The Brown Shoe Diaries Halloween Movie Club.
Watch today’s movie and posts your comments. Good? Lame? Scary? Not scary? Bring it.
Today’s recommended feature is:
Amityville II: The Possession (1982, d. Damiano Damiani)
If you’re a fan of the original Amityville Horror movie from 1979 or the 2005 remake, this sequel is the prequel. If you’ve never seen The Amityville Horror, this one works as a stand alone as well. The first Amityville Horror was based on the terrors of the Lutz family who moved into the Long Island, pumpkin-eye windowed, Dutch Colonial house unaware that it had recently been the site of the grizzly Defeo family murders. Amityville Possesssion is drawn from the story of the Defeos, although there isn’t any reference to the Lutz incidents and there’s no indication in the script or art direction of time setting. The real Lutz incident is to have taken place in 1975; the preceding Defeo murders in 1973.
Standing in for the Defeo’s are the fictional Montelli’s, who also purchase the Amityville house for a dime and soon become the surprised victims of it’s aggressive behavior. Then the teenage son is overtaken by a demon and goes on a shooting rampage inside the house. A family priest feels responsible for not trying hard enough to save the family. The priest kidnaps the teenager from police custody and takes him back to the house to perform an unauthorized exorcism, a dramatic showdown between good and evil.
Amityville Possession is a paint-by-number haunted house movie, another in a long list of The Exorcist copycats, and you don’t need a degree in psychology to break down the obvious metaphor between evil spirits and sexual temptation. However, they did a great job with scary effects and sound. Also, there are some big surprises in the last third of the movie that all happen after family is murdered.
If you want to watch The Amityville Horror before or after, the 2005 version is an excellent remake, made almost beat-for-beat, accept for the ending. I prefer the 1979 version because the filmmaking is grittier. Rod Steiger is great as the family priest and James Brolin is a slow-boiling kettle of phycho.
There are a also a bunch of Amityville sequels I haven’t seen. Some apparently continue the story of the house, some are just sponging from the name. A guy buys a stapler from the Amityville house estate sale and now his office is haunted sort of thing:
Amityville 3D: The Demon (1983)
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989)
The Amityville Curse (1990)
Amityville: It’s About Time (1992)
Amityville: A New Generation (1993)
Amityville Dollhouse (1996)
Feel free to comment on this post if you know any of these to be good.
The Amityville Horror (1979, d. Stuart Rosenberg)
The Amityville Horror (2005, d. Andrew Douglas)