Amityville II: The Possession

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We’ve looked at The Amityville Horror but I wanted to write about the second movie and the story behind it separately. This is a prequel to the first movie and it is set one year before the Lutz family moved into the house. It is based on the book Murder in Amityville by Hans Holzer. The story begins pretty much like the first movie with a family moving into their new beautiful home, and with all the ensuing hopes and dreams that signifies. However, very soon it becomes clear that all is not well within the family set up. The father is overbearing and abusive towards his children and wife. He is very strict, but doesn’t necessarily adhere to the family’s religious faith. Strange and dark supernatural occurrences begin to take place, mostly affecting the eldest son, and eventually they overcome him, resulting in a very tragic outcome for the rest of the family.

I preferred this movie to the first one when I first saw it. It just seemed really horrific and I had no idea that it was based on an actual murder. I did think that the ending bore some resemblance to The Exorcist.

Amityville Murders: The DeFeo Family

The Montelli family of the movie are based on the real DeFeo family that lived in the house for about nine years before the son, Ronald DeFeo Jr killed his parents and siblings by shooting each of them while they slept. While the religious angle, strict upbringing and conflict between the father and eldest son would seem to be accurate, there is not much to suggest that the other aspects, such as the incestuous relationship between brother and sister or the supernatural occurrences actually happened. As part of his defense, Defeo did at one point claim that a demonic voice had told him to kill his family, which is similar to what was portrayed in the movie. However, his story changed so many times including claims that he had heard his family plotting against him so it had been self-defense, to claims that his sister and mother had helped him. The supernatural angle may have been a ploy with his lawyer, who was known to have been close to the Lutzes until a disagreement over money. George Lutz claimed that he would wake at the same time after around 3am ever night, and this was later connected to the time at which the DeFeo family were killed. Was that a detail they wove into their story based on what DeFeo’s lawyer told them?

As awful as the fact that this young man could kill his whole family is, there are other troubling details that I think make the truth far stranger than any of the fiction created, and some of which is also mentioned in the documentary My Amityville Horror. Ronald DeFeo Jr went from room to room shooting his parents and four siblings while they slept with a shotgun that was not fitted with a silencer. Yet, none of the neighbours reported hearing anything apart from a dog barking. Then there is the fact that none of the occupants in the house awoke to stop him or raise the alarm after the first shot was fired, even though toxicology reports showed none of them had been drugged. The mother and sister were said to be the only ones awake, yet they were also killed in there beds and there was no sign of struggle.

Whether the Lutzes experiences actually happened or not is definitely unclear, however, these murders did happen, and that has to be the most horrific part of this whole saga.

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