Plot: The Montelli family might have a lot of problems, but sometimes a fresh start can make even terrible situations a little better. The patriarch Anthony (Burt Young) has moved his family to a beautiful new home, which seems to be their dream house in fact, despite some oddities. All of the windows are nailed shut and the pipes seem to be out of order, as blood-red liquid sometimes splashes from the faucets, but those are just minor quirks, right? Soon after the move, teen son Sonny (Jack Magner) begins to behave in strange ways and and even seeks to seduce his own sister, but this is due to a demonic possession, not rampant hormones. Soon divine intervention seems in order, so a priest is called in to bless the house, only to run into an obvious demonic presence that disrupts his visit. His pleas for an exorcism go unheeded by the church, so can the family find a way to escape the house’s evil before it is too late?
Entertainment Value: The first movie in the Amityville series was a mostly lackluster effort, saved only by James Brolin’s off the rails performance and some oddball moments here and there. But this sequel improves upon the original, giving us better atmosphere, more sleaze, and all kinds of dysfunction. The demon is a problem for sure, but I think I’d rather fight the demon than Burt Young, who is quite effective here as an abusive, abrasive father. He rampages through the movie and dials up the melodrama, so even outside of the paranormal, this movie has tension and dysfunction. A fractured family offered up to a demon is a fun premise and the movie runs with it, especially in the relationship between Sonny and Patricia. The demon pushes things into very creepy, incestuous places and those scenes are quite memorable, adding a dark, sleaze soaked vibe to the movie. The thread with the priest is interesting as well, but it is the family drama that draws the most attention here. A bleak, unsettling atmosphere runs through this one, which is enough to make it eerier than the original, not to mention all the odd bursts of madness and sleaze. In other words, this is one of the rare sequels that easily tops the original, quite recommended.
A single bare breast is all we’re shown, but the seduction scene between brother and sister just drips with unease and sleaze. The atmosphere is so strange for that scene, with Sonny persuading her to remove her nightgown for a minute, then leering before he moves in for the demon-assisted copulation. That is a wild scene and while not graphic, the vibe is drenched in dark sleaze. A good amount of blood in this one, including a wild scene where Sonny’s body is annihilated from the inside out, shown in vivid, graphic detail with some impressive practical effects work. The dread of impending violence is always present, with abuse common in the household and while not graphic, it still bolsters the dark atmosphere. The dialogue here is ripe with dysfunction and apathy, as the Montelli family battles a plethora of personal demons and a literal demon, while the church is idle and refuses to help them. Our priest tries to help, but of course, the demon reminds even him that his intentions aren’t always pure. Melodrama, dysfunction, and unhealthy interactions abound here. On the craziness scale, we have all the elements I just mentioned, which are substantial, in addition to demonic inspired incest and a general vibe of nastiness throughout. While the original was a tame ride for the most part, that is certainly not the case here.
Overall Insanity: 6/10