In many ways, “Poltergeist 2” is the worst case scenario for a sequel. First off, let’s be honest: The original “Poltergeist” is extraordinary, but there was no call for a sequel at all. Along the way, director Brian Gibson makes just about every sequel mistake – there are countless call-backs and references to the original, which only serves to remind the audience of how much better the first movie is. Second, the characters don’t feel like themselves, because every scene is written as a response to the audience’s appreciation of the first movie instead of an organic continuation of the original story. Poor JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson are given some downright cringe-worthy dialogue that’s genuinely painful to listen to, while Heather O’Rourke and Oliver Robbins are drained of their natural charm to shoehorn their god-awful dialogue. Add in a clumsy, unintentionally racist presentation of Native American mythology as inherently supernatural, as well as clunky scares and poor special effects, and the finished product is downright interminable and borderline unwatchable.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)