Writer: Tommy Lee Wallace (Screenplay) Hans Holzer (Book)
Starring: James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn
Plot: A family moves into their new home, which proves to be satanic, resulting in the demonic possession of the teenage son. Only the local priest can save him.
Tagline – The night of February 5, 1976, George and Kathleen Lutz fled their home in Amityville, New York. They got out alive! Their living nightmare shocked audiences around the world in “The Amityville Horror”. But before them, another family lived in this house and were caught by the original evil. They weren’t so lucky… this is their story!
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Solid Enough Prequel
Story: Amityville II: The Possession starts with the Montelli family moving into a new home, father Anthony (Young), mother Delores (Alda) with children Sonny (Magner), Patricia (Franklin) Jan and Mark. The family has the normal problems with Anthony being very strict with how the children should be acting.
When Sonny the eldest starts acting differently and being isolated from the rest of the family, the only person to see the change in him is his sister Patricia who must deal with the unwanted advances from her own brother, the normally kind and friendly one.
Thoughts on Amityville II: The Possession
Characters – Father Adamsky is the priest asked to bless he house, Patricia turns to him when she needs help, he tries to help and is left in the middle of not being welcomed by the father and needing to accept his decision and thinking something is very wrong. Anthony is the father of the house, he doesn’t like religion and is strict with the children, he is short tempered in the home. Delores is the one that is welcoming the priest into the house, he notices too late the problems with her children. Sonny is the eldest son, he changes after moving into the house which makes him act out of character before he does the unthinkable.
Performances – The performances in this film are a step down, Jack Magner does keep us on edge with his performance which shows the transformation he goes through with the time in the hoe. James Olson does take the priest role to the next level which is better because we deal with the idea of the investigation. The parental figures are solid enough though they never hit the heights of the previous film.
Story – The story here follows the family in the house before the Lutz, it does change the names for its own story which does tell the ideas which lead up to and after the murders in the home. This is all simple enough, we know the outcome for most of the family, so there was no point ending the film with this, the last half of the film follows a priest trying to help Sonny get the demon out of his body, while the legal side of the story plays out. This doesn’t hit the truly scary factors in the film because it does all into just another exorcism movie, trying to continue the legacy of the Amityville Horror. We do get the most random incest storyline which is awkward to watch and also is fictionalised for increased change in the Sonny character.
Horror – The horror is mostly just hearing voices and falls into just exorcism style horror, nothing is overly scary and it depends what your feelings about exorcisms are.
Settings – The film takes place in the home which shows the change, much like the first film, its when we hit the courtroom, hospital etc as we try to deal with the change things get slow.
Special Effects – For the time this was released it would be fair to say the effects are good enough without being anything memorable.
Final Thoughts – This is a prequel that tries to continue on the legacy of the Amityville story, we learn about the family before which only seems to be changed to make a more interesting family dynamic.
Overall: Simple, solid prequel.