“He can’t help it. He’s dominated by another force. The boy is possessed…”
Director: Damiano Damiani
Starring: Jack Magner, James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn, Andrew Prine
Screenplay: Tommy Lee Wallace and Dardano Sacchetti (uncredited), based upon the book by Hans Holzer
Synopsis: The Montelli family moves into a large, waterfront house in Amityville. Although they are happy to be in their new home, there are tensions amongst the family members, particularly Anthony Montelli (Burt Young) and eldest child Sonny (Jack Magner). Before long, strange incidents begin to occur. A tap seems briefly to run with blood; a removalist discovers a hidden room that is filled with flies and filth; while in the basement, Dolores Montelli (Rutanya Alda) feels a hand upon her arm, even though she is alone. When the family sits down to dinner, the saying of grace is interrupted when a mirror falls from the wall with a crash, instantly precipitating a violent dispute between Anthony and Sonny, who hung the mirror. That night, a strange presence moves through the house, reacting violently to a crucifix and throwing a cloth over it. A loud banging at the front door wakens the family, but when Anthony investigates he finds no-one outside. Nevertheless, the noise continues, and finally Anthony seizes a gun and shouts threats from the porch. Dolores becomes terrified when she sees that her crucifix has been covered. Meanwhile, the two youngest Montelli children watch in fear as an invisible force uses the paint and brushes in their bedroom to cover the walls with pictures of hideous creatures and phrases such as “Dishonour thy father”. Believing the children responsible, Anthony takes his belt to them. When Dolores intervenes, she is violently beaten. The eldest daughter, Patricia (Diane Franklin), flies to her mother’s defence, while Sonny picks up the gun abandoned by Anthony and places it to his father’s head. After a frozen moment, Dolores silently takes the gun from her son. Later, after the Montellis have returned to their rooms, Sonny is listening to music when a voice speaks through his headphones, demanding to know why he didn’t shoot…? After church the next morning, Dolores asks the priest, Father Adamsky (James Olson), to stop by and bless the house. Adamsky agrees, but when he arrives, Anthony is furious. The younger children go into the kitchen to get the priest a glass of water, while Dolores introduces Sonny. When Adamsky shakes hands with Sonny, an invisible force tears through the house. In the kitchen, the refrigerator erupts, spilling its contents all over the room. Anthony blames the children and begins abusing them, insulting Adamsky when the priest tries to stop him. To Dolores’ mortification, Adamsky leaves in disgust. Returning to his car, Adamsky finds that his prayer-book has been torn to pieces. Dolores threatens to leave Anthony unless he accompanies her and the children to church that evening, to apologise to Adamsky. Reluctantly, Anthony accedes. Pleading illness, Sonny stays home. Hearing strange noises, he becomes aware of an evil presence that stalks him through the house, and finally engulfs him…
Comments: The history of Amityville II: The Possession is a history of lawsuits. It all started when – by way of defending his and his wife’s honour, you understand – George Lutz succeeded in copyrighting the phrase “The Amityville Horror”, as well as in securing the legal rights to any and all sequels to the first film. Possibly George envisaged the filming of The Amityville Horror II, written by John G. Jones, which gives an account of the demonic manifestations that supposedly followed the Lutzes even after they left their notorious house, chasing them cross-country to San Diego and then all the way to England. What he got was rather different. To his fury and outrage, George Lutz awoke one day to discover that Dino De Laurentiis had gone ahead and made a second film anyway, one which had nothing whatsoever to do with the Lutz-approved account of subsequent events, and which dodged the existing legal prohibitions by not strictly being a sequel at all. Naturally, George sued, but got no more satisfaction than having the word “Horror” removed from the title of all future entries in the franchise. Place names not being copyrightable, “Amityville” stayed.
The horror! The horror!
As it turned out, it wasn’t only the wrath of George Lutz that Dino and his team had to worry about. Their film is based, as noted, not upon the book by John G. Jones, but upon Hans Holzer’s Murder In Amityville, a purportedly true account of the DeFeo murders, but one which upset the surviving relatives of the victims sufficiently to make them instigate a law-suit against it.
If those relatives didn’t like the book, one shudders to think how they must have reacted to Amityville II: The Possession.
The opening credits of this film hardly inspire confidence; certainly not in those well-versed in horror and exploitation films. That tone-setting “Dino De Laurentiis presents—” title card speaks for itself. Also onboard we find Italian journeyman director Damiano Damiani, whose expertise (despite that marvellous name) lay not in horror movies, but rather in polizione, and whose first English-language film this was – as well as his last. Finally, the screenplay is credited to Tommy Lee Wallace, previously a jack-of-all-trades on John Carpenter’s films; all trades but writing, that is.
Actually, the most significant production name didn’t make the credits at all. Understandably with a rookie screenwriter, the producers hired some help. The film’s uncredited co-writer was Dardano Sacchetti who, over the course of a career now into its fourth decade, has had a hand in the writing of some of the best films that the Italian exploitation cinema has served up…and some of the very worst. This is, then, a rather Italianate offering, possibly explaining the frankly Italian-American-Catholic nature of our central characters, the Montellis…which brings us to the most interesting thing about this film.
Dolores Montelli’s Guide To Comedy:
Blood from tap = funny
Blood from aspergillum = not funny
In its entirety, Amityville II is a wonderfully cynical piece of sleight of hand. Nowhere does this film declare itself to be in any way related to The Amityville Horror, the film, to The Amityville Horror, the book, to the Lutzes, or to the DeFeos. Nor is there any attempt made to disguise the time of the film’s production: the clothes, the haircuts and the language are clearly early-eighties, not early-seventies; so are the cars; and so, most certainly, is Sonny’s walkman. I’d like to think that some of this reticence was due to the film-makers’ recognition of the shameless liberties they were taking with the lives of real people, but I’m very sure it had a great deal more to do with the (not entirely successful) avoidance of lawsuits – and with an attempt, on the whole a successful one, to have their cake and eat it.
Assuming, and rightly, that everyone watching their film would know full well the story of the DeFeos without it having to be told again; legitimised on one hand by the facts of the case; protected on the other by the lack of demonstrable connection between their finished product and those facts; the producers simply used “the true story” as the spring-board for the film they really wanted to make – which here means taking a real-life tragedy and turning it finally into a latex-and-karo-syrup-coated exercise in idiocy and sleaze.
If, after those opening credits, we were still in expectation of some subtlety in story-telling, Amityville II takes all of five minutes to disabuse us of our foolish misconceptions. Not for this film the slow build-up of its predecessor: the Montellis have barely set foot in their new house before we’ve had blood from a tap, a fly-infested hidden room reeking of heaven-knows-what, a blast of demonic wind and ghostly touches on the arm. Now, me, I’m a simple person. I turn on a tap, I see blood, I leave. But not the Montellis: like most movie families, they can’t take a hint; and nor do falling mirrors, floating tablecloths, covered-up crucifixes, graffiti-ing paintbrushes, self-opening windows, shaking furniture and disembodied banging at the front door – total time of house occupancy: eight hours – have what you might consider the logical effect upon them.
“Miss Pat! Miss Pat! It’s a flower! No, wait—it’s demon hell spawn!”
Mind you, the Montellis collectively have a lot more to worry about than demonic manifestations – and so does the audience. The plain fact is, none of the supernatural events in this film can touch its real-life horrors, and I don’t just mean the inevitable slaughter of the family. As portrayed by Burt Young with nauseating believability, Anthony Montelli is a much greater evil than the one lurking in his basement, a man whose answer to everything is the fist or the belt. Whatever else it fails at, Amityville II is a near-unbearable portrait of a family living with an abusive patriarch. There is an attempt to suggest that the house is “causing” the family’s behaviour – “That’s all anyone’s been doing ever since we got here, fighting!” cries Dolores as the first family dinner erupts into hostility – but it is completely unpersuasive. We have no doubt whatsoever that the members of this family have been suffering for years at the hands of their husband and father. Anything that the house might do at this point seems like an act of supererogation.
Not for Amityville II the slow burn of George Lutz and his obsession with his axe. Before the Montellis have even crossed their threshold, Anthony has spoken ominously to the two younger children, and had words, too, with his cowed but glowering older son. Before the film is twenty minutes old, the family (and the audience) has endured verbal and physical violence of all kinds from Anthony Montelli, most tellingly at the dinner table when a newly-hung mirror falls with a crash as Dolores is saying grace. Instantly, we might say instinctively, Anthony goes for Sonny; equally instinctively, the oldest daughter, Patricia, tries to throw herself between her father and her brother. We know at once that Patricia has been doing that for years.
Perhaps the most significant point in all this is that the relationship between the two youngest children, Jan and Mark (played by real-life siblings Erika and Brent Katz), invariably expresses itself in aggressive terms. When Jan corrects Mark’s table-laying, he responds not just with, “Shut up!”, but with the threat of a fork-stab; and when the two squabble over who will get a visitor a glass of water, Jan pulls a plastic bag over her brother’s face! – and follows up by smoothing his hair and kissing him. The “I hit ’cos I love” vibe could hardly be stronger.
Games night at the Montellis’.
The escalating domestic violence climaxes in a protracted assault by Anthony upon his wife that is stopped only by the threat of a gun held to his head, courtesy of Sonny. (Afterwards, a demonic voice operating through Sonny’s walkman demands to know why he didn’t pull the trigger. By this stage, the viewer might be wondering the same thing.) The only thing more horrifying than these scenes is Dolores Montelli’s statement to Father Adamsky at church the next day, when she insists that, “My husband’s a good man, Father!” I’m surprised God didn’t strike her dead on the spot.
Incredibly, Anthony Montelli manages to make himself even more unlikeable in the next sequence when, per Dolores’ invitation, Father Adamsky comes to the house to bless it. Anthony, categorised by Dolores with staggering understatement as “not a big church-goer”, proceeds to make his previous behaviour seem almost palatable by treating his wife’s visitor like something he found on the sole of his shoe.
(Actually, the film overplays its hand here: Anthony’s rant against Dolores for “bringing church” into his house, wherein he reacts as if he’s never even heard of blessing a house, sits unconvincingly alongside his tolerance of grace at the table and crucifixes on the wall.)
The mortified Dolores flutters around trying to cover for her boorish husband, who responds to her agonised pleading that he “Be nice” by calling Adamsky “Priest” in a tone of voice which suggests that word is the worst obscenity he knows. Dolores drags Sonny downstairs, and as the boy and the priest shake hands…
“…and with SPECIAL GUEST STAR – The House!”
…the kitchen erupts, with the contents of the refrigerator spilling out onto the floor, dishes throwing themselves across the room and shattering, and shelves pulling themselves off the wall and hurling themselves and their contents to the ground. All of which Anthony Montelli chooses to blame upon Jan, aged seven, and Mark, aged five, who were in the kitchen for all of ten seconds. Anthony’s busy right hand comes immediately into play again, and after trying and failing to intervene, Adamsky walks out in disgust. Outside, Adamsky finds his car door open and his prayer-book shredded: a discovery overseen by the eye-windows of the house – of which, I may say, we do not see nearly enough over the course of this film.
Actually, that’s a telling point about Amityville II. The story is so focused upon the family that the house itself becomes very much a minor player in the story – again underscoring the self-destructive qualities of the Montellis. There is a distinct lack here of those lingering shots of this normal yet somehow unnerving structure that helps make the first film rather more than the sum of its parts.
On the other hand, this film does give us something that its brethren generally do not. The opening sequence has several shots from the lake back towards the road, and later we see a character looking over his shoulder at the house from across the street. These shots, plus the immediate post-slaughter scenes, emphasise one critical point that tends to get lost in translation in these films (and never more completely than in the dreaded but apparently unavoidable re-make of the original): that the place where the defining tragedy occurred was an ordinary suburban house on an ordinary suburban street.
Armed and dangerous.
Dolores finally finds her backbone – sadly but believably, because of the insult to her priest, rather than because of the acts of violence committed against herself and her children – and threatens to walk out altogether if Anthony doesn’t accompany her to church to apologise to Adamsky. He grumblingly accedes, and the family heads out – all but Sonny, who’s “not feeling well”. And barely have the rest departed when (to the strains of Lalo Schifrin’s lahh-la-la-la-la! theme), something starts making moaning noises and pitching objects at Sonny. He ends up in the basement, which is where Anthony’s guns are kept – on an open rack on the wall, and loaded.
Granted, I’m not a gun owner myself, nor do I know all that much about they way they think. However, I’m pretty sure that if I were a foul-tempered, priest-insulting, child-abusing wife-beater, I’d keep my guns where they were a little harder to get at.
Reinforced by one of his father’s guns, Sonny peers into the fly-and-filth coated “secret room”. This leads to one of this film’s oddest yet most effective moments, as Sonny finds an arm protruding from the wall…an arm whose fingers uncurl as he watches. Understandably, Sonny bolts – and of course when he looks back, the thing is gone. Something then starts chasing Sonny around the house, culminating in the camera going into a couple of spectacular loop-de-loops over Sonny’s head. Unfortunately, this subjective sequence comes off less as horrifying than as one of those “right-camera, left-camera” newsreader jokes – although there is a certain frisson in the fact that Sonny himself clearly cannot see the thing he knows is pursuing him. It finally catches him in his room – the “eye-window” room, natch.
Amityville II shows its fine Italian hand again here, with some colour lighting effects that hark back to the work of Mario Bava, although without any of his artistry. Sonny is then officially possessed in a scene featuring an air-bladder bulging neck and a fake torso: effects that just might look vaguely familiar from, oh, some other film that features demonic possession. Perhaps you’ve heard of it…?
Don’t make Sonny angry. You wouldn’t like Sonny when he’s angry.
Sonny screams, and the house erupts. The windows open and close. The taps turn on. Furniture shakes and nick-nacks shatter. The furnace blasts open and electrical wiring explodes with showers of sparks. Lightbulbs shatter. Anthony’s guns go off simultaneously, blasting the basement ceiling. A huge gout of flame throws open the external basement door and rises into the night. A localised windstorm blasts the outside of the house.
None of which attracts the slightest notice, either from the neighbours or from the rest of the Montellis, when they get home from church.
And then Amityville II: The Possession hits rock bottom, as Sonny seduces Patricia.
Now, I have to stop here for a moment and say that I’m rather surprised by the number of reviewers who have made reference to “the incestuous undertones” of the relationship between the two prior to this. Maybe I’m naive, but I honestly never got that vibe. Their interaction seems to me a believable blend of mild antagonism and warmth. (I particularly like the moment when Patricia greets her brother with a cheerful, “Hey, snotty!”) They are a bit touchy-feely, true, but that always struck me more as the two of them looking for some emotional reassurance as a guard against the horrors of their home life. I mean, can’t there be affection between siblings without it being sexual in nature? Does physical contact have to mean a desire for something more? And really, Patricia’s constant watchfulness and care for Sonny seems, if anything, maternal in nature.
All of which, in my opinion, makes this scene worse. It just comes out of the blue. There’s no sense that we were always leading up to this, nor that Patricia “can’t help it”, or “can’t help herself”. It just…happens. And the build-up is, frankly, incredible. Nice, well-behaved, church-going Patricia not only doesn’t bat an eyelid when her brother asks her to strip off her nightgown and “strike a pose” for him, she barely hesitates.
“…and now you’ll take me to my Fellowship meeting like you promised, right?”
Clearly, the real reason this subplot exists is that, all of a sudden, someone realised that they were halfway through making an exploitation movie and there were no boobs in it; and furthermore, that the only boobs available (at least in exploitation movie terms) were those attached to Ms Franklin. QED. I’ve complained in the past about films that shoe-horn in a rape scene just to get boobs on screen, and I can only paraphrase myself here: if you haven’t got enough imagination to figure out how to get some boobs into your film without resorting to an incest scene, maybe you should quit making horror movies.
But what really hurts about all this is that the performances given by Diane Franklin and Jack Magner in this film are actually pretty good; better than the film deserves. Franklin’s wide-eyed incomprehension leading up to the seduction almost convinces us that Patricia really doesn’t see what’s coming, and she does a first-class job afterwards conveying Patricia’s bewildering tangle of emotions, almost entirely through her body language. She also achieves the film’s most evocative moment when she confesses to Father Adamsky – without naming names – “He does it just to hurt God.”
All of which brings Father Adamsky front and centre. He returns to the house for a do-over on the blessing, in the course of which Sonny’s bedroom door slams itself in his face, and the holy water turns to blood when it is sprinkled on Anthony and Dolores’s bed. As Dolores screams hysterically, Adamsky staggers into the bathroom, and – YES!! A puking priest!!
The blood then magically vanishes, as Sonny chortles upstairs; and Adamsky hot-foots it to his church superiors and starts talking exorcism; an idea that his cardinal (a cameoing Leonardo Cimino) nixes. Adamsky is later visited by Patricia, who in the course of apologising for her behaviour at confession and making rambling small-talk about her family, sends out a silent cry for help that should have been deafening to any minimally sensitive human being. Adamsky’s response? “I have to work on my sermon.”
No jokes here, people.
Now, about five minutes ago, wasn’t this priest talking up an exorcism of this girl’s house? Actually, forget that. This is a man, let alone a priest, who knows that this teenage girl has an abusive father; who knows that she is in some kind of untoward sexual relationship. Yet when Patricia goes to him for help he practically pats her on the head and tells her to run along – or rather, assures her that if she’ll confess properly on Sunday, she’ll “feel better” on Monday. Patricia’s only response is a despairing look over her shoulder: on some level, she knows there isn’t going to be any Sunday…
Patricia hesitates in the doorway, trying to summon up the courage to speak – and Adamsky turns from her to answer the phone. When he looks up again, she’s gone.
Well done, sir! You’re a credit to your species and your profession!
Cut to Sonny’s birthday party, and Sonny interacting lovingly with his youngest brother and sister and his mother. Even Sonny and Anthony embrace, as the family applauds; but when it comes to Patricia, Sonny is perhaps a little too loving – as the appalled Dolores intuits what has been going on. Sonny gets a tearful moment of his own here. He, too, knows that the end is very near…
Actually – I do have to give the devil his due [*cough*] and admit that this section of the film is very well done. There’s a real emotional component to all of this, played out as it is in the grim shadow of the carnage to come.
We’re not done yet with Father Adamsky and his various failures, though. After a confrontation between Sonny and Patricia, she again tries to call Adamsky for help. Earlier on we saw Adamsky visited by “Father Tom” (this time a cameoing Andrew Prine), and heard of the two priests’ plans to go camping. They are halfway out the door when Adamsky’s phone rings; and although he knows, deep down in his gut, who it is that is calling him—he turns away and heads out on his camping trip. I guess the responsibility was just too much for him. Or perhaps he just couldn’t bear to give up the chance to spend the night alone in the woods with Andrew Prine.
Sorry. That was probably uncalled for.
(Although, mind you, if that was his reason, I guess I could understand it…)
But with that, and as a thunderstorm inevitably builds outside, the slaughter of the Montelli family takes place: a fictional rendering made even worse than the reality, as in a nightmarishly protracted sequence, Sonny first kills his conscious parents, then stalks his doomed, terrified siblings around the house. He kills Patricia last…
…and good old Father Adamsky jerks awake from a bad dream, convinced that something terrible has happened. Jeez, no shit, Sherlock. Too bad Patricia in the flesh wasn’t as convincing as your “bad feeling”. Adamsky drives back to Amityville, the bemused Father Tom in tow, and finds the front lawn of the Montelli house swarming with police cars, ambulances, coroners’ vans, and milling rubber-neckers. Here the film offers up a serious challenge to the seduction of Patricia as “most repulsive moment”, as the body bags containing the dead children are opened up on camera, ostensibly so that Adamsky can perform the last rites, mostly so that we get a gawp at the corpses. Thanks so much.
Over amongst the police cars, Sonny is sobbing, “I don’t remember! I don’t remember!”
(I love the cop who tells him, “Take it easy, kid. Everything’s going to be all right.” Suuuure it is…)
You know, I suppose that despite all the sleaze and tackiness on display here, the really reprehensible thing about Amityville II is that it comes across as a kind of vindication of Ron DeFeo. Mind you, this is a point that means a bit less now than it did when the film was made, since Ron finally recanted his “the devil made me do it” story some years ago.
And then Adamsky has the temerity to conduct the mass funeral for the Montellis. I’m surprised God didn’t strike him dead, too. As he watches Sonny driven off in a police car, Adamsky declares, “I’m responsible!” Hey, no-one’s arguing, bub. Adamsky visits Sonny in prison, pleading with him to “help me help you”. Sonny remains completely unresponsive (possibly because he’s seen first hand what Adamsky’s “help” did for Patricia), until Adamsky starts saying the 23rd Psalm, upon which Sonny attacks him. The cop in charge of the case barges in to check on things, and Adamsky assures him that he’s okay, and that in any case it isn’t Sonny’s fault: he’s possessed.
And then everything goes pear-shaped.
The last third of Amityville II is notoriously a bald-faced rip-off of The Exorcist, complete with air bladders, creepy contact lens effects, self-writing body parts, and an exorcism that climaxes with the priest calling the inhabiting spirit into his own body. However, the problem here isn’t so much the undisguised thievery as that, after all the real-world horrors that make up the first part of the film – the abuse, the incest, the murders – this shift into the realm of the overtly supernatural is—well, frankly, rather a relief. And thanks to the ineptitude of execution during this part of the film, a comical relief, at that.
But who can save this film?
Adamsky is gazing thoughtfully at the house when he is accosted by a local woman who just happens to know the entire history of the place, including the fact that a woman expelled from Salem for witchcraft – wait a minute: expelled!? – what, did they have a liberal government in Salem that year? – subsequently violated the Amityville natives’ prohibition against building on the site of – wait for it – an Indian burial ground.
A ghostly phone-call from “Patricia”, following hard upon a vision of her, convinces Adamsky of the need for drastic action. He starts running around trying to convince anyone who will listen to him that Sonny really is possessed; and along with all its other offenses, Amityville II adds just a whiff of racism by having the only two people who believe him, Booth, Sonny’s lawyer, and Turner, the cop in charge – “I saw one once in Puerto Rico!” he offers by way of explanation – both be black.
This leads to a hysterical courtroom scene wherein Booth pleads Sonny “Not guilty by reason of demonic possession”. (When the judge suggests gently that he think of something else, the lawyer grumbles to Adamsky, “I wanted to plead insanity!”) Sonny collapses and ends up institutionalised, undergoing electroshock therapy. Adamsky decides that enough is enough, and convinces Turner to let him “overpower” him, so that he can haul Sonny off to church and exorcise him.
(You know, I may simply be displaying my theological ignorance here, but I’ve never understood why desecrating the proverbial ancient Indian burial ground should result in possession by something that can be exorcised by a Catholic priest.)
Insert your own “splitting headache” joke here.
Suggesting that Adamsky hasn’t really thought this through, the priest simply tries to walk Sonny into a church – and then actually looks surprised when Sonny attacks him.
The final showdown occurs, naturally, in the dreaded house itself. This sequence is a mish-mash of stolen elements, although it is not without some effective moments. The goop down the walls is back – yay! – and several shambling somethings start emerging from the hidden room when Adamsky enters the basement. The stumbling of the obviously terrified priest through his subsequent prayer is more convincing than almost anything else here, although the scene is ruined when the hidden room belches forth a tide of what I’m sure is supposed to be blood, but looks more like raspberry-flavoured soft drink. The de rigueur thunderstorm then breaks inside the house.
Adamsky finally confronts Sonny in the eye-room. What follows is a riotous mix of bulging prostheses and wire-effects, highlighted by the appearance of a whored-up Patricia (oh, goody – now we’re stealing from Exorcist II!) and one memorable effect not swiped from The Exorcist, when Sonny literally splits apart to reveal the demon inside him.
(Just so we don’t get carried away with our praise here, we should note that Amityville II was released not long after The Beast Within…)
Unable to bear Sonny’s torment, Adamsky pleads with God to, “Let it be me!”; and God, being in a literal kind of mood – and possibly just a little ticked with Adamsky for his arrogance in disobeying the church hierarchy and going ahead with an exorcism anyway – does just that.
Move along, please, nothing to see here…
So the demon enters Adamsky, and Sonny is saved. His soul, anyway. His legal defence just went right out the window.
Simultaneously, the house goes up in a gigantic fireball. Do the neighbours notice? Not that we ever see. Oh – and it isn’t burning on the inside.
One amusing counterpoint to all of this is the non-arrival of Father Tom, who we saw pulling up at the front of the house earlier on, and who, an exorcism, a possession and an exploding house later, is still making his way upstairs. He finally peers into the eye-room to find Sonny looking fighting fit but bewildered, and Adamsky…a little the worse for wear…
Adamsky begs Tom to take Sonny away, which he duly does. The two stagger out of the house and across the lawn, just as the police cars show up. (They were a little slow getting there too, weren’t they?) Sonny looks more than a little alarmed as the police close in on him, moving Father Tom to assure him that, “They’ll understand that it wasn’t your fault.”
And then we get the undisputed Moment Of The Film as Sonny gives Father Tom a look that says, more clearly than words ever could have done, “You have GOT to be fucking kidding me!”
Meanwhile, upstairs, Adamsky seems a little dismayed at having been taken so literally at his word; and we leave him staring into a prosthetic hell of his own.
The final shot of the film is a daytime one of the undamaged house, its “For Sale” sign swaying gently in the wind once again.
“Soooo…camping trip off, then?”
Footnote: The poster reproduced up above is that initially used to advertise the release of Amityville II: The Possession. It has the distinction of being the only place where (if you read the fine print) a connection between the DeFeo tragedy and the events of this film is explicitly declared. The real collectors’ item, however, is the second poster that got released in the wake of George Lutz’s lawsuit against the film: