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Amityville II: The Possession - MGM Print E-mail
User Rating: / 7
Written by Richard Taylor   
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
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AKA: Amityville 2: The Possession, Amityville 2: La posesión, Amityville 2 - A Possessăo, Terror em Amityville, Amityville 2 - paholaisen piiri, Amityville II: le possédé, Amityville 2, Ο Δαιμονισμένος, A démonok háza, Amityville Possession, Amityville II: la posesión, Amityville II: Opetanie, Amityville II - A Posse, Huset som gud glömde 2, Амитивилль 2: Одержимость, Amityville II - Der Besessene

Directed by:
Damiano Damiani
Written by:
Tommy Lee Wallace, Hans Holzer, Dardano Sacchetti
Produced by:
Stephen R. Greenwald, Ira N. Smith
Cinematography by:
Franco Di Giacomo
Editing by:
Sam O'Steen
Special Effects by:
Glen Robinson, John Caglione Jr.
Music by:
Lalo Schifrin
James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin
Mexico, USA, Italy
1h 44min

Studio: Dino De Laurentiis Company, Media Transactions
MGM Studios

Long championed by many die hard horror buffs, consistently panned by critics, this prequel to The Amityville Horror is a stylish exploitation movie lovers dream. Many claim it is better than the original because of its morbid and dark content, while others are unimpressed by its sleazy exploitative nature.

Amityville II: The Possession is based on the book Murder in Amityville by parapsychologist Hans Holzer. The movie is said to be loosely based on the original family that inhabited the house, the Defeo's. In the movie the name is changed to the Montelli family, who seem to be an Italian-American family with a lot of personal issues, even before the evil in the house starts taking over. I've read that this movie exploits the Defeo family and the ordeal that happened to them to an incredible amount. At the same time I've read things saying the father in reality was a nice guy and then I see other contradicting information stating he was abusive. The real life oldest son Butch was also said to have had an incestuous relationship with his sister, was abused himself and once backlashed by attempting to shoot his father while he attempted to beat his mother and siblings.

The Montelli family move into the dreaded house on 112 Ocean Drive. The father Tony Montelli (played in sadistic sleazy glee by Burt Young, known for his role in The Rocky movies) is one abusive son of a bitch. The mother Dolores Montelli (Rutanya Alda) is very moral and religious (I guess opposites attract). The oldest son Sonny (Jack Magner) is the sole focus of the movie because he is the poor sap who gets possessed by the evil in the house. Then we have the oldest sister Patricia (Diane Franklin) who has this very beautiful and sweet innocence to her. Finally, the two younger kids Janice and Mark are played by Brent and Erika Katz.

While moving in, Dolores and one of the movers discover a fly and filth encrusted hidden crawlspace. It seems when the door is opened an evil presence escapes and begins wreaking havoc in the house and on the family. Bizarre sounds like knocking at the door, paint brushes come to life and paint pictures, things fall off walls (especially in one scene where a big mirror tumbles off a table) and an unknown presence even covers up a cross on the wall with a tablecloth. It seems when something bad happens good ol' daddy Montelli (Young) is tempted to blame his family for the wrong doings and pursues them with violent beatings. I personally believe one of the most chilling scenes in the film is when Young's character flips his lid after it’s discovered that his two youngest may have painted strange images on the walls. It’s obvious to the viewer and everybody else that the children weren't responsible, but Mr. Montelli takes off his belt and wants to give the kids a beating. The mother intervenes and gets hit too. It’s hard to tell if Burt Young's character is possessed by the evil in the house or if this is his everyday demeanor!

Burt Young's character, Tony Montelli, is the best thing about this movie -- his lines, his demeanor, everything. He is a typical abusive slob in every sense of the word and the guy owns the role. I'm not sure if he's proud of the role, looking back in retrospect, but he embodies it. His appearance and dialect fit the bill nicely. I believe it’s one of the main reasons to check out
Amityville II: The Possession. Mr. Montelli's son Sonny (Jack Magner), as I mentioned before, is the main focus of the movie because he slowly gets taken over or "possessed" by the evil in the house. We can literally see his body being invaded by the evil in a particular scene, which is something reminiscent of The Exorcist. Sonny begins exhibiting strange behavior. He starts hearing voices through his Walkman headphones to kill his father. Sonny even eventually develops a sexual relationship with his sister Patricia, another sleazy exploitative element, which Patricia seems to enjoy because she comes back for a second attempt in the movie.

All the events culminate in the film, but not before the mother Dolores attempts to bring a priest into the house to bless it. Father Adamsky (James Olson) tries to bless the Montelli's new home but is stopped dead in his tracks by charming Mr. Montelli, who displays his abusive behavior during the fathers visit. It could also be due to the fact that Father Adamsky feels a bizarre presence in the house, all the while Sonny avoids the priest's visit. Father Adamsky knows something is afoot and even tells his colleague Father Tom (played by horror/exploitation great Andrew Prine, The Town that Dreaded Sundown).

The first half of the movie is entertaining and worth watching, but the second half becomes more of an Exorcist rip-off, focusing more on Sonny and his possession, in which Father Adamsky grips sanity to proceed with a sanctioned exorcism. Nods to The Exorcist are throughout when it comes to the possession part of the movie and it’s blatantly obvious. Otherwise,
Amityville II: The Possession is greatly championed over the original, with having a chilling atmosphere, some crazy effects work and these great moving overhead camera shots by Franco Di Giacomo likened to some of Dario Argento's work. Directed by Damiano Damiani, the movie is an American/Italian production and was mostly shot on set in Mexico.



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