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Amityville II: The Possession (1982) (1 Viewer)

Tino

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This film is part of an Amityville trilogy on sale for $9.99 on iTunes.
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JimJasper

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LOL...LOL....I'd absolutely love to do the commentary with you on a 4K release of the title....

Haha, that would be fun if possible.... a new featurette for Amityville II: The Possession would be fun to include shots of the Mexico studio where interiors were shot, the house used in the film (substantially changed and moved!) in Tom’s River and finally tracking down Jack Magner for exhaustive interviews, dammit. haha

  • Special releases: Cool news about the UK version of the DVDs and that of Amityville II: The Possession ….looks like most of those particular video featurettes and the A. Holzer audio commentary (reportedly with huge gaps in between talking) and 5.1 audio remix was ported over to the 2013 Blu-ray release (in a Blu-ray trilogy with pt 2 not sold separately – chumps!)….but the video quality and audio quality are genuinely applauded on Blu-ray. Especially for the audio remix update (although not noted on the back slipcover for part 2, regardless; evidently the 5.1 mix is on the Blu-ray) – check that out. I’d like to get it…but the price keeps rising…..
This review likes the 5.1 audio mix with alluring surrounds:

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Amityville-II-The-Possession-Blu-ray/70117/#Review

although this review didn’t like the audio 5.1 mix as much, finding it hollow:

https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/9077/amityville_horror_trilogy.html




  • Special effects comparisons:
Released 2/1982 – The Beast Within

Released 9/1982 - Amityville II: The Possession

I looked at special effects people, between the two films, on imdb.com and didn’t see correlations….though I think special effects people of major Hollywood studios was a “small world” at that time…not sure. Amityville II The Possession looked more refined in some places….the warped arm…or the “go away damned bitch” veins popping on Magner’s face….yikes.


  • Yes, you are right about the 2018’s Amityville Murders (about the DeFeos) film for TV with Diane Franklin, and Burt Young reprising the DeFeo story …I’m sure it has its moments, and I hope to see it someday.
  • Special Effects: Arm coming out of the wall detail: The scene of the Magner under the house and the hand coming out of the wall. Scared the hell out of me as a kid – didn’t see that coming. Like a nightmare coming to life….and the set up just before it; him about to go back up the stairs but hears those sickening voices and turns around to that "lair" room…. But I never noticed blood shooting out of hand. I just played it, and yes, you are right; good catch ! A lot of blood shooting out of the middle finger – i never noticed that before with the backlighting and other water dripping. Yikes.
  • Special Effects Oops!: Crew’s foot: I did not see the effects tube in Magner's breaking head at the end! Another good catch…lol….yes, the 2005 DVD is really a strong transfer…there is also the catch of a crew’s feet (left) when the camera (demon's POV) swings from Sonny’s shoes to over his head….right at the 2:10 spot in the following link, you can see one crew person’s feet and they walk away:

  • Production design film comparisons: I think Amityville II: The Possession's ceiling rafters generally match the walls previously after looking once more... A lot of folks are fans of John Carpenter’s Vampires. Your memory of it in your life is great! And the brand new car…aww. A milestone in life for sure. I enjoy Carpenter’s work, and liked Vampires, mostly because I adore Sheryl Lee, admittedly. Most folks thought Woods was terrific in the film…I thought Woods was perfectly cast in Videodrome and his other works…but I’m in the minority with liking him in Vampire$, despite his sincere effort, and sharp & clever dialogue. From here on, I shan’t say anything bad about it. Except I thought JC’s 1982 film The Thing was more superior and alluring, perfectly cast, and re-watchable, great audio commentary as well - excellent in fact with JC and KR…. Anyway, yeah, that first building in Vampire$ looks too good and fatigued simultaneously, imo….
  • Ending scenes: Yes, the debate during the exorcism sequence…..so compelling, twisted and on-point. I also agree - not long enough!!! Under all that makeup and slime…Magner again nails it.
  • 1603572365299.png
  • As did the demon’s previous turn of Trisha’s glammed up, lusty illusion “….you know my name” – DID NOT see that coming at all.
  • 1603571594070.png

  • Ending scenes: The house raining within…uuhh….well, yup it’s ridiculous (with too much music also), but it looked good - the young crowds at the time probably didn’t care one whit LOL Haha…Just more Hollywood pandering to its target audience I guess….but if it were still and quiet, I think that w/have been creepier…and more realistic.
  • 1603572239761.png

  • Deleted Scene: Evidently there is a German VHS release including a cut scene of Sonny shooting his father first in the stomach. There are other deleted scenes as you mentioned with the lost souls, Jan trying to drown her brother in the bathtub, the trailer has the kids in the room which isn't in the film etc. Deleted scene:
  • 1603571683581.png
  • DVD Special Features 2005: Ok, I pulled out the 2005 Amityville Trilogy DVD set, and yes, the fourth Amityville Confidential DVD with the two History Channel episodes on Amityville….forgot all about them, Adam! I watched them again in the last few days. They were good for us fans – moved right along, capturing interviews with principle folks who have now passed away except the latter: Lutz’s, Weber, Holzer, E & L Warren, Laura D…. Now more of what you said made sense. …..plus, gosh, I’d say part of it is a hot mess of greed, jealousy and lawsuits as well LOL …great watch again after all these years. Drama outside of the house. Weber was a creep, if what the Lutz’s said was true (threat to talk to the kids at school, Weber suing the Lutz about parts of the story before production, DeFeo Jr getting some back-end payment from the production (!!) – that’s against the 1977 law: “Son of Sam”...if it could have been enforced around then)…hot mess LOL
  • Reference: Watching 2012’s My Amityville Horror with the angry Daniel Lutz, then re-reading the infamous Amityville Horror right afterwards….can give you a different perspective on George, as mentioned. Keep us updated
  • Reference: Amityville: The Final Chapter book …..ya know, I want to say I believe I read that a zillion years ago, b/c the cover is so familiar….but I don’t remember – looks interesting; I’m sure you are right that someone was stretching the $tory!
  • Score: And then there is Lalo Schifrin’s score ♫♪…. Similar to his work on Amityville Horror. But with part 2, I thought it was more foreboding with: aggressive-heavy cello (?), ghostly singing, and falling, dissonant melodies…. Really creepy I always thought. However, with briefer interludes, I think it was not as extensive as the first film, though with part 2, the score is....very dooming....
  • 1603573069767.png
 
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Kaskade1309

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Haha, that would be fun if possible.... a new featurette for Amityville II: The Possession would be fun to include shots of the Mexico studio where interiors were shot, the house used in the film (substantially changed and moved!) in Tom’s River and finally tracking down Jack Magner for exhaustive interviews, dammit. haha
LOL...

Those would be great additions for hardcore fans. It's weird about the "movie house," as it's difficult to imagine them turning that thing into what we see in the first three films, save for the reconstructing of the "cape-esque" elements of the roof and siding...


1603598815050.png


1603598842504.png


Here is a shot of them preparing the house for the 1979 shooting of Amityville Horror:

1603598898320.png


And here's the house they used for the disappointing Amityville: The Awakening:

1603598961902.png



Special releases
: Cool news about the UK version of the DVDs and that of Amityville II: The Possession ….looks like most of those particular video featurettes and the A. Holzer audio commentary (reportedly with huge gaps in between talking) and 5.1 audio remix was ported over to the 2013 Blu-ray release (in a Blu-ray trilogy with pt 2 not sold separately – chumps!)….but the video quality and audio quality are genuinely applauded on Blu-ray. Especially for the audio remix update (although not noted on the back slipcover for part 2, regardless; evidently the 5.1 mix is on the Blu-ray) – check that out. I’d like to get it…but the price keeps rising…..
This review likes the 5.1 audio mix with alluring surrounds:

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Amityville-II-The-Possession-Blu-ray/70117/#Review

although this review didn’t like the audio 5.1 mix as much, finding it hollow:

https://bluray.highdefdigest.com/9077/amityville_horror_trilogy.html

Yeah, I've read ALL the reviews for part II's Blu-ray; in fact, some reviewers are vague about whether or not the disc actually comes with a reworked 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround track (some Scream Factory releases do not carry a surround remix on them and instead boast their original stereo or mono mix).

I have been dying to buy the Amityville II Blu-ray if only to hear some elements in the surround channels, such as the demonic laughter or other creepy moments; as it stands, I've only experienced the soundtrack in its original mono audio.

And, yeah, part II wasn't sold separately; indeed, Scream used the reworked surround remix prepared for the first film's DVD presentation in the Amityville Horror Collection box set for the Blu-ray release of that entry, and it's pretty damn good...MGM did a commendable job remixing that film's original mono stems into a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix wherein we finally hear the thunder crashing around us during the opening murder sequence, et al.

The reason why the price keeps rising is because Scream discontinued production of the box set and it's considered "rare" now; I may eventually get it used on Amazon or something, but I don't want to get rid of my DVD set because of that awesome History Channel bonus disc (I had taped that documentary off of the station when it debuted around '99 or so), which Scream should have included in the trilogy box.

Special effects comparisons
:
Released 2/1982 – The Beast Within

Released 9/1982 - Amityville II: The Possession

I looked at special effects people, between the two films, on imdb.com and didn’t see correlations….though I think special effects people of major Hollywood studios was a “small world” at that time…not sure. Amityville II The Possession looked more refined in some places….the warped arm…or the “go away damned bitch” veins popping on Magner’s face….yikes.

Indeed.

Yes, you are right about the 2018’s Amityville Murders (about the DeFeos) film for TV with Diane Franklin, and Burt Young reprising the DeFeo story …I’m sure it has its moments, and I hope to see it someday.

Wasn't that great; saw it on an On Demand cable channel and it was....I don't know....meh...

There's a scene in the beginning where a chick is sitting in De Feo's car and seems almost desperate for him to shag her, and she lets out a string of vulgarities, if I remember right, sounding like a porn star on horny steroids, while he just sits staring out of the front window (they're in front of 112 Ocean Avenue)...the suggestion being that he was already starting to "come apart."

I don't remember the film being all that...well....memorable...

Special Effects: Arm coming out of the wall detail
: The scene of the Magner under the house and the hand coming out of the wall. Scared the hell out of me as a kid – didn’t see that coming. Like a nightmare coming to life….and the set up just before it; him about to go back up the stairs but hears those sickening voices and turns around to that "lair" room…. But I never noticed blood shooting out of hand. I just played it, and yes, you are right; good catch ! A lot of blood shooting out of the middle finger – i never noticed that before with the backlighting and other water dripping. Yikes.

Here's something else I never picked up on before watching the film on DVD: I never really heard those whispering voices from behind that door in the basement -- when I first played the DVD edition, I was like "Whaaaa?? Holy shit...."

They're kinda creepy....you hear him say "Who's there?" when he bends down with the gun, and suddenly the laughter stops...it's insane.

On a side note, how friggin' hysterical is it when the mover who checks out that room for Delores goes "Lady, it STINKS in here!"

All of a sudden, we're to believe Satan is taking a dump on his guy? He comes out, and when she asks "What is that on your shirt?" he's like "SHIT.....excuse me, maaam...."

WTF??

Special Effects Oops!: Crew’s foot
: I did not see the effects tube in Magner's breaking head at the end! Another good catch…lol….yes, the 2005 DVD is really a strong transfer…there is also the catch of a crew’s feet (left) when the camera (demon's POV) swings from Sonny’s shoes to over his head….right at the 2:10 spot in the following link, you can see one crew person’s feet and they walk away:

I watched this scene over and over, via the video you provided, and I STILL don't see the crew member's foot...

Production design film comparisons
: I think Amityville II: The Possession's ceiling rafters generally match the walls previously after looking once more...

You mean Sonny's bedroom ceiling is really THAT ginormous?

And the brand new car…aww.

:unsure:

A milestone in life for sure. I enjoy Carpenter’s work, and liked Vampires, mostly because I adore Sheryl Lee, admittedly.

Absolutely agreed -- SUPER sexy in every way...

Wasn't she on Twin Peaks or something?

Most folks thought Woods was terrific in the film…I thought Woods was perfectly cast in Videodrome and his other works…but I’m in the minority with liking him in Vampire$, despite his sincere effort, and sharp & clever dialogue. From here on, I shan’t say anything bad about it. Except I thought JC’s 1982 film The Thing was more superior and alluring, perfectly cast, and re-watchable, great audio commentary as well - excellent in fact with JC and KR…. Anyway, yeah, that first building in Vampire$ looks too good and fatigued simultaneously, imo….

Oh no doubt The Thing was better -- can't really compare that to any of the man's other work save for, perhaps, Halloween.

It's funny about Carpenter's later work; the films were kind of so bad they were good, if you know what I mean....they just grow on you with repeat viewings. I eventually fell in love with Escape From L.A., Village of the Damned and Ghosts of Mars...

As did the demon’s previous turn of Trisha’s glammed up, lusty illusion “….you know my name” – DID NOT see that coming at all.
Oh I LOVED that turn of personalities -- I don't know how Adamsky wasn't sitting there without a stiffy when the demon switched gears to look like a slutty, ready-for-some-oral fun Trish, tongue wagging and everything....:dance::rock::banana:

Ending scenes
: The house raining within…uuhh….well, yup it’s ridiculous (with too much music also), but it looked good - the young crowds at the time probably didn’t care one whit LOL Haha…Just more Hollywood pandering to its target audience I guess….but if it were still and quiet, I think that w/have been creepier…and more realistic.
Yeah, I mean you do gotta just go with it....and I always do...but it still bothers me because it's just so ridiculous. Suddenly, when Adamsky gets to Sonny's room, the storm has vanished and everything is nice and peaceful (right before our beloved Montelli boy comes flying from the "rafters" screaming and hissing at our priest).

Deleted Scene
: Evidently there is a German VHS release including a cut scene of Sonny shooting his father first in the stomach. There are other deleted scenes as you mentioned with the lost souls, Jan trying to drown her brother in the bathtub, the trailer has the kids in the room which isn't in the film etc. Deleted scene:

Yeah -- I forgot about those other cut scenes (which are also available as stills online and elsewhere). Right...Jan and Mark (who are real life brother and sister...and wow, have you seen what kind of a hottie Jan turned out to be in real life?) in the bathtub...the image of them holding hands looking out a foggy window...the stomach shot during the murders...to say nothing of the anal rape sequence (how were we to know it was an ANAL rape, anyway, unless Young screams out something about "taking Delores' ass" along the way??) and the extended brother/sister scene...

DVD Special Features 2005
: Ok, I pulled out the 2005 Amityville Trilogy DVD set, and yes, the fourth Amityville Confidential DVD with the two History Channel episodes on Amityville….forgot all about them, Adam! I watched them again in the last few days. They were good for us fans – moved right along, capturing interviews with principle folks who have now passed away except the latter: Lutz’s, Weber, Holzer, E & L Warren, Laura D…. Now more of what you said made sense. …..plus, gosh, I’d say part of it is a hot mess of greed, jealousy and lawsuits as well LOL …great watch again after all these years. Drama outside of the house. Weber was a creep, if what the Lutz’s said was true (threat to talk to the kids at school, Weber suing the Lutz about parts of the story before production, DeFeo Jr getting some back-end payment from the production (!!) – that’s against the 1977 law: “Son of Sam”...if it could have been enforced around then)…hot mess LOL

Indeed; I love the narration on those documentaries, too -- the voiceover is rather chilling and fitting:

"Amityville. A quaint suburb on the south shore of Long Island, about an hour away from the hustle and bustle of New York City........."

Yeah, I mean, did you see what has gone on surrounding this case based on that analysis alone? The court battles, the lie detector tests, the way American International almost went under because of all this...

Reference
: Watching 2012’s My Amityville Horror with the angry Daniel Lutz, then re-reading the infamous Amityville Horror right afterwards….can give you a different perspective on George, as mentioned. Keep us updated

I shall.

Reference
: Amityville: The Final Chapter book …..ya know, I want to say I believe I read that a zillion years ago, b/c the cover is so familiar….but I don’t remember – looks interesting; I’m sure you are right that someone was stretching the $tory!

I would have believed pretty much everything that George had reported up until that point -- I mean, the demonic presence followed them to San Diego after they fled the house, attacked them during a picnic, boomed loud commandments to George in the middle of public places...I'm just not buying that.

I'll tell you this: John G. Jones, who made an entire living off milking the Amityville name as a cottage industry for as long as he possibly could, should be commended for taking the Lutz ordeal to dizzying new heights. He wrote a series of books -- too many to count, if memory serves -- about this supposed "prolonged demonic haunting" of the Lutz family, slapping the word "Amityville" on anything and everything. It's what lead to the onslaught of those terrible made-for-TV disasters like Amityville: The Evil Escapes, Amityville 1992: It's About Time, Amityville: A New Generation, Amityville Dollhouse, et al, et al...

I mean, just LOOK at this:


They didn't end there, either, as there are a SLEW of ridiculous, hammy, made-on-a-dime direct-to-video crap jobs that have the word Amityville in them, most of them having nothing to do with the town or the house. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if we see Amityville: The Toilet Bowl by next October...

: And then there is Lalo Schifrin’s score ♫♪…. Similar to his work on Amityville Horror. But with part 2, I thought it was more foreboding with: aggressive-heavy cello (?), ghostly singing, and falling, dissonant melodies…. Really creepy I always thought. However, with briefer interludes, I think it was not as extensive as the first film, though with part 2, the score is....very dooming....

Absolutely agreed about the score; while the overtones are shared by the first two films, the child nursery rhyme-esque elements are even scarier and creepier in the sequel.
 

JimJasper

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...I watched this scene over and over, via the video you provided, and I STILL don't see the crew member's foot...

Great to read your thoughts, and those production pics. You should be a consultant on any future releases.

So here are the crew person's feet I circled in red on the left...and you can see them walk away as the camera (POV demon) moves...it's only a few seconds:
07.jpg

obviously clearer on dvd, but here is the weblink again...starts around 2:10...
oh, and looking at all this sequence, I just now noticed that Sonny's shirt went up a button from the prior shot....another shock haha.
 
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Kaskade1309

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Great to read your thoughts, and those production pics. You should be a consultant on any future releases.

So here are the crew person's feet I circled in red on the left...and you can see them walk away as the camera (POV demon) moves...it's only a few seconds:
View attachment 80984

obviously clearer on dvd, but here is the weblink again...starts around 2:10...
oh, and looking at all this sequence, I just now noticed that Sonny's shirt went up a button from the prior shot....another shock haha.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Jim...

I am going to have a look at the video again -- but I NEVER noticed those feet in all the years I'm watching this film. Very interesting.

And you said there's also a boom mic shadow, I think, in one shot?

Good catch on Sonny's shirt -- I wouldn't have noticed that, either...
 

Kaskade1309

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Hahahahahahaha....yeah, I see it now....as I said before, WOW...

Gonna have to see if I notice it when I watch the DVD....
 

JimJasper

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Cool deal - Glad you could see it. I will confess that I was only tipped off to it, in this film's imdb.com's "goofs" section a few years ago - otherwise I would have missed it....a few more items in there too.

Boom mic shadow....I actually think I'm wrong: if you watch the lamp shade (same video) at 2:00, there is a shadow that runs across it, that I think is some kind of camera equipment....but re-watching, I think it's just Magner's shadow.

The more you study this film, the filmmakers, actors and crew really seemed to work hard to make the best film they could, and I really think it's worth our study and admiration of certain parts.

In this episode in particular, what's cool about it, also, is that it starts with the subject (sonny) at the top of the house....going down through to the bottom depths of the house, then back up to the top again - making the choreography fun and giving another semi-tour of the set's house to a degree

(Goof: though when Sonny crawls back up, the top stair's landing loses its rug prop in continuity - see the same video at 3:15)

.....Without giving away too many of the film's dramatic moments (aka spoilers) - in our discussions (gulp) - back to Jack Magner and the film style.... I was also was chilled at the end of the episode when the priest's blessing gave the illusion of blood, then to water.....THEN in a weird camera angle, Sonny-possessed falls back on the bed, and gives a throaty laugh.
 

Kaskade1309

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Cool deal - Glad you could see it. I will confess that I was only tipped off to it, in this film's imdb.com's "goofs" section a few years ago - otherwise I would have missed it....a few more items in there too.

Boom mic shadow....I actually think I'm wrong: if you watch the lamp shade (same video) at 2:00, there is a shadow that runs across it, that I think is some kind of camera equipment....but re-watching, I think it's just Magner's shadow.

The more you study this film, the filmmakers, actors and crew really seemed to work hard to make the best film they could, and I really think it's worth our study and admiration of certain parts.

In this episode in particular, what's cool about it, also, is that it starts with the subject (sonny) at the top of the house....going down through to the bottom depths of the house, then back up to the top again - making the choreography fun and giving another semi-tour of the set's house to a degree

(Goof: though when Sonny crawls back up, the top stair's landing loses its rug prop in continuity - see the same video at 3:15)

.....Without giving away too many of the film's dramatic moments (aka spoilers) - in our discussions (gulp) - back to Jack Magner and the film style.... I was also was chilled at the end of the episode when the priest's blessing gave the illusion of blood, then to water.....THEN in a weird camera angle, Sonny-possessed falls back on the bed, and gives a throaty laugh.
Good catches on the additional continuity...

As for that sequence when Adamsky is tricked into thinking blood is coming out of the sprinkler, you're right -- that's a wicked scene. And Rutanya Alda's ear-piercing shriek as it happens really bellows if you have the volume up high enough...

Here's some info: On the MGM DVD I have, which came along in the box set we both own, that following scene after Magner cackles on the bed -- when Olson is walking with his superior from the church -- exhibits a weird "pulsing" as if something went wrong with the transfer at that point...

Can you confirm if your Amityville II disc does this?
 

JimJasper

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Good catches on the additional continuity...

As for that sequence when Adamsky is tricked into thinking blood is coming out of the sprinkler, you're right -- that's a wicked scene. And Rutanya Alda's ear-piercing shriek as it happens really bellows if you have the volume up high enough...

Here's some info: On the MGM DVD I have, which came along in the box set we both own, that following scene after Magner cackles on the bed -- when Olson is walking with his superior from the church -- exhibits a weird "pulsing" as if something went wrong with the transfer at that point...

Can you confirm if your Amityville II disc does this?

Hey Adam,
Ok, I just watched and re-watched the men walking in the colonnade .....part of me thinks the pulsing is the exchange of natural, harsh mid-day sunlight coming above/behind the two men via behind the colonnade's columns intermediately shading the sun - & the backtracking camera not handling the differing exposure well....sort of... then on the other hand, the pulsing also seems out of sync with the passing colonnade's shadows, so it may indeed be an issue with the transfer as you say...in fact watching it a few times I think you are right.

Additionally, I was curious about the widescreen vs the full screen video image information.....
Particularly, if the full screen was pan and scan, showing less. Or full screen was "open matte," to show more picture real estate above and below (that can be the case w/ films shot around 1.85:1 like Amityville II). The scenes I compared, it looks like full screen is indeed pan and scan. The widescreen shows about the same top and bottom levels, but substantially more information on the sides. :mellow:
 
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Kaskade1309

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Hey Adam,
Ok, I just watched and re-watched the men walking in the colonnade .....part of me thinks the pulsing is the exchange of natural, harsh mid-day sunlight coming above/behind the two men via behind the colonnade's columns intermediately shading the sun - & the backtracking camera not handling the differing exposure well....sort of... then on the other hand, the pulsing also seems out of sync with the passing colonnade's shadows, so it may indeed be an issue with the transfer as you say...in fact watching it a few times I think you are right.

Additionally, I was curious about the widescreen vs the full screen video image information.....
Particularly, if the full screen was pan and scan, showing less. Or full screen was "open matte," to show more picture real estate above and below (that can be the case w/ films shot around 1.85:1 like Amityville II). The scenes I compared, it looks like full screen is indeed pan and scan. The widescreen shows about the same top and bottom levels, but substantially more information on the sides. :mellow:

So you DO see the "pulsing" of the screen I'm talking about? If so, that means more than one batch received this disc with this error...

I wonder if the Scream Factory Blu-ray exhibits this, though I never see any review mention it.
 

JimJasper

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Got the 2013 Scream Factor Blu ray Amityville Trilogy (first 3 Amityville films) yesterday. In the mix, regarding Amityville II ...my first hit and miss it through, haven't looked at the special features yet either, through this Blu ray disc, on a 55" LCD TV, 7.1 surround set up:
  • Picture: The print does not look cleaned up at all. It looks like a decent 1982 print just slammed onto 1080p Blu ray disc.... ((sigh))....But you do see more:
    • Grain, and specks throughout, though it's fairly consistent & not too irregular...Like most films' transfers, it's worse at the beginning. Disappointing that it wasn't cleaned up, even if I'm one of the few who would care.
    • At the beginning during credits:
      • The camera photography pans across the beautifully grand, yet cold house. It's revealed that the credits are on a clear place holder, over the photography. Because there are frozen black specs that are obvious, as the camera pans. Looks bad.
      • With the higher resolution, this is the first time that I noticed that obvious smoke machines are in the back of the house pushing out smoke on each back, bottom side of the house (back between the house and the river). Of course, the "fog" gives the house an added eerie feeling.... despite well placed, and looking good.... you can tell it's forced, if you focus on it.
    • Father Adamsky's discussion with his Catholic superior, the Chancellor, walking through the outside colonnade, still shows some irregular exposure between pillar shadow and sunlight behind, with the panning camera. But it's much more mild-mannered and natural, than the DVD
    • Goof: Arguably the coolest scene in the film, when the demon's pov/camera raises over Sonny's ankles and over his head, etc...and you can more clearly see a crew's feet to the left. With the resolution, I briefly saw a second set of crew's feet.
    • Goof: The special effects at the end, of Sonny's almost-final demonic disintegration. You can see the special effects hose to the right of Magner's neck is really obvious if you are looking for it.... however, most are probably focused on Sonny's distress
  • Audio: So the outside box and Blu-ray's back cover-sleeve are mislabeled. There is the original Mono mix, but also a new 5.1 remix.
  • Audio: Nerdy me goes back and forth between the original mono and first, new 5.1 mix....:
    • The mono mix honestly sounds a little more natural and clearer, probably with the bass frequency routed to the fronts as originally designed.
    • The 5.1 surround mix basically has some light bleed of score and weather, but not effects, which I was hoping for into the rears without anything discreet between the surrounds. Often surrounds aren't even employed despite the dramatic parts. Most of the film is front heavy.
    • The 5.1 surround mix does bring some of the bass to the woofer, and with the cello/bass in the score, it's actually pretty nice, if super mellow
    • The 5.1 surround mix didn't reveal anything in the way of stereo between the fronts, that I could tell. Disappointing again.
    • The 5.1 surround mix has one discreet surround moment that I noticed. Around 1 hr 7 min, right after the murders, the panicked priest arrives to the house. He meets first cop on the street, & tells him he's the family priest. Then makes his way of up the driveway, and meets 2 more cops blocking him. The FIRST cop says off screen and (now behind them & us), "It's ok, he's the family's priest." And this dialogue is specifically exhibited discreetly from the rear surrounds. Eureka! Scream Factory's 5.1 audio engineer did one interesting thing relevant to the screen action! ....wish there were more.
    • Between the two audio mixes, the 5.1 is a little more fun, even if the original sounds a bit more natural....imo
 
Last edited:

Kaskade1309

Second Unit
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Apr 7, 2020
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463
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Got the 2013 Scream Factor Blu ray Amityville Trilogy (first 3 Amityville films) yesterday. In the mix, regarding Amityville II ...my first hit and miss it through, haven't looked at the special features yet either, through this Blu ray disc, on a 55" LCD TV, 7.1 surround set up:
  • Picture: The print does not look cleaned up at all. It looks like a decent 1982 print just slammed onto 1080p Blu ray disc.... ((sigh))....But you do see more:
    • Grain, and specks throughout, though it's fairly consistent & not too irregular...Like most films' transfers, it's worse at the beginning. Disappointing that it wasn't cleaned up, even if I'm one of the few who would care.
    • At the beginning during credits:
      • The camera photography pans across the beautifully grand, yet cold house. It's revealed that the credits are on a clear place holder, over the photography. Because there are frozen black specs that are obvious, as the camera pans. Looks bad.
      • With the higher resolution, this is the first time that I noticed that obvious smoke machines are in the back of the house pushing out smoke on each back, bottom side of the house (back between the house and the river). Of course, the "fog" gives the house an added eerie feeling.... despite well placed, and looking good.... you can tell it's forced, if you focus on it.
    • Father Adamsky's discussion with his Catholic superior, the Chancellor, walking through the outside colonnade, still shows some irregular exposure between pillar shadow and sunlight behind, with the panning camera. But it's much more mild-mannered and natural, than the DVD
    • Goof: Arguably the coolest scene in the film, when the demon's pov/camera raises over Sonny's ankles and over his head, etc...and you can more clearly see a crew's feet to the left. With the resolution, I briefly saw a second set of crew's feet.
    • Goof: The special effects at the end, of Sonny's almost-final demonic disintegration. You can see the special effects hose to the right of Magner's neck is really obvious if you are looking for it.... however, most are probably focused on Sonny's distress
  • Audio: So the outside box and Blu-ray's back cover-sleeve are mislabeled. There is the original Mono mix, but also a new 5.1 remix.
  • Audio: Nerdy me goes back and forth between the original mono and first, new 5.1 mix....:
    • The mono mix honestly sounds a little more natural and clearer, probably with the bass frequency routed to the fronts as originally designed.
    • The 5.1 surround mix basically has some light bleed of score and weather, but not effects, which I was hoping for into the rears without anything discreet between the surrounds. Often surrounds aren't even employed despite the dramatic parts. Most of the film is front heavy.
    • The 5.1 surround mix does bring some of the bass to the woofer, and with the cello/bass in the score, it's actually pretty nice, if super mellow
    • The 5.1 surround mix didn't reveal anything in the way of stereo between the fronts, that I could tell. Disappointing again.
    • The 5.1 surround mix has one discreet surround moment that I noticed. Around 1 hr 7 min, right after the murders, the panicked priest arrives to the house. He meets first cop on the street, & tells him he's the family priest. Then makes his way of up the driveway, and meets 2 more cops blocking him. The FIRST cop says off screen and (now behind them & us), "It's ok, he's the family's priest." And this dialogue is specifically exhibited discreetly from the rear surrounds. Eureka! Scream Factory's 5.1 audio engineer did one interesting thing relevant to the screen action! ....wish there were more.
    • Between the two audio mixes, the 5.1 is a little more fun, even if the original sounds a bit more natural....imo

Wow...thanks for the update, Jim!

Where did you pick up the set? What made you want it?
 

Kaskade1309

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Messages
463
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S
Got the 2013 Scream Factor Blu ray Amityville Trilogy (first 3 Amityville films) yesterday. In the mix, regarding Amityville II ...my first hit and miss it through, haven't looked at the special features yet either, through this Blu ray disc, on a 55" LCD TV, 7.1 surround set up:
  • Picture: The print does not look cleaned up at all. It looks like a decent 1982 print just slammed onto 1080p Blu ray disc.... ((sigh))....But you do see more:
    • Grain, and specks throughout, though it's fairly consistent & not too irregular...Like most films' transfers, it's worse at the beginning. Disappointing that it wasn't cleaned up, even if I'm one of the few who would care.
    • At the beginning during credits:
      • The camera photography pans across the beautifully grand, yet cold house. It's revealed that the credits are on a clear place holder, over the photography. Because there are frozen black specs that are obvious, as the camera pans. Looks bad.
      • With the higher resolution, this is the first time that I noticed that obvious smoke machines are in the back of the house pushing out smoke on each back, bottom side of the house (back between the house and the river). Of course, the "fog" gives the house an added eerie feeling.... despite well placed, and looking good.... you can tell it's forced, if you focus on it.
    • Father Adamsky's discussion with his Catholic superior, the Chancellor, walking through the outside colonnade, still shows some irregular exposure between pillar shadow and sunlight behind, with the panning camera. But it's much more mild-mannered and natural, than the DVD
    • Goof: Arguably the coolest scene in the film, when the demon's pov/camera raises over Sonny's ankles and over his head, etc...and you can more clearly see a crew's feet to the left. With the resolution, I briefly saw a second set of crew's feet.
    • Goof: The special effects at the end, of Sonny's almost-final demonic disintegration. You can see the special effects hose to the right of Magner's neck is really obvious if you are looking for it.... however, most are probably focused on Sonny's distress
  • Audio: So the outside box and Blu-ray's back cover-sleeve are mislabeled. There is the original Mono mix, but also a new 5.1 remix.
  • Audio: Nerdy me goes back and forth between the original mono and first, new 5.1 mix....:
    • The mono mix honestly sounds a little more natural and clearer, probably with the bass frequency routed to the fronts as originally designed.
    • The 5.1 surround mix basically has some light bleed of score and weather, but not effects, which I was hoping for into the rears without anything discreet between the surrounds. Often surrounds aren't even employed despite the dramatic parts. Most of the film is front heavy.
    • The 5.1 surround mix does bring some of the bass to the woofer, and with the cello/bass in the score, it's actually pretty nice, if super mellow
    • The 5.1 surround mix didn't reveal anything in the way of stereo between the fronts, that I could tell. Disappointing again.
    • The 5.1 surround mix has one discreet surround moment that I noticed. Around 1 hr 7 min, right after the murders, the panicked priest arrives to the house. He meets first cop on the street, & tells him he's the family priest. Then makes his way of up the driveway, and meets 2 more cops blocking him. The FIRST cop says off screen and (now behind them & us), "It's ok, he's the family's priest." And this dialogue is specifically exhibited discreetly from the rear surrounds. Eureka! Scream Factory's 5.1 audio engineer did one interesting thing relevant to the screen action! ....wish there were more.
    • Between the two audio mixes, the 5.1 is a little more fun, even if the original sounds a bit more natural....imo

Gonna get back to your individual comments as soon as I can...
 

Kaskade1309

Second Unit
Joined
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Messages
463
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Got the 2013 Scream Factor Blu ray Amityville Trilogy (first 3 Amityville films) yesterday. In the mix, regarding Amityville II ...my first hit and miss it through, haven't looked at the special features yet either, through this Blu ray disc, on a 55" LCD TV, 7.1 surround set up:

Is your 55" a 4K model?

Are you gonna keep your DVD set or sell it now?


Picture: The print does not look cleaned up at all. It looks like a decent 1982 print just slammed onto 1080p Blu ray disc.... ((sigh))....But you do see more:

Wow -- this is surprising, because almost every review talks about the improved contrast and other elements of The Possession in Scream's set.

Grain, and specks throughout, though it's fairly consistent & not too irregular...Like most films' transfers, it's worse at the beginning. Disappointing that it wasn't cleaned up, even if I'm one of the few who would care.

No, I don't think you'd be one of the "few" fans who'd care about this; some Scream Factory transfers boast a high grain content but it usually dissipates as the transfer goes on -- I noted this with their release of Nighthawks and Exorcist III, but if your display is calibrated at least somewhat properly (sharpness, in particular, being adjusted right in some kind of "Cinema" picture mode), this shouldn't be too big of a problem (and believe me...I hate excessive grain and noise).

There isn't too much grain in the DVD transfer from MGM, but of course that's a 480i encode...


I'm going to get to the rest as soon as I can...
 

Kaskade1309

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Messages
463
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  • At the beginning during credits:
    • The camera photography pans across the beautifully grand, yet cold house. It's revealed that the credits are on a clear place holder, over the photography. Because there are frozen black specs that are obvious, as the camera pans. Looks bad.
  • Wow, that's surprising -- I never saw that on the DVD. I'm surprised no reviews mentioned this; can you capture an image of it?

  • With the higher resolution, this is the first time that I noticed that obvious smoke machines are in the back of the house pushing out smoke on each back, bottom side of the house (back between the house and the river). Of course, the "fog" gives the house an added eerie feeling.... despite well placed, and looking good.... you can tell it's forced, if you focus on it.
You can actually see the smoke machines?

Father Adamsky's discussion with his Catholic superior, the Chancellor, walking through the outside colonnade, still shows some irregular exposure between pillar shadow and sunlight behind, with the panning camera. But it's much more mild-mannered and natural, than the DVD

So that "flashing" still occurs as they walk?


Goof: Arguably the coolest scene in the film, when the demon's pov/camera raises over Sonny's ankles and over his head, etc...and you can more clearly see a crew's feet to the left. With the resolution, I briefly saw a second set of crew's feet.

Damn...you're just pickin' everything up...and I thought I was a Possession fanatic...

Goof: The special effects at the end, of Sonny's almost-final demonic disintegration. You can see the special effects hose to the right of Magner's neck is really obvious if you are looking for it.... however, most are probably focused on Sonny's distress

I mentioned that you can see this on the DVD, too, remember? It was the first time I had ever noticed it in all my years watching this.

It's the tube for the bladder effects, much like what was used in Beast Within...

Audio: So the outside box and Blu-ray's back cover-sleeve are mislabeled. There is the original Mono mix, but also a new 5.1 remix.

Right -- I recall some reviews and owner comments saying the surround track isn't listed on the packaging...


Per Scream's usual efforts, there's usually a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround remix on these discs...though some releases never got one (that I wish would have) such as Tales From the Hood, Halloween III and Nighthawks (two favorites of mine; they only contain the original 2.0 mono/stereo mixes).

Audio: Nerdy me goes back and forth between the original mono and first, new 5.1 mix....:
  • The mono mix honestly sounds a little more natural and clearer, probably with the bass frequency routed to the fronts as originally designed.
Here's where things get a bit funky and tricky, Jim -- mono tracks were originally designed to play back from a center speaker position (even in theaters where the speakers would be behind the screen, though still deliver a mono effect), but many DVDs (and now some Blu-rays) come with a "2.0 mono" track that, when properly decoded by a processor or receiver via a Pro Logic II processing mode, will be steered to the center channel. This is how I watch all the DVDs I own with these "2.0 mono" soundtracks...



BUT, since my Onkyo receiver doesn't have the processing power (it was the first on the market to decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) to take two-channel lossless Master Audio signals and spread them into psuedo-surround or steer them into the center channel (if they're real mono tracks), it plays these tracks back in STEREO mode, through my front left and right channels. This creates a weird "comb filter" effect in my room, because dialogue is being introduced in a strange way (through the left and right mains), but sometimes I pick up a centered presentation from my sweet spot on the sofa.

Anyway, if I had played back the Amityville II mono soundtrack, and if Scream encoded it in two channels, it would play back through my two Polk Audio main channels...so I would prefer running the 5.1 surround remix. As it stands, the DVD's audio is in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, and that comes from my center speaker...the way it should be.

I'll get to the rest soon...
 

JimJasper

Stunt Coordinator
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Jim
Awesome, Adam!
Yes, I've been stoked for weeks to get this...and finally see it in a real theatrical type look. I've been hunting for this for a weeks on ebay and amazon.com finally saw a decently good set for $40 on amazon.com The seller has about 11-13 sets "used-very good" condition...and they are....i just looked and now they are sold out, it looks like :( My home theater gear is in storage, and I was literally using someone else's. The TV is a 2009 Vizio 1080p, not 4k. Not perfectly calibrated for sure. I wanted to write my review above, basically for posterity in this thread, and the fact that I didn't see some of these things I'm interested in written in the reviews. haha

....for now i'll keep the 2005 DVD set, b/c I want to compare the Blu ray to the DVD, via as you mentioned with contrast, saturation, grain etc...all that takes time and I work 6 days a week and have to use someone else's home theater so... it may be a while haha - but like you, Adam, this film intrigues me mostly because it's just such a strangely project thrown into the lap of a talented director and crew ....I had thought the DVD was a really good transfer....maybe the master degraded between 2005 and 2013? I want to compare them again. Scream Factory or whomever didn't seem to care to make it look better on Blu ray, imho.

Yes, the beginning credits and black specs were jaw dropping horrible, to me. Next credit, next "stiff" black spec as the camera pans the grand house ie the other moving imagery behind the credits....glaring. As far as the grain, I might be a little overboard, but I thought the 2005 film had decent grain. I need to take time to compare. my computer doesn't accommodate Blu-ray for screen captures, back to the opening credits - frozen speckles on Amityville II....but I might try with my iphone and add here at some point.
*Smoke machines you do not see the machines themselves, but with the high def, at certain angles, if you focus, you can really see the fog pumping unnaturally - on each back side of the house. This is very brief, when a tree or bush is out of the way during the panning camera... but....definite movie magic "workin it" haha At least imho.
*Colonnades stroll - yes, a few weeks ago, I pulled out the 2005 DVD, after you mentioned it, and this irregularity was noticeable, you're right...but the Blu ray, I really thought was more muted and smoother. I watched it twice. It still looked a bit irregular, but the fact is the harsh sun is literally in background and only good camera resolution will handle it, I would believe....it's just less distracting on the Blu ray - better resolution simply handles it much better I thought.
*The special effects tube at the end... honestly, I'd never noticed it ever until you mentioned it. Just added it in my little review, because it was very noticeable - if one looks for it.

Audio: when I cycled through the audio tracks, there are three: 2.0 mono, 5.1 remix, 2.0 audio commentary (and she's mostly silent, as all say). The package case and Blu ray case itself do NOT say 5.1. But it is. Total mislabel by package designer David Levine ....another lack of care for Amityville II, I thought, despite the new features Scream Factory got for this release.
1607236091345.png


What you said about the mono mix makes sense for the theatrical 1982 time (generally before us), and how it is represented in your home theater audio set up. Interesting about Dolby PL II....I always liked that feature and used it a LOT throughout the years. Well, actually, I slightly liked DTS: NEO (music version) a bit better than D PL II, because NEO was a little bit more aggressive with surrounds....SUPER FUN option in the past!!!!! Good times with that remix in the past and my old Denon 1910 - I used it so much. The Amityville II 5.1 mix is honestly one of the most bland I've ever heard - missed opportunity in a lot of ways.

Perhaps the Amityville II audio stems were in bad shape (1985's Fright Night's audio stems had degraded, per Sony/Columbia by the time it was being released on DVD in 1999, and it's 5.1 audio frequency range was sadly thin and blu ray, compared to it's prior D pro logic 1994 laser disc audio track [only a 5 year difference], which had hugely better frequency range - I had both and compared)....but the Scream F engineer did make that one dialogue effect in Amityville II happen from the rears, as I'd mentioned - it's very distinct - and fun :) but was that the only careful audio engagement?

.....Guess I'm spoiled, as I said in earlier posts to know that cheap, mono Evil Dead got a 5.1 remix a zillion years ago, and that mix was careful and fantastic in a new 5.1!!!!!! I rented this laser disc back in the day with my first 5.1 surround set up and was impressed:

1607233599938.png
Audio Engineered (remixed) at the time, by a group called Chase Digital Stereo put Evil Dead into a DD 5.1 mix. Granted, Chase Digital Stereo was a leader at the time of doing this:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=15500358&postcount=2990
But this Evil Dead remix was fucking 22 years ago in 1998 of a cracker-jack produced film. By 2013, with comparative technology advances, anyone who does remixes has no excuse to not do a 1/2 way decent job. Amityville II's mono to 5.1 remix is weak bullshit in comparison. I didn't know that Scream usually does 5.1 remixes with their licensing deals, Adam. Maybe Scream Factory's engineers for Amityville II were mostly lazy, or the film's audio was in poor shape, or they were likely scared to do a 5.1 remix and enhance too much for artistic reasons (uggh). Amityville II's ghostly sounds didn't swirl or go from left to right etc as one Blu ray reviewer had said - at least it was not noticeable at all, though, as I said earlier, I only sat through about 80% of the film for a first pass at another residence, but need to do so again.


Anyway, Amityville II just has a lot of intriguing moments, exhibits many components of confident film craft, remains bold as hell with ugly moments, & actor Jack Magner is woefully underrated, doing some tough, controversial, complicated work:
1607237836366.png

... and the film comes across as really urgent and intensely tragic, despite some of its definite flaws and it being so low-browed by non-horror fan folks. Just wish it got a more respectful picture and audio transfer on high def.
 

Kaskade1309

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463
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Okay, Jim...so in getting back to what you were saying about the Scream Factory release...

    • The 5.1 surround mix basically has some light bleed of score and weather, but not effects, which I was hoping for into the rears without anything discreet between the surrounds. Often surrounds aren't even employed despite the dramatic parts. Most of the film is front heavy.

  • I kind of expected this, but I read in one review that some of the creepier moments are rendered better with the surround mix -- specifically moments like when Sonny is being "laughed at" by the demonic voice he encounters in the living room. I seem to recall a review that stated the voice could be heard in the surrounds...did you not sense that? Because that would be a super-cool element in that scene...
When you said "weather," were you referring to, like, the night of Sonny's birthday party when the wind is whipping through the house or the "inside storm" at the end?

The 5.1 surround mix does bring some of the bass to the woofer, and with the cello/bass in the score, it's actually pretty nice, if super mellow

I wouldn't have expected a great deal of activity in this regard from this "remix" by Scream; actually, these aren't really "remixes" they're doing (as it would require a lot of money) but rather "upmixes" from the original audio stems they're working with to a 5.1 Master Audio surround platform. So I never expect too much from these soundtracks on their releases; sometimes, they sound like the same Dolby Digital surround tracks from the DVDs I may be replacing with these Blu-rays, and a good example of this is John Carpenter's Escape From LA -- I had the non anamorphic DVD that I replaced with the Scream Factory Blu-ray and the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix on the DVD sounded pretty much the same as the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track on the Blu-ray with maybe slightly elevated volume levels.

The 5.1 surround mix didn't reveal anything in the way of stereo between the fronts, that I could tell. Disappointing again.

That's a bit surprising; you mean there wasn't much "stereo movement" in terms of character placement and/or score/effects?

The 5.1 surround mix has one discreet surround moment that I noticed. Around 1 hr 7 min, right after the murders, the panicked priest arrives to the house. He meets first cop on the street, & tells him he's the family priest. Then makes his way of up the driveway, and meets 2 more cops blocking him. The FIRST cop says off screen and (now behind them & us), "It's ok, he's the family's priest." And this dialogue is specifically exhibited discreetly from the rear surrounds. Eureka! Scream Factory's 5.1 audio engineer did one interesting thing relevant to the screen action! ....wish there were more.
  • Between the two audio mixes, the 5.1 is a little more fun, even if the original sounds a bit more natural....imo

With regard to what you said about that off-screen directionality moment when the priests arrive after the murders (and what the cop actually says in that moment is "Okay, let them in...he WAS their priest..." which is why Adamsky looks at Andrew Prine's character with that concerned expression) -- that is awesome, and I get just as excited about this kind of stuff.

Here's a good example of where it worked in the opposite for me, though, with a Scream Factory upgrade: I sold my regular DVD of Exorcist III to replace it with Scream's Blu-ray, and on the DVD, Warner Bros. had given the soundtrack a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix (the soundtrack was originally Dolby Stereo in theaters back in 1990) that was very effective. There's a moment when George C. Scott's character is talking to a priest played by Ed Flanders, and they're sitting in a Georgetown restaurant at a booth, and when a waitress walks over to ask Flanders' character if the food he ordered needs to be changed, you actually hear her speak from the front left channel -- where our perspective would be if watching the two of them in this scene. There are other examples of this awesome directionality throughout the DVD...

On Scream's Blu-ray, I don't know what went wrong, but the DTS-HD Master Audio track they prepared has pretty much everything collapsed into the center channel (even though it was encoded as 5.1) and that moment in the restaurant -- and others -- is completely ruined. Now, the waitress speaks from the center position when she's supposed to come from the far left...:angry::thumbsdown:

Scream really dropped the ball here, and it almost makes me regret selling the DVD of Exorcist III...
 

Kaskade1309

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463
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S
Awesome, Adam!
Yes, I've been stoked for weeks to get this...and finally see it in a real theatrical type look. I've been hunting for this for a weeks on ebay and amazon.com finally saw a decently good set for $40 on amazon.com The seller has about 11-13 sets "used-very good" condition...and they are....i just looked and now they are sold out, it looks like :( My home theater gear is in storage, and I was literally using someone else's. The TV is a 2009 Vizio 1080p, not 4k. Not perfectly calibrated for sure. I wanted to write my review above, basically for posterity in this thread, and the fact that I didn't see some of these things I'm interested in written in the reviews. haha

Indeed...you should write a review of the set.

I'm going to consider hunting this down on the used circuit...

....for now i'll keep the 2005 DVD set, b/c I want to compare the Blu ray to the DVD, via as you mentioned with contrast, saturation, grain etc...all that takes time and I work 6 days a week and have to use someone else's home theater so... it may be a while haha

What do you mean you have to use someone else's home theater?

but like you, Adam, this film intrigues me mostly because it's just such a strangely project thrown into the lap of a talented director and crew ....I had thought the DVD was a really good transfer....maybe the master degraded between 2005 and 2013? I want to compare them again. Scream Factory or whomever didn't seem to care to make it look better on Blu ray, imho.

As I said previously, that's really surprising because most of the reviews of this title are glowing, most reviewers saying it's the best looking of the set:

From the vile, cancerous Blu-ray.com forum:


Amityville II: The Possession is presented on Blu-ray by Scream Factory (an imprint of Shout! Factory) with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. This is arguably the strongest transfer in the new Shout! box set, one which is sourced from elements with a few less specks and flecks than the first film, and which is graced by incrementally better sharpness and contrast. Colors are very accurate looking and fine detail is quite commendable, to the point where Magner's make-up becomes fairly fake looking at times (it's quite easy to spot the latex appliqués in some scenes). This high definition presentation handles the shadowy interior scenes surprisingly well, revealing at least passable detail in the background of the frame.

From High Def Digest:

Amityville II: The Possession

The sequel opens its doors with a better and more consistent 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode (1.85:1), showing good resolution and clarity in several sequences. Fine object details are clean and resolute, exposing the smallest piece of furniture in the background and in the far back of the house. The diffusion-lens photography of Franco Di Giacomo doesn't take away from the many well-defined lines of clothing and the interior architecture of the house, and shadow delineation is strong. Facial complexions are a bit sickly looking, but revealing nonetheless with great visible textures. Contrast isn't particularly bright, but it's stable and well-balanced while black levels are often deep and true. The color palette benefits the most with bright, vivid primaries. Aside from some minor scratches and white specks, the high-def transfer is very good. (Video Rating: 3.5/5)


With regard to the AUDIO -- note what Blu-ray.com said and, particularly, where I underlined:

As with the other films in this box set, Amityville II: The Possession offers both lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 mixes. Again, as with the first film, the 5.1 mix here is surprisingly well done, with some great surround activity (listen to how the voices haunting Sonny waft through the surround channels, sonically cornering the listener as they do their intended victim). Lalo Schifrin's nice score also fills the surrounds. Dialogue (and lots of screaming) is presented cleanly, with excellent fidelity. One kind of interesting thing to note: listen during the murder scene to the surprisingly paltry sounds of the gunshot (which are often mixed with thunder). I'm assuming this was a deliberate choice by the filmmakers, since a lot of controversy has arisen as to why no neighbors heard anything happening. Maybe the gun was possessed, too.



Yes, the beginning credits and black specs were jaw dropping horrible, to me. Next credit, next "stiff" black spec as the camera pans the grand house ie the other moving imagery behind the credits....glaring. As far as the grain, I might be a little overboard, but I thought the 2005 film had decent grain. I need to take time to compare. my computer doesn't accommodate Blu-ray for screen captures, back to the opening credits - frozen speckles on Amityville II....but I might try with my iphone and add here at some point.

That's so bizarre...I see none of that watching the DVD. The credits aren't whacky in the least, as far as I can see. Perhaps this is something with the settings you're using in the TV? Is there some kind of motion interpolation running on a super-high setting?

I didn't even note any grain on the MGM DVD, but my sharpness control is set to "0," the default setting in Movie mode on my Samsung display.

*Smoke machines
you do not see the machines themselves, but with the high def, at certain angles, if you focus, you can really see the fog pumping unnaturally - on each back side of the house. This is very brief, when a tree or bush is out of the way during the panning camera... but....definite movie magic "workin it" haha At least imho.

Oh, yeah, I think I see that too -- it definitely looks unnatural...but I thought you actually SAW the machines.

*Colonnades
stroll - yes, a few weeks ago, I pulled out the 2005 DVD, after you mentioned it, and this irregularity was noticeable, you're right...but the Blu ray, I really thought was more muted and smoother. I watched it twice. It still looked a bit irregular, but the fact is the harsh sun is literally in background and only good camera resolution will handle it, I would believe....it's just less distracting on the Blu ray - better resolution simply handles it much better I thought.

Very interesting; this moment always bothered me on the DVD. Still does. Makes you think something's wrong with your disc player or display.

Sometimes Scream improves certain elements of transfers -- a good example of this is the aforementioned Escape From L.A. Whatever Scream did to their Blu-ray transfer via a reworked 2K scan not only darkened the image somewhat compared to DVD presentations, but it also effectively hid some of Carpenter's horrendous CGI work in that film. Brilliant.

Sounds like something similar is going on with Amityville II...

*The special effects tube at the end... honestly, I'd never noticed it ever until you mentioned it. Just added it in my little review, because it was very noticeable - if one looks for it.

Indeed; it was eye-opening when I first saw it being that I suffered with dingy-looking VHS copies of this title for years and never saw it.

Audio: when I cycled through the audio tracks, there are three: 2.0 mono, 5.1 remix, 2.0 audio commentary (and she's mostly silent, as all say). The package case and Blu ray case itself do NOT say 5.1. But it is. Total mislabel by package designer David Levine ....another lack of care for Amityville II, I thought, despite the new features Scream Factory got for this release.
View attachment 82970

This isn't the first time I've seen these fuck ups with studios and their packaging; disappointing about Holzer's daughter and the commentary track. You want to hear some interesting shit? Play the commentary track from her father on the first film -- it's on both the DVD in the box set and the Blu-ray set. He goes through things he thought was complete horse shit about the Lutzes' claims on a scene by scene basis, while validating some other stuff.

What you said about the mono mix makes sense for the theatrical 1982 time (generally before us), and how it is represented in your home theater audio set up. Interesting about Dolby PL II....I always liked that feature and used it a LOT throughout the years. Well, actually, I slightly liked DTS: NEO (music version) a bit better than D PL II, because NEO was a little bit more aggressive with surrounds....SUPER FUN option in the past!!!!! Good times with that remix in the past and my old Denon 1910 - I used it so much. The Amityville II 5.1 mix is honestly one of the most bland I've ever heard - missed opportunity in a lot of ways.

I STILL use Pro Logic II as a default listening mode on my Onkyo receiver for the plethora of two-channel DVDs I watch.

Perhaps the Amityville II audio stems were in bad shape (1985's Fright Night's audio stems had degraded, per Sony/Columbia by the time it was being released on DVD in 1999, and it's 5.1 audio frequency range was sadly thin and blu ray, compared to it's prior D pro logic 1994 laser disc audio track [only a 5 year difference], which had hugely better frequency range - I had both and compared)....but the Scream F engineer did make that one dialogue effect in Amityville II happen from the rears, as I'd mentioned - it's very distinct - and fun :) but was that the only careful audio engagement?

There should have been more, definitely -- but I'd be psyched to check out that one scene you mentioned. Wish there was a way I could rent it...

But as I mentioned above, as well: Seems reviews were somewhat favorable with the audio; are you sure you didn't hear that demonic laughter in that scene with Sonny moving around the house from the surround channels?

.....Guess I'm spoiled, as I said in earlier posts to know that cheap, mono Evil Dead got a 5.1 remix a zillion years ago, and that mix was careful and fantastic in a new 5.1!!!!!! I rented this laser disc back in the day with my first 5.1 surround set up and was impressed:
View attachment 82959
Audio Engineered (remixed) at the time, by a group called Chase Digital Stereo put Evil Dead into a DD 5.1 mix. Granted, Chase Digital Stereo was a leader at the time of doing this:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=15500358&postcount=2990
But this Evil Dead remix was fucking 22 years ago in 1998 of a cracker-jack produced film. By 2013, with comparative technology advances, anyone who does remixes has no excuse to not do a 1/2 way decent job.

Couldn't agree more...most of these older films' reworked surround tracks are poor, even though sometimes you get some good ones (Amityville Horror, Jaws).

Chase Digital Stereo is definitely a top-tier name in the game, having handled the remixes for many Anchor Bay tentpole titles like Halloween and Dawn of the Dead.

Amityville II's mono to 5.1 remix is weak bullshit in comparison. I didn't know that Scream usually does 5.1 remixes with their licensing deals, Adam. Maybe Scream Factory's engineers for Amityville II were mostly lazy, or the film's audio was in poor shape, or they were likely scared to do a 5.1 remix and enhance too much for artistic reasons (uggh). Amityville II's ghostly sounds didn't swirl or go from left to right etc as one Blu ray reviewer had said - at least it was not noticeable at all, though, as I said earlier, I only sat through about 80% of the film for a first pass at another residence, but need to do so again.

Ahhh, okay so you noted the reviewers and their comments about the audio; was the sound system you were listening on calibrated correctly, do you know...or at least decently?

Yeah, most of Scream's titles contain these DTS-HD Master Audio "upmixes" if the film was older and only boasted a two-channel stereo or mono mix; most of the time, they're very basic reworkings of the audio, though.


Anyway, Amityville II just has a lot of intriguing moments, exhibits many components of confident film craft, remains bold as hell with ugly moments, & actor Jack Magner is woefully underrated, doing some tough, controversial, complicated work:
View attachment 82973
... and the film comes across as really urgent and intensely tragic, despite some of its definite flaws and it being so low-browed by non-horror fan folks. Just wish it got a more respectful picture and audio transfer on high def.

Just couldn't agree with you more on the film, Jim; to me, it will always be a childhood favorite that I brought with me into adulthood, and it will forever resonate with me.
 

JimJasper

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Hey Adam,

AUDIO: With Scream Factory releases – I didn’t know how dedicated Scream Factory were with their treatment of upmixes -mono to a new 5.1 mix, like in this case with Amityville II. Sounds like their upmixes aren't very detailed. And sometimes just wrong as in Exorcist III, as you'd mentioned So that was my ignorance and higher expectations. The reviews you that you quoted I had read also in the past (each of them) and was therefore previously excited about the updated ghostly effects’ sounds and more.

  • Right, the two demonic laughing moments (Sonny with rifle between stair and crucifix, then the birthday party) I played back scenes and walked my ear to a surround speakers during the ghostly moments and never caught anything specific, except a little bleed from the fronts. The surround system is 7.2, which otherwise exhibits soundtracks and discreet effects wonderfully (Tron Legacy was spectacular as was Ready Player One ….not my fav films, but audio was about the best I’ve ever heard). As far as it being calibrated correctly. It might not be perfect, but I was the one who did it and went through and set all the speaker levels one by one when it was set up a few years ago for her. I’m a surround sound freak.
  • “Weather” I meant each. Whenever there were storms – outside, or inside the house (insane, but looks cool) rain from the inside at the end. I probably need to listen again.
  • Shout’s DTS-HD 5.1 track transfers or upmixes from John Carpenter’s Escape from LA ….sounds like a missed opportunity by Shout, but….maybe it is really expensive as you mentioned. Again, reflects on their treatment.
  • Amityville II: The Possession – front soundstage, didn’t exhibit stereo separation, between the front left and right speakers (discreetly), from character placement, score or effects, that I could tell. I listened for it. I thought at a damned MINIMUM, Lalo Schifrin's score would be in some kind of stereo – it’s a great, attentive horror score. Do we think it was originally recorded in...mono? Really? Hard to imagine. I will be honest and say I was mostly trying to listen to surrounds, but did attempt to discern the score in stereo, which failed. (Even thought it's more famous, 1980's Friday the 13th was originally mono. But when it finally got an updated DVD release and remix on 5.1, they split out the score really well as well as the special effects.)
  • Shout Factory’s treatment of Exorcist III and the dialogue blunder with the waitress…..wow. That says a lot of why a film like Amityville II didn’t get better audio treatment on its 2013, Blu Ray’s 5.1 mix. I have the original Warner Bro's (lol) Exorcist III DVD release (from a bargain bin at Walmart years ago!). Bummer….that film has some powerful moments. I took for fun a digital audio course at our community college back in 2005, and even back then, you could tinker around with a 11.1 mix (I believe). For one project, I did audio for a video commercial, though I didn’t have time to employ the surround effects – but it was at my disposal. If me, an idiot, could do it, I don’t see why others at a film studio could do much better.
  • “Lalo Schifrin’s nice score also fills the surrounds” …..Nope. They didn't. I was surprised that they did not, nor did I notice a decent stereo separation between the front lefts and right. So I would disagree. Painfully ☹ Hopefully, I'm wrong and I'm missing something.
PICTURE:

  • Blu-ray.com’s review of the picture quality … I simply believe part of it is wrong. Once you see Amityville II: The Possession 1080p on a big, high def TV, the flecks on the opening credits are honestly alarming for a fan. I pulled the 2005 DVD out last night and indeed the opening credit frozen, static flecks I’d previous mentioned are there, but very faint, these are a few on Schifrin's credit on the DVD. Really unnoticeable unless you look hard,
  • 1607904934449.png
  • However, vs the Blu-ray, they are glaring. Other interiors, I would say that the shadow levels are rather good, too, I’d agree. The grain looks more pronounced on the Blu Ray vs. the DVD. And I will agree that skin tones of …well, the family…. look sickly, per hidefdigest. The skin tone of father Adamsky actually looks fine. Colors are otherwise reasonably saturated throughout. The special effects make up, at the beginning of infestation on Sonny, then the Father honestly look great.
  • When I pulled the DVD out again last night and played it, the colonnade stroll looked very flickering and unresolved compared to watching the blu ray where, as I’d said, isn’t perfect, but much more resolved on the Blu ray. But you are definitely right on the DVD. Be fun to hear your thoughts on the blu ray some day.
  • Interesting about Shout Factory’s picture transfer of Escape from L.A. darkening and “fixing” the bad CGI work effectively by hiding it. I wonder how Shout’s process was of transferring Amityville II to the Blu Ray….?
  • Holzer’s daughter….she comes across as a benign friend you had watch Amityville II, and gives you a diplomatic review of it with no new insight. Ehh. She’s not bad, she just doesn’t add anything and is flat boring. She talkes about ghost hunting, and if you watch those ghost hunting shows, she basically says all she does is similar to them. ...So what? Even though she seems like a nice person who's at least somewhat interested. And when she talks about her father Hanz….. you realize what a fragile and huge ego he had – more than I expected. She’ll share an ego incident of his, and smile, brush it off and say, “that’s just how he is.” Over and over. Obviously, you pick up quickly that Hanz was insecure & had spikes of jealousy and envy if HE wasn’t invited to the Amityville party. Yikes! Ok, yeah, maybe I’ll listen to his commentary on the first film - sounds like a hoot!
I hear you about still using Pro Logic II – it’s pretty awesome for 2 channel sources. So I know Pro Logic II has the option of cinema or music. It’s competitor, DTS Neo (doing the same thing) also has cinema or music. Between all of these I like watching 2 channel sources into DTS Neo music, since it’s most aggressive with the surrounds. Have you tried that setting in place of Pro Logic II (cinema or music)?

LITTLE FILM DISCOVERIES

  • Goof continuity: After Sonny bellows “go away, damned bitch!” Trisha goes downstair 3rd to 2nd floor, and gets on the phone to urgently call Father Adamsky. There is a bushel of pink flowers on this phone table. In a closer shot of Trisha here, it’s just 1 pink carnation.
  • “Find your marks” So hanging up the mirror in the dining room near the beginning. Right after the Dad (Anthony) and Sonny do it, you can see Magner and look down or Jan quickly move to find their marks, so that they and the whole family will all be composed - for the camera - in the reflection of the mirror in the following moment.
  • Also, for the first time, I'm wondering why the windows are all blacked out and don't look reflective at 13:53.... this is right after the dining room mirror's corner cracks. Looks like windows have no reflections....?
  • 1607904248821.png
 
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