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Amityville II: The Possession (1982)



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Is this a sequel or a remake with an exorcism tacked onto the end? Some of the plot points in this episode are laughably familiar, lifted directly from The Amityville Horror even when they don't mesh with the differing details of the sequel. And unlike the first film, there is nothing the least bit scary or even eerie about the second. The dynamics of the family aren't convincing (or even clear), as the house starts to affect them too quickly, and it's too hard to figure out what's normal behavior for these losers and what's not.

The "scary" sequences are agonizing, such as an early one where the teenaged son spends what feels like three hours crawling all around and looking directly into the camera with a ridiculous scared expression on his face. This is topped only by the climactic exorcism, which is drawn out even more, even though all that happens is a series of cuts between the priest being all desperately mystical and the possessed kid writhing around with absurdly increasing amounts of effects make-up on him.

It's funny how Catholicism is always the basis for movies like these. A biblical exorcism (besides not being necessary in this age) would be pretty casual and suspenseless, and thousands of dollars would be saved on film stock. It takes the ceremonial traditions of Catholicism to get something cinematic enough for a movie like this. Not that I'm saying Amityville II is an accurate representation of Catholicism. Authenticity about anything at all is not one of the film's virtues.

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