I saw the original Amityville for the first time about three months ago. It was really boring, and by the end I was waiting for it to be over. The only element of the film I really liked was James Brolin’s beard. The strange thing is that I always thought that I had seen the original Amityville, and that I liked it. It turns out that what I really saw was Poltergeist ..lots and lots of times; and, since I liked that particular film, I apparently created some sort of amalgamation of the two movies in my mind. Let the records stand: Poltergeist is a far more entertaining venture thanAmityville. It doesn’t matter how many “based on a true story of MURDER” tags are slapped on the cover. I imagine that the real events that the Amityville series was inspired by were far more horrible than anything the films conjured up for viewers.
So, after the snooze session that was the originalAmityville, I was a little hesitant to give the sequel a try; however, I heard claims that the sequel was much more interesting because it tells the original story of the murder, and it’s supernatural cause. This was indeed the case. Paranormal film fans, particularly those interested in demonology, will be pleased to see a more in depth depiction of what was supposedly influencing the actions of George Lutz (Brolin). Even if the entire premise is bullflop, and Lutz was actually just experiencing a mid-life crisis of the worst kind, the uncomfortable notion of his demonic oppression is still worth putting skepticism aside. More than anything, the practical effects of Amityville II are what brings the story up a notch. Sure, Brolin proved to be a more mature actor in the original film, but he doesn’t tear his own face off (yes, it happens in Amityville II). And, I mean that in a bad way. Had Brolin torn off his face in the original film, I might have been more tolerant of the slow pacing. Of course, it makes sense that the telling of the initial possession would be more interesting than the residual impact of the possession on a totally different family years later. Right?
It drags a little, but this is the one to watch if you’re interested in the series, unless you can’t handle the strange the incestual relationship of the lead roles.