Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Amityville Horror 2: The Possession (1982)

While the set-up of the first AMITY sequel plays on the true story of the Defeo family that occupied the Amity house prior to the Lutz family, it takes a turn for the worst and infuses the real-life events with over-the-top ghost gags and a blatant EXORCIST rip-off. Unlike the subdued effects in the original that subtly allude to the supernatural, THE POSSESSION finds household items strewn all about the house, heavy prosthetics work, and visual hallucinations that remove any chance of believability that this is based on real events. The film also touches on rumors that the children were having an incestuous love affair, making it feel like "FLOWERS IN THE AMITY ATTIC." From the start, there are no likable characters, only a scale that goes from "Most Unlikable" to "Least Unlikable." Though this does add to the unsettling nature of the film, it doesn't leave the audience with any identifiable characters. The first half almost proves to be watchable until we get some unflattering demonic possession in the oldest son, but once the (arguably) real events end at the hour mark, the film defies logic and continues on as an EXORCIST clone created with borrowed FX work and few scares. If taken out of the context of the real events, some fans might enjoy the increased action and gore in this sequel, but for my taste it moves too far away from everything that made the original great and instead proves to be nothing more than a cheap, boring cash-in.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Incest: 7/10.
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4 comments:

  1. I think quite a lot of this sequel. For me, it's easily the best of the sequels and it has a nasty streak and an abundance of gore. What makes it all the more shocking is that revered director, Damiano Damiani, the director of such classic political thrillers as CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN (1971) and HOW TO KILL A JUDGE (1974) was behind this one. It's the polar opposite of his style. I think I may even like part two better than the first movie based on its brazen and sickening tone alone.

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  2. You may be the first person I have ever heard say that, I would be very interested to read your full review and may have to do some searching to see if you already have one up on the site!

    I have always remained a huge fan of the original film, and as much as this is a polar opposite to Damiani's style, it is a similar reversal on everything I liked in the first movie. From what I can remember, as much as I dislike this sequel, it still may be my favorite of the sequels as well, sadly =D

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  3. I had planned on it, but it seems several other recent reviews (including yours) have surfaced, so I put it on the back burner. I haven't seen the film in years since catching it on HBO then buying the VHS tape. The DVD is still unopened on my entertainment center.

    Actually, Carl, I know of a number of people who love the first sequel. As you were shocked by my liking it, I was likewise surprised to hear so many do not like it, lol!

    I like it for its sleazy appeal and I'm not that big a fan of THE EXORCIST anyways (I'm more of an OMEN guy myself), so the demonic possession angle only added to the enjoyment of an overall nasty little horror number.

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  4. I liked the second one better than the first one too. I shouldn't admit this but, and please note that the thought of incest sickens me, that scene with the brother and sister totally turned me on. Burt Young (Paulie from the Rocky movies) was great too as the world's worst father.

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