Director-writer Ethan Wiley made an inauspicious debut behind the camera after coauthoring the first HOUSE. It's the old haunted-house theme again, with blood and guts substituted for intelligence and suspense. Jesse (Arye Gross) and his girl friend (Lar Park Lincoln) move into a large old
house once owned by his great-great-grandpa (Royal Dano), a well-known outlaw of the Old West. Jesse's parents were murdered in the house more than 20 years earlier. It's rumored there's a treasure of precious stones buried somewhere in the house. Jesse and his best pal Charlie (Jonathan Stark)
find a coffin and open it to reveal Gramps, who promptly sits up and plants a kiss on his great-great-grandson, explaining that he has been kept alive by a magical crystal skull which can make the ancient youthful and bring the dead to life. When the kids toss a costume party, someone steals the
skull, prompting a search of the house and opening the door to a dozen different dimensions. Having worked on GREMLINS, Wiley may have thought he would do well to invent some cute critters of his own, so we are treated to several, including a baby pterodactyl named "Bippy" and a weird
caterpillar/dog that attaches itself to Charlie's leg and won't let go. The special effects are from Chris Walas (THE FLY), who also supervised the makeup. The first film featured George Wendt from TV's "Cheers"; this time around, they tapped the same TV show for John Ratzenberger.
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