Amityville II: The Possession
Film: Amityville II: The Possession
Director: Damiano Damiani
Writer: Tommy Lee Wallace
Starring: James Olson, Burt Young and Rutanya Alda
This film begins with a family buying a new home. The father of the family is played by Burt Young. His wife is Rutanya Alda. They have four children with their oldest boy played by Jack Magner. Their eldest daughter is Diane Franklin. They also have another girl played by Erika Katz and her real life brother plays her younger brother Brent Katz.
They arrive at the house and we get to know the family quickly. Young is mean and very controlling. We see him yell at both Erika and Brent for getting to close to the water. We also see him go off on Magner for not doing what he was told. He also belittles him for his facial hair and getting cigarettes. Before they get into the house, we see that this family has their issues.
Weird things begin to happen almost immediately. One of the moving men finds a secret door to another room. Inside there are bugs, mud, water and something that smells bad. After he leaves, something comes from that room and grabs Alda’s arm. She doesn’t see anything though.
The family does nothing, but fight while being in the house. A mirror falls during dinner and Young blames Magner. Alda breaks it up though. That night there is knocking at the door. Young checks it out and finds nothing. It happens again and he goes to get his gun. While this is happening, the paint brushes in Erika and Brent’s room draws an animal on the wall. It also states to ‘dishonor thy father’ and pigs. Young takes his belt off and begins to punish the young children. When Alda steps in, Young attacks her. This gets broken up by Magner taking the shotgun and putting it up to Young’s neck. Franklin breaks it up and everyone goes to bed. Magner is listening to music as he tries to sleep, but his tape cuts off. He then hears a voice, asking him why he didn’t kill that pig.
Alda takes Franklin and her two youngest to church. Alda is troubled thinking of everything that is happening. She meets with the priest, who is played by James Olson. She asks him to come by the house and bless it. Olson agrees.
He comes by and this angers Young. He allows it to happen, not wanting to upset his wife. Erika and Brent go to get Olson a glass of water. When Magner shakes Olson’s hands, the kitchen goes crazy and everything is torn up by itself. Young blames the children and proceeds to punish them. Olson asks him to stop and Young tells him to get out. Olson agrees. Alda informs Young that he needs to go to church and apologize. All of the children except Magner go to apology.
While everyone is gone, Magner meets the spirit that is haunting him. He doesn’t see it, but it speaks to him and then enters his body. It looks like it is jumping on his stomach and we see a bulge in his neck as it forcefully enters. The ground level goes crazy as this is happening. Magner is knocked out after this happens.
He meets with his sister after she has come back. From the first interaction we have seen of them, they have a weird relationship. They are close and almost seem like they flirt with each other. It gets even weirder when Magner has her take her nightgown off while playing a game. They end up making love.
This family is falling apart. Magner doesn’t do anything, because he doesn’t feel good. Franklin is losing her mind due to the confusion of what is going on between them. Alda finds out what is going on and punishes Franklin. Franklin tries to seek help from Olson, but is too embarrassed to tell him. When she finally gets up the courage to tell him, Olson is gone. Magner kills his family with a rifle. Olson knows something is wrong and checks on them the next morning, seeing that the police are there.
Magner is possessed and Olson knows. He has been trying to get the church to let him perform an exorcism, but they won’t allow it. Will Olson be able to save Magner? Will the demon within Magner kill him before he can? What will happen with Olson?
This film is loosely based on real life murders of the DeFeo family. The story they are using follows that the family bought the house, the son is possessed and then he murders his family. That is about the end of the real story. I want to say though, looking at this only as a film. I think that acting is okay; aside from the fact that I don’t think there is much character arc. Young is mean before they even get into the house and he just stays that way. Magner and Franklin were border-line having an incestuous relationship prior to coming to the house and they just went through with it. The story is okay. I would have to say that transformations and special effects are pretty good.
My biggest problems with the film are that being a sequel, or technically a prequel, there are glaring issues. The house is different than in the first, or at least the basement is different. Also like I said above, there isn’t any character depth or change, aside from Magner becoming possessed. This would have been better though if Young wouldn’t have been as mean before the house as well as Magner and Franklin not being as flirty beforehand as well. There also isn’t a whole lot that really happens in the film and it feels rushed. Another issue that in the original film, there isn’t a possession, just the demons driving everyone crazy and pushing a member to kill everyone while this one, there is an actually possession of the soul.
With that said, this isn’t a horrible sequel/prequel to The Amityville Horror. If you want to see a film about the DeFeo, I would avoid this one. This only carries the basic concept and does its own fictional take. The acting is okay and the story is really basic. The most redeeming factors are the specials effects of the transformations to possession. If you want to see all of the Amityville films, I would say give it a viewing. If you want to see a decent demon possession film, then I’d say watch this one. Other than that, it’s not really that good.
My Rating: 6 out of 10