Ah the sequel! Everybody loves a good sequel, especially sequels that are actually prequels. It’s almost like a woman dressing up as a man dressing up like a woman. Did I say that? Let’s just say I don’t recommend sleeping with them until you get a peek under the hood. At any rate, Amityville 2: The Possession is a sequel that acts as a prequel and believe it or not, I found it more enjoyable than part 1.
The Montelli Family has just moved into the franchise house and strange things immediately begin to happen. The head of the household, Anthony Montelli (Burt Young) begins bullying; slapping, whipping and belittling various members of the Family while son, Sonny (Jack Magner) and daughter Patricia (Diane Franklin) rub up against each other…a bit too close. Spooky huh? Actually, that’s before the strange stuff even starts!
Family members begin feeling as though they’re being touched, a crucifix is mysteriously covered by a tablecloth, paintings appear on the wall and dishes smash by themselves. Dolores Montelli (Rutanya Alda) decides to bring in local Catholic Priest, Father Adamsky (James Olson) in to bless the house. After an incident involving a bleeding holy water utensil, Adamsky decides the house may need to be exorcised.
Meanwhile Sonny continues to get weirder by the day claiming he’s “not feeling good”. Actually, he’s being possessed by a diabolical influence emanating deep from within the bowels of the cursed home. He begins hearing voices in his Walkman calling his Family “pigs” and “animals” commanding him to kill them. Sonny also makes a sleazy move on his sister Patricia and before you can say “IS SHE OLD ENOUGH TO SHOW THOSE??!”, Sonny’s bedding her.
All signs point to big problems and despite Patricia trying to warn Father Adamsky that she fears for her Family’s safety, Sonny goes on a rifle rampage taking out Mom, Dad, little brother and sister and eventually Patricia. Father Adamsky is beside himself believing that he could have prevented the tragedy by exorcising the home and perhaps Sonny, who is now incarcerated for the murders claiming he doesn’t remember a thing. Of course, Father Adamsky does his damnedest to convince Detective Turner (Moses Gunn) that the young man needs to be taken to the Catholic Church for an exorcism.
After collapsing in the middle of court, Detective Gunn and Father Adamsky devise a way to get the boy out of the hospital in order to get him to the Catholic Church for an exorcism as it appears to be the only way to save his life. It’s no surprise that the demon possessed kid has no intention of entering into a church and he escapes to the Montelli home to curl up and snarl for a bit. Father Adamsky pursues and the home becomes a battleground between Good, Evil and Father Adamsky’s will. The Exorcist rip-off commences.
Let me start off by saying that I had a bit of a hard time watching Burt Young. Most might remember him as Paulie, Sly’s right-hand man and Adrienne’s Brother in Rocky 1-5. I kept yelling “We’re gonna punch his lungs out!” I gotta give it to the guy though, when you’re looking for a stereotypical Italian thug, he’s your man.
Cinema geeks might also recognize Diane Franklin who played Patricia in this flick. She’s better known as the foreign exchange student Monique in the John Cusack comedy, Better off Dead. For those of you out there feeling guilty you were checking out her tits…she was 19 during the filming of The Possession. Barely legal, breath easy!
This film also read like a who’s who of Italian cinema! We got Dino De Laurentiis as producer, the cinematographer was Franco Di Giacomo who also lensed Argento’s Four Flies on Grey Velvet and uncredited as a screenwriter was the always amazing, Dardano Sachetti! The guy is a legend! He’s been involved with everything from Twitch of the Death Nerve to The Gates of Hell! It’s no wonder this film had an Italian flavor! I’d also like to quickly point out the FX work. If it looked a bit familiar, that’s because the FX artist Joe Cuervo went on to do the FX for C.H.U.D.
This was a solid follow-up to 79’s original. Though it was “roughly” based on Ronny DeFeo and the actual Amityville tragedy, you’ll get more movie magic than fact. It did appear to drag a tad in some places but it’s ultimately a worthwhile watch. Pray for me as I’ll be attempting to review the whole series in the coming months. It only gets worse from here on in.