10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
a demonic guilty pleasure,
This review is from: Amityville II: The Possession (Collector's Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Described by one critic as "luridly energetic grand guignol", AMITYVILLE 2 is an effective film rather than a good one. The stylish direction, moody score and edgy tone balance a thin script, minimal characterisation and a finale that just tails off. Jack Magner gives an effective performance as the disturbed son, especially given the demands of the plot. According to the Imdb, his only other film credit is FIRESTARTER, another Dino De Laurentiis production. Though nominally based on real events, AMITYVILLE 2 is best viewed as out-and-out gothic horror, featuring one of the most dysfunctional families ever to grace the screen. The brutish father, played by Burt Young, seems just as scary as the demonic forces.
This DVD is by far the best version available, including the courtroom sequence and several other scenes missing from the German and Australian releases. The transfer is generally good, given the film's age. For the record, AMITYVILLE 2 was shot in standard format (1.85:1), not 2.35:1 scope, despite what the box claims. The commentary by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman is entertaining and informative, though it's clear they don't think much of the movie. The 'extended lost souls scene' is a series of production photographs. It's suggested that the film's ending was radically changed during post-production. Given the arbitrary sfx set-pieces and obvious loose ends, this may well be the case.