AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION (1982)
Article 4863 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Damiano Damiani
Featuring James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda
Country: Mexico / USA / Italy
What it is: Evil house refurbishment
A dysfunctional family moves into a house where there is a great evil.
This prequel to THE AMITYVILLE HORROR falls roughly into two parts. The first part mostly just regurgitates the elements of the first movie (including the regurgitating clergyman) with a few other elements added to the mix (an abusive family dynamic and an incest subplot) and then takes the step the previous movie only threatened to take. The second half mostly uses THE EXORCIST as its model, though I can’t say it does so with a great deal of intelligence. The end result is a movie that feels doubly derivative, sometimes silly, and even a bit desperate at times; there are moments where it feels like it’s just throwing out whatever it can to make itself scary. At its best, the movie is merely okay; at its worst, it’s positively dim-witted, especially when the priest decides to break the possessed boy out of prison. I’m afraid I wasn’t very impressed with this one.