AMITYVILLE 2- THE POSSESSION. 1982. DIRECTED BY DAMIANO DAMIANI. STARRING JAMES OLSON, BURT YOUNG, RUTANYA ALDA, DIANE FRANKLIN AND JAMES MAGNER. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I love the original AMITYVILLE film, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. I was inordinately proud of myself for being able to watch such a famously scary movie without too much trauma to my good self. The sequel, however, AMITYVILLE 2- THE POSSESSION, makes the original film look like the Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
I’m not saying that the original film isn’t scary. It is. But the sequel…! It scared the living daylights out of me and then some. I think it might be one of the scariest- and also one of the best- films I’ve ever seen in my life.
The film, based on a true story, begins as it means to go on. We see the warring Montelli family moving into the cursed house, then straightaway we see that there’s a haunted secret room in their basement that’s filled with sewerage. Aw shucks, dontcha just hate it when that happens…?
Something really, really bad is in there. Mrs. Montelli feels a hand grabbing hold of her and later, at dinner, a mirror falls off the dining-room wall while she tries to say the Grace Before Meals. Clearly it’s something that’s uncomfortable around organised religion…
Pretty early on in the film, we observe that whatever is haunting the house seems to be targeting the Montelli’s oldest child, Sonny. Lately, Sonny hasn’t been getting on with his dad, who’s volatile and bad-tempered. An evil-sounding voice coming through the headphones on his personal stereo begins urging the troubled young man to kill his violent father.
When local priest Father Adamsky pops round to bless the house at Mom’s request, the house reacts badly to the cleric’s presence. The family later leave Sonny alone in the house to go round to the priests’ house to apologise for their poor behaviour at the blessing.
Some of the most terrifying scenes in the film happen at this point. Sonny realises that he’s not alone in the house. He searches the whole gaff from top to bottom for the footsteps and voices he can plainly hear. They seem to be coming from the clearly haunted room in the basement.
He takes a peep inside but quickly changes his mind when he feels the bad vibes coming from the dark, dirty space that runs beneath his family’s new home. He runs back upstairs to his bedroom but the evil entity follows him every step of the way. Sonny is fully aware of its malignant presence.
It messes with him physically in a way that is utterly chilling to see. The evil comes into him. The evil becomes him. By the time his unsuspecting family return from the priests’ house, the die is already cast. The entire Montelli family is on the fast track to destruction and, believe me, it won’t be pretty.
Only one person, Father Adamsky, might possibly be able to intervene on the family’s behalf, but will he be in time…? God bless that priest, he really busts his hump fighting the horror that threatens to engulf the whole Montelli family. I’ve never seen anyone, in fact, throw themselves so whole-heartedly into the fight against Satan and his pesky minions. Kudos to the padre.
This house is the most haunted of all the haunted houses I’ve ever seen. The things that happen in it…! We’ve got Evil Sonny forcing his younger sister into a godless sexual union (though the little hussy is a damn sight too eager to whip off that nightie, if you ask me).
We’ve got good old Father Adamsky attempting to exorcise the divil himself out of the possessed young man whose face has been rendered unrecognisable by special effects. We’ve even got the transference of the evil from the poor beleaguered Sonny to the one man who’s trying to help him. This film has it all. It kicks the original film’s scrawny, pimply ass, if I may be so bold as to venture a- probably- unpopular opinion.
I’ve never been so scared by a film in all my life. It might even be one of the scariest films ever made. Admittedly, I haven’t watched THE EXORCIST, but I don’t think I want to now, after seeing this. Possession is scary. Exorcism is scary. The whole kit and kaboodle is scary. AMITYVILLE 2 is not just a really scary film, though. It’s a bloody good, well-directed film too and, even if it gives me nightmares, I just can’t wait to watch it again.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: