Murdering the Montellis
Anthony Montelli (Burt Young) and his wife Dolores (Rutanya Alda) have just moved into a larger home for them and their four children. But not long after they move in strange things start to happen; Dolores thinks something touched her but no one was there, Anthony gets even more volatile, taking his belt to the children and his wife. And then there is their eldest Sonny (Jack Magner) who seems to be targeted by what ever demon inhabits the house and possesses him as he gets increasingly moody and acting strange around his sister Patricia (Diane Franklin) as he comes on to her. But as the local priest Father Adamsky (James Olson) becomes aware of the strangeness in the home it is a question of where will it all end?
I hadn't watched "The Amityville Horror" since I was a child until I reviewed it a little while back and found myself surprisingly disappointed by a movie which I remembered having been great as a kid. It made me sceptical when I went to watch "Amityville II: The Possession" as whilst I had never seen it before I doubted whether this prequel would be any good. Oh yes "Amityville II: The Possession" is a prequel rather than a sequel, telling us of the spook goings on and the bloody murder which lead to the house being left empty before the Lutz's moved in. And in truth whilst visually dated it was okay, in many ways better the original for being more stereotypical in style.
So what does that means well for those who haven't seen "The Amityville Horror" I apologise for the spoiler but what we get is the haunting of the Montelli family as they move into the house and in particular Sonny who goes on to murder his family as he becomes possessed by what is in the house. But along the way we get Mrs. Montelli feeling like something has touched her, something banging at the door, falling mirrors, brushes which write on the wall by themselves and table clothes which fly through the air to cover up a cross. Plus in keeping with the original "The Amityville Horror" we see Anthony Montelli become increasingly violent and short tempered towards his family.
Now in truth what that means is that "Amityville II: The Possession" ends up little more than cliches combined with special effects which are now dated. The scene where the pain brushes in the youngest's room suddenly fly up and start painting a creature on the wall almost feels like something out of a Disney movie especially now when these effects would be a lot more believable. But the fact that "Amityville II: The Possession" is just a straight forward movie of cliches and a boy becoming possessed makes it strangely more entertaining than the original.
There us though something else a darker element when it comes to Sonny's possession and his actions towards his sister Patricia. Whilst I won't tell you what happens you will be shocked and when it comes to the actual murders you will be shocked as well with director Damiano Damiani doing a fantastic job of creating the fear factor.
What this all boils down to is that "Amityville II: The Possession" is actually a very good movie and in my book superior to the original for being less pretentious and basically more straight forwards. Yes thirty plus years later and "Amityville II: The Possession" is now visually dated but there is something about the old effects combined with the element of fear which makes it enjoyable.