Today is my first time watching Amityville II. Somehow I have managed to see the first and third in the series but missed this one. I had been told that the sequel is the best in the franchise by numerous horror fans so I ordered the film and added it to this year’s calendar.
The Montelli family, made up of an abusive father, battered mother and four children, moves into the infamous house on Ocean Ave. Upon the discovery of a hidden door in the basement, which they opened, the family begins to experience ghostly happenings such as things falling off walls, things moving on their own and strange voices. When the oldest son becomes possessed and murders his family, it is up to their priest to rescue Sonny from the demon inside him.
From the beginning I was less than encouraged by the acting. The mother is by far the worst of them all. The dialogue is pretty ridiculous and the story is often shown from the point of view of the demon that was released from the basement. I was constantly reminded of Scary Movie 2 when the ghost is having sex with Tori Spelling. No one wants to be reminded of Tori Spelling for any reason, ever.
Speaking of sex, there is an incredibly incestuous relationship between the eldest son, Sonny, and daughter, Patricia. At times I even thought there was something going on with Sonny and his mother. I would like to note that seeing Diane Franklin have inappropriate relations with her brother destroyed all of the adorableness from her role in Better off Dead.
The suspense is far too drawn out at points, particularly when Sonny is possessed by the demon and ends up looking like a bad HULK impersonator. The make-up and special effects are unimpressive after what they accomplished in The Exorcist. There were also three or four times when I thought the movie was going to be over and it just kept dragging on.
Maybe this was a film I should’ve seen at a younger age to appreciate it more, when I wouldn’t have such high expectations from seeing so many great horror films. I wanted to like it but the murder of children and the incest kind of destroyed it all for me. The Amityville Horror was scary because the demon remained hidden. Once the demon had a face, I no longer cared.
Overall it wasn’t an awful film but, in my opinion, it certainly wasn’t better than the original.