Amityville II: The Possession
Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 4 Beans
really hate it when flicks, supposedly based on actual events, play fast and loose with history. Now, I know I'm talking about "Amityville II: The Possession" and not "JFK", but the principle remains the same. I know my Amityville, I once did an extensive research paper on the history of the house and property and all of the surrounding events and families that lived there. So, I was not to be fooled. It's one thing to stretch the truth to make something a bit more cinematic, it's entirely another to take the event and construct fantasy from whole cloth. We may never really know what happened that night in 1974 when a young man murdered his family, but one things for sure this ain't it.
"Amityville II: The Possession", is actually a prequel to the 1979 flick "The Amityville Horror". As you may remember, the Lutzes bought the supposed haunted house a year after a family was shot by the eldest son. Part 2 is an account of that family.
The Montellis buy their new dream house and immediately weird things begin to happen. A faucet pours blood instead of water, the windows are all nailed shut, and there is a strange leaky secret room in the basement. Anyway, a demon or spirit or whatever eventually inhabits the body of the eldest son, Sonny (played by Jack Magner). Sonny then proceeds to having fantasies about killing his family, he hears voices through his headphones, seduces his sister Patricia (Diane Franklin, fresh from her glorious star turn in "The Last American Virgin") and gives the family priest, Father Adamsky, the evil eye.
Now, the first half of this flick isn't really bad, it's kind of corny and totally made-up, but it's done with style. The film's centerpiece is the actual murder of the family. Sonny loads a shotgun and tracks his parents and siblings throughout the house in primo horror fashion.
Sonny is now in jail and Father Adamsky makes an unpleasant discovery, Sonny is possessed!! At this point "Amityville II" goes right over the cliff. Not content with just depicting the events as they happened, the filmmakers wanted to get tickets sold, so we get stuck with a low-rent "The Exorcist" rip-off. We get a message forming on Sonny's body in blood, flames from hell blowing up from the ground at random intervals, a river of blood, ghostly demons, and an actual exorcism that causes Sonny's face to slide off in bloody flaps to reveal the true demon inside. The rip-off factor comes to a boil with the priest drawing the demon into himself (just like any other possession flick we know and have already mentioned?). There was so much potential here to make a scary, true account of a terrible tragedy; but I should have known better, after all, the producer of this flick was none other than Dino (I can't make a good movie even if my life depended on it) DiLaurentis.
"The Amityville Horror" was trashed by critics who said that the film was far too subtle (not counting Rod Steiger's horrid performance), that nothing seems to be happening. The opposite is true here, "Amityville II: The Possession" is so desperate to scare, that it collapses under the weight of all that fictional garbage.
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