Amityville II: The Possession Throwback Film Review

★★★

Directed by: Damiano Damiani

Written by: Tommy Lee Wallace, Hans Holzer, Dardano Sacchetti

Starring: Jack Magner, Diane Franklin, Burt Young and Rutanya Alda

Throwback Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


Amityville II: The Possession (1982) Film Review

Amityville II: The Possession (1982) Film Review

Remember the other week when for some unknown reason I thought it would be a good idea to watch all the Amityville horror films in order, and no one seemed to think it wasn’t a good idea? Yeah well you’re wrong, it is and I’m only on the second one, also I looked up some of the other titles and now fear I have made a grave error in judgment…there is one called The Dollhouse….what!

Anyway, I settled in for the second instalment, what could the house bring to the table this week? Shape shifting, self-decorating, self-effacing and crying from its windows? Who knew? Well, I didn’t know that this film was to be a prequel to the first, so let’s guess mid-70s…but wait is that an 80s car being used? Oh, we have only just begun!

Amityville II: The Possession tells the story of the home before the Lutz family moves in, we have the typical family dynamic going on already, dad beats wife, wife cries, son and daughter try and sleep together…its all going on. The house is like, well I don’t want this wife beating, sister loving family living inside me, better start making the walls bleed a bit, so they leave.

The house has been built on an Indian burial ground, which from the first film we already knew, but the director politely reminds us of it, so that we the audience are not too confused when the son, taking a break from trying to hump his sister, becomes possessed and decides to kill all his family with a shotgun. Shortly after he is arrested, the priest clocks onto what is happening, because yes, they called a priest in, people confess sins, he flicks water, the usual, and he, using all his catholic power, helps the police realise that there is a demon in him, and he needs it out!

Now Amityville II: The Possession seems to be split down the middle when it comes to public and critical perception, people seem to love it or hate it, the marmite of evil homes if you will, and after some research, I have come to realise what the Amityville 2 was trying to achieve.

The tales of the incestuous brother and sister, and the violent father, are taken right from the real lives of the Dafoes, the family who were really killed in the home, Damiani takes straight from the source material and builds from there, a bold and interesting move to cover such topics at such a time, but one that is needed. For we are uncomfortable in the home, before the home itself even starts its evil party, we all want out, out of the house, out of the family, and is that not the mark of a good horror film, even in the moments of calm, we feel on edge? I think so.

Sure, this movie flexes some horror cliches, sure it’s cheesy and some plot holes are glaring us in the face, but overall, it takes an interesting approach when it comes to a sequel, playing on a mixture of fact and fiction, Amityville II: The Possession has, for all its flaws, the best intentions.

So, what have learnt this week?

  • In the ’70s, they drove cars from the future.
  • If your brothers are friendly, they are possessed.
  • And once again, if I could buy a house this cheap, I wouldn’t care about all the evil.

#RachelPullen

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