Poltergeist II (BLU-RAY)

Poltergeist II

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Running Time: 
90 Minutes

Unbeknownst to most of the cast and crew several of the cadavers were real skeletons. Upon learning of this, the crew demanded an exorcism be held on the set to ease the rising tensions, which happened soon after. The exorcism was performed by Will Sampson, who was a real-life shaman for "several different groups" before his death in 1987. Studio security was instructed to leave the set unlocked and unguarded so Sampson could return in the middle of the night to perform the exorcism.

I remember watching bits and pieces of Poltergeist II when I was younger but had never seen the entire film. After all, by the time this movie came out Ghostbusters had arrived on the scene and it was really no longer hip to be scared of ghosts. In any case as I watch it now in my 30’s I can appreciate it for a few select reasons. The first being that director Brian Gibson and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Edlund manage to make the special effects look awesome. The second is that Michael Grais & Mark Victor write a pretty decent story. Lastly Jerry Goldsmith’s spooky soundtrack is nostalgic sounding and eerily sets the mood for the film. All in all not a bad at home cinematic experience. So how does it add up as a Blu-Ray experience?

If you know me you’ll know that I’ve seen some of the best Blu-Ray transfers on the market and I tend to hold all films accountable in contrast with those really good looking BD’s. It doesn’t matter if the film is 75 years old, somehow, with the right TLC from the releases respective studio, anything can look like perfection. Poltergeist II has issues right off the bat with black levels looking soft and opening the flood gates for grain. Grain seems to be the major culprit here as it also pops up in some exterior day time shots and even a few interior ones as well, though not as persistent. It felt like the issue gave way sometime after the first twenty minutes of film though and clarity, definition, and color kicked it up a notch. While it doesn’t stay perfect the entire run of the film I do have to give it some points for looking as good as it did. Not the greatest transfer but also not the worst. Audio comes at you with a 5.1 DTS-HD MA that gives Goldsmith’s soundtrack a beautifully audible presence while not overpowering other ambient noise or dialogue. There are slight instances of immersion but don’t expect anything more then that.

Trailer in HD.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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