted by Indian warriors in what was to become the Cuesta Verde Estates, resulting in a horrific Sand Creek-type massacre that resulted in a mass graveyard that Nelson's former employers had built Cuesta Verde over. The spirits of those survivors, including especially a deranged preacher named Kane (Julian Beck), have come back to snatch O'Rourke and to lead them to the Light because they are still not at rest, but they seem to have no intention of bringing her back. Rubinstein and Sampson insist that the Frelengs must return to Cuesta Verde to confront Kane and his minions by entering the Other Side, that netherworld between life and death that Williams and O'Rourke crossed in the original. In between, though, they are confronted with a whole host of horrific things, including a "Vomit Creature", and a supernatural chainsaw that threatens to tear Nelson's station wagon apart as they head out for Cuesta Verde.

Unlike a lot of horror films, POLTERGEIST II maintains a good solid position of having five of the principals from the original film (Dominique Dunne, however, had been killed in real life shortly after the original film had been released), plus the solid special effects work of Richard Edlund, who had worked on the original. What POLTERGEIST II lacks, however, is the effective and incisive direction of Hooper and both his and Spielberg's understanding of the genre and of family. Mark Victor and Michael Grais, though they co-wrote the original's screenplay with Spielberg, somehow fail to grasp those concepts of the original; and Gibson, who directed the 1980 film BREAKING GLASS and later did 1993's WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, is not really in Hooper's, let alone Spielberg's, league. The mayhem may very well have been accelerated from the original, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's better.

Two additions, however, do work quite well. Sampson, a real-life Native American who starred in films like ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, is extremely good as the Indian shaman who, along with Rubinstein, assists the Frelengs in their confrontation with the ghosts. And Beck is incredibly grisly and frightening as the deranged preacher out to permanently possess O'Rourke; he comes off as a supernatural version of Robert Mitchum's role in the 1955 classic NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

The most welcome return on POLTERGEIST II, besides Edlund's special effects, is Jerry Goldsmith's intense orchestral score. These things do keep this film from being just another Hollywood exploitational sequel. But what is there is still strangely empty; and that, in the end, is due to the absence of both Spielberg and Hooper in the basic involvement of things.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

23 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poltergeist II See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,357,190, 26 May 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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