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An Italian-American family move into a house built on an ancient Indian burial ground. The oldest son is possessed by an evil spirit, and is forced to murder his family. The family's priest feels responsible, and tries to save the possessed boy's soul. Written by
Chris Thackwray <email@example.com>
The night of February 5, 1976, George and Kathleen Lutz fled their home in Amityville, New York. They got out alive! Their living nightmare shocked audiences around the world in "The Amityville Horror." But before them, another family lived in this house and were caught by the original evil. They weren't so lucky... this is their story! See more »
OK, your question for today is: why do horror movies not have to make any goddamn sense whatsoever? I don't mean that things like vampires, werewolves or demonic possession don't really exist. I mean that characters behave in totally implausible ways, and that the way the world works in so many horror flicks bears no resemblance to anything on Planet Earth. That isn't true of all horror movies, of course, but it's true of a lot of them, especially lazy, half-witted sequels like this one.
The plot is barely worth discussing. Family of unpleasant people moves into creepy old house, kid gets possessed, it all goes very much pear-shaped. You know the drill. It's based (a bit) on Ronald Defeo Jr's murder of his entire family in 1974, but that's where any link with reality ends.
For a start, there's obviously something nasty going on in the house. You know, your average holy-water-turning-into-blood type deal, a sea of poo being discovered under the basement, kid going slowly nuts. So what do the family do about this rather major problem? Well, nothing. If they did, there wouldn't be a movie, so they can't do anything, can they? Why does the evil kid's sister allow herself to be seduced by her own brother? No idea. Perhaps the actors were trying to show us a range of full-blooded, hitherto suppressed passion, but they ended up just looking mildly uncomfortable. I wasn't MILDLY uncomfortable watching that incest scene, I can tell you that. It's the most horrific thing in this movie, by a looooong way, and for all the wrong reasons.
Then there's Father Adamsky, the world's worst priest. A guy who gets a desperate call for help from a parishioner - who, by the way, he knows is getting a porking from her brother - and he hangs up on her. Later, this hero charges into a crime scene, trampling all over the evidence, shouting 'I'm a priest!' Apparently, this is a good way to get admitted to crime scenes, since no one answers with the rather obvious 'so what, you can still stay behind the lines, fella.' Later still, the same priest springs the killer from a maximum security jail and takes him back to the crime scene. The unguarded crime scene, yet, without a cop to be seen. I guess the cops in that town really trust priests.
But you don't care that the plot makes no sense at all. You don't care that some of these actors are at embarrassing levels of crapness. You probably don't even care about that icky incest scene (but you should, really you should). You just want to know if it's scary, right? No. It isn't. Not even slightly. It's just a bit rubbish, with fairly random special effects instead of any actual tension or horror. Hey, look, we can totally make this table spin around! Wow, that guy's head is like all expanding and stuff, gross! I found myself watching these bits and going, well, so what? I've seen the Exorcist, I've seen Poltergeist, you ain't gonna scare me with a spinning table, guys. In fact, you ain't gonna scare me with anything in this piece of hackwork.
It does have one good bit of dialogue, between bro and sis just after he's got her naked. Bro waves her smelly old undies in her face. 'I took your panties from the laundry' he says. 'Oh,' says sis, looking entirely nonplussed but not particularly concerned. 'Why did you do that?' Why indeed?
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