Fear, illusion and a triple shotgun!
James Le Gros impersonates an older Mike in a production more prestigious and gorier than the previous one. The effects are bigger, the budget is significantly higher and a big chunk of the story takes place on the road. Some of the initial gimmicks are pushed further, making this sequel more visually striking than the original, though not as frightening.
Narrated by a girl as if nothing more than a dark fairy tale, the plot goes in weird places until it finally finds a concrete tangent that feels complementary to Part 1. Don Coscarelli decides to depict increasingly stoic heroes, now. It becomes obvious in the second act, as the film gradually superposes tropes of action films over sets both sterilized and eerie otherwise meant to scare.
Filler aside, this is a worthy addition and the ideal companion piece to Phantasm. It is innocent, immature, still right out of teenage wet dreams and repressive nightmares; consciously or not, and still as immersing. Continuity is the elephant in the room, but it can be overlooked since anything goes in a world of flashbacks, visions, dream sequences, symbolism and reused footage…