PLOT: Trying to move on from the events of the original film, the Freeling family finds themselves once again haunted by a ghostly presence in their new home.
It’s like Poltergeist, only much, much dumber. You never hear much about this sequel, good or bad. Like, you hear all the time about how terrible The Exorcist II: The Heretic is, but never anything about this film; there’s a good reason for that. This film doesn’t do anything particularly original. It just kind of makes the threat against the Freelings convoluted, while resolving it through a rushed and nonsensical ending. The fact that the full cast is back in this unnecessary sequel is the only thing of note in this one.
The story picks up as the Freelings are attempting to move on from the events of the first film. The Freelings are currently living in Diane’s mother’s house as they fight the insurance company regarding the first house. The only reason why I’m mentioning this here is because I questioned whether or not they got any insurance money for the first house and then the movie answered that question in the first five minutes. In this film, we find out that, not only is Grandma clairvoyant, but so is Carrie Anne.
I don’t love this little detail, because it kind of changes the events of the first film. No longer does all that shit happen because of happenstance to a perfectly normal family; now, the family has a history of people with the shining. It’s sort of like when Star Wars retconned the idea of the force and who can use it by introducing midichlorians.
Introduced as the ultimate evil in this film is a creepy spirit of an old preacher whom, in his living days, was responsible for the deaths of his entire congregation with his plans to survive the end times that never happened. Along for the ride to help the Freelings is Taylor, a Native American shaman played by Will Sampson from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Save for a couple of creepy moments from the dead preacher, this movie has very little substance. The golden rule of sequels is that you have to, at least, match the intensity of the first film. Here, we’re falling short on everything. The urgency of this film never comes close to what the classic original film was able to accomplish and everyone just seems to be sleepwalking through to the anticlimactic “Love conquers all” ending. Pass on this forgotten sequel.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 10