Night 8 of 31 nights of horror. Phantasm II (1988)

You can tell from yesterdays post that I really enjoyed Phantasm. How does the sequel stack up?

We pick up the story right where the previous one left off and then jump forward in time. I don’t remember them saying how many years (it might have been a throwaway line I missed) but my guess is ten years, which is how long it was between the release of the two films.

This movie pretty much establishes that the majority of the previous one was a dream of Mikes and the end was reality. There is no subtle dream imagery in this sequel. It’s a straightforward monster hunt, with Mike and Reggie on the trail of The Tall Man, out for vengeance.

So they kept everything I loved about the first movie and then polished it all up. The makeup is better, there’s more action, the explosions are bigger, the gore is bloodier, the music is more pronounced and the cinematography is more striking. Thumbs up!

Bottom line is, if you liked the first one, you’ll really enjoy the sequel… unless you miss the dream quality the first had what made you think about what you saw and made you want to re-watch it again right away, or if you wanted something more original than the first. The thing is, as much as I liked Phantasm II, the 2nd half of the movie isn’t significantly different than Phantasm. This movie feels more like a soft reboot of the first.

Don’t get me wrong, I still liked it. They added more characters and some gender diversity. I got even a stronger vibe of this being the inspiration for the TV show Supernatural, and the film is, in general, more fun to watch. I’m hopeing the following movies build more on the story of who the Tall Man is, why he is doing what he’s doing and why he is interested in Mike and Liz.

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