Oh boy. If you’ve seen Amityville 2 you’ll know what I mean. The makers of this movie must have thought that to compete with the original film and indeed outgross it they must make it as extreme as possible. And they really succeeded.
A new family have moved into the infamous house and start to experience the kind of paranormal hi-jinx that the Lutzes experienced. You know the kind of thing- blood coming out of the taps, a strange knocking on the door when everyone else is outside, sacrilegious paintings suddenly appearing on the walls inside the property…
But what I love about this film is that the new family who have moved in are completely dysfunctional already. Any family that has a father played by Burt Young is bound to be messed up. There is major animosity between him and his eldest son, Sonny. He’s also violent towards his wife and kids and then there’s that storyline. The film depicts an incestuous relationship between Sonny and his sister which made me want to run to the shower to scrub myself down with bleach after seeing it.
The question is, did the evil inside the house amplify these dysfunctional qualities within the family or were they already there?
The film then follows Sonny and his possession by the evil in the house as he starts to transform into a demon. These sequences really are something to behold and kudos must be paid to the makeup department and special effects employed. Sure, when the local priest starts to speak to Sonny’s evil inhabitant I started to think of Regan and Karras in The Exorcist but it was still an interesting final act.
The film’s director Damiano Damiani (what a name!) had actually envisaged the film as being even more extreme than the released version but had to cut a couple of scenes after negative responses from the audience at test screenings. These scenes were the anal rape of Delores by Anthony and the actual incestuous sex between Sonny and his sister.
The screenplay for this opus was written by none other than Tommy Lee Wallace who would go on to direct the fantastic Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.
Amityville 2 is sleazy, grimy and pushes boundaries even for the horror and exploitation films of that era. In other words, it’s a great piece of entertainment.
4 stars out of 5