AMITYVILLE HORROR II: THE POSSESSION - 1982
Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, Media Transactions
Rated: Finland: K16 / France: 12 / Germany: 16 / Sweden: 15 / U.K.:
18 / USA: R
DeFeo Jr. was convicted of murdering his parents and siblings on the night
of November 13, 1974 is true. To this day Ronald denies it, and even fields
questions from the Internet community at large through his official website
Jay Anson (THE AMITYVILLE HORROR - 1977)
and Hans Holzer (MURDER IN AMITYVILLE - 1979)
tried to pass off as truth in the 1970s, remains pure hokum.
Where the first THE AMITYVILLE HORROR was taken from the Jay Anson novel, AMITYVILLE II: POSSESSION, is from the Hans Holzer book, which is about the DeFeo family. In this movie, however, they are not called DeFeo, but Montelli, and Ronny DeFeo is now Sonny. Coming right on the heels of the first AMITYVILLE, this movie is sort of like a slingshot effect. Stretch the story back past where the first story began kinda prequel thing.
We begin in 1974.
The - ahem - Montelli family arrives at their new home. Patriarch Anthony Montelli (Burt Young: CARNIVAL OF BLOOD, HACK!) looks about, disappointed in their new and beautiful mansion of a home in Long Island New York; in a little suburb called Amityville. His wife Dolores (Rutanya Alda: THE FURY, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS , THE STUFF, THE DARK HALF, THE GLASS HOUSE) and daughter Patricia (Diane Franklin: TERROR VISION) see the house and get all excited, singing to each other in glee until Anthony threatens them.
The oldest son, Sonny (Jack Magner: FIRESTARTER) shows up and Anthony walks over to the car and starts threatening HIM. Basically, Anthony is an unrepetent selfish asshole and Burt Young was picked for this part to basically revise and repeat his role as Paulie from Rocky.
For the longest time, nothing scary happens. Not even anything that should be scary. This is largely due to the family dynamic where Anthony is so damn violent and prone to rage that he's a far greater danger to everyone than any ghosts in the house. And its a freaky Catholic family anyway. There is brother and sister incest (relax, no nudity worth mentioning - a quick nipple shot is hardly worth mentioning unless yer pretty damn desperate), and the almost non-stop rage of Anthony. Eventually the house starts picking on Anthony specifically and he loses his marbles in no time flat. Which is too bad because by this point we're ready to see the whole family die. Sony achieves this and then the movie gets to be about what its really about, the exorcism of the demon within Sonny. Only thing is, we don't care about Sonny or the hammy acting of James Olson (THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN). I grant you, the direction by Damiano Damiani (A STREGA IN AMORE) is no great shakes and he even made Moses Gunn appear awful. Still James Olson had the biggest role here, playing Catholic Priest , Father Adamsky as a self-appointed exorcist (his church is dead-set against him even trying it. He's not a properly trained one). Olson and Damiani go to the well way too many times with Olson looking directly at the camera and shouting things like "Unclean spirit!"
Not my approach, but I'm more of a "Kill 'em with Kindness" kinda guy (remind me to tell you some time of my "Free Cigarettes for Cancer Patients Day" that I used to run at my local hospice). Shouting insults at the demon is not going to make it listen to reason. You can attract more flies with sweet honey that sour vinegar after all - and since we are talking about the Amityville Horror House, that's an important distinction!
So Father Adamsky tries to convince Police Detective Turner (Moses Gunn: THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, FIRESTARTER) to let him take Sonny out of jail and perform an exorcism. Sheesh! The plotholes, devices, and stupidity yawn ever wider before this flick is through. The only thing that stops this from being a tiresome TV movie is the flash of nipple and some poorly created gore. That doesn't save it though.
One Shriek Girl.
copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.
Return to Movies