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Amityville II: The Possession


The 1982 sequel AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION has a decent creepiness factor, generous doses of repulsive behavior and overall leaves you feeling like you need to take a bath after watching it. Burt Young (making his character Paulie in Rocky seem like an intelligent, jovial Disney character by comparison) is abusive husband and father Anthony Montelli. He moves his family into the worst piece of real estate in Amityville well before the events of the original film.

His wife Dolores (Rutanya Alda), oldest son Sonny, daughter Patricia and two youngest children are barely in the house 10 minutes before blood starts to pour from the kitchen sink and a menacing presence lurks out from underneath a wall in the cellar.

In more talented hands there would be some real scares and dark thrills here, but mostly it's just b-movie scare tactics, buckets of blood and some seriously twisted storylines.

James Olsen (The Andromeda Strain) is the best thing in the movie as Father Adamsky, who makes the requisite visit to the Montelli’s new home. He’s out the door pretty quickly as Anthony threatens and screams at his family. I felt like Anthony was such a lowlife a-hole from the first scene, that I wasn’t sure if the house’s demons had any effect on him or just moaning admiration for his parenting skills.

Screenwriter Tommy Lee Wallace had previously done much better work on John Carpenters “The Fog” but he did write and direct the ridiculous “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” the same summer as this film, so 1982 definitely wasn’t his best year. Wallace seems to be mining lower and lower circles of hell as he drags these characters down into child abuse, spousal abuse and repulsive doses of incest as a possessed Sonny Montelli suddenly gets eyes for his sister. In some twisted effort to go even lower, not even the youngest children are spared a blood spattered murder in the second act.

Moses Gunn is the only police detective who understands Sonny is possessed, allowing Father Adamsky to whisk Sonny away for an exorcism.

Honestly by that time, I’d nearly lost interest and except for some cool levitation effects and good voice over work for the demon, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen a thousand times.

Clunky, cheap and seriously lacking any character with redeeming morality, AMITYVILLE II leaves a slimy, grimacing distaste in its wake, reinforcing again just how superb “The Exorcist” really was in the way it handled similar material.

Director Damiano Damiani reportedly didn’t speak any English. After watching this, I’m wandering just how much of his vision got last in translation. I’m guessing he just started out to make sensationalistic trash and achieved that brilliantly. It gets a D. Blech.

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