Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Jerry Goldsmith

 
" Poltergeist II sounds ... well different! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

Despite most of the cast and crew returning, Poltergeist II: The Other Side could never recapture the grandeur of the first. Jerry Goldsmith returned as well, but his score couldn't be farther away from the first one as well. I would almost say this is Poltergeist' weak / cheap little brother. Something about this performance tells me it's almost done with more synths than orchestra, especially considering the more mysterious otherworldly music sounds much cheaper than perhaps expected. Of course there's an orchestra on board, but considering the synths take over most of the time, it's all rather average. There is no grandeur here on board as well, even the Omen like chanting is effective but light compared to the first one. The new themes are weaker too, the Indian theme is rather ethereal but also cheap, while the more magical material is based more on the synth's cheaper sound than its actual magic qualities. The synth's play a poor role too in overcompensating the otherworldly qualities in the first part of the score (something the final tracks rectify). Those final tracks include "Reaching Out". It's no "Rebirth" of the first score, but it's the best and most mature track of them all. This double CD deluxe treatment holds perhaps many riches for Goldsmith enthusiasts, but for me this remains the weak little brother. And holds very little I was fond off. Considering the big little brother was always breathing around the corner, I would head caution if you ever want to spend a lot of money on it. Because it ain't all that impressive if you start comparing. Decent and effective, and above all highly original. But weaker nonetheless.

Kudos for Goldsmith for delivering something completely different.
No endless repeats of the familiar themes too, instead we get variations on the lullaby and several new themes (albeit lesser in quality).
"Reaching Out" is definitely the best track, recapturing most of Goldsmith's great style in the process.
Expecting the grandness and greatness of Poltergeist would be your first mistake.
The score has got a problem with the cheap sounding synths. It really sounds bad.

CD 1: 64.04
1. The Power (7.52)
2. Things (2.02)
3. The Mall (2.14)
4. The Past (0.29)
5. Late Call (3.29)
6. The Dream (0.41)
7. Clouds / It's No Use (3.41)
8. Take Care (0.34)
9. Butterflies (0.54)
10. The Visitor (6.43)
11. Wild Braces (2.22)
12. Leave Us Alone (4.16)
13. The Smoke (4.48)
14. The Drink (0.51)
15. The Worm / Out of the Ceiling (8.09)
16. Faces / Back to Cuesta Verde (3.19)
17. Reaching Out (8.35) Excellent track
18. End Title (Carol Anne's Theme) (3.07)

CD 2: 30.46
1. Wild Braces (Film Version) (2.22)
2. The Worm (Film Version) (8.09)
3. The Visitor (without choir) (6.43)
4. The Smoke (without choir) (4.48)
5. The Dream (alternate version) (0.41)
6. Late Call (with toy telephone sound effect) (3.28)
7. It's No Use (choir track) (1.05)
8. Star Spangled Banner (3.30)
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Released by

Kritzerland KR 20026-6 (limited release 2013)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton