A reporter moves into the Amityville house in defiance of the supernatural events connected to it, and finds everyone around him besieged by the evil manifestations which are connected to a demonic presence in the basement.
Convinced that the horrible rumours about the bloody DeFeo murders and the evil Amityville House are nothing but an elaborate hoax, the inquisitive Reveal Magazine journalist, John Baxter, decides to buy it as an investment. Now, as troubling supernatural incidents and death stain the new residence, John stubbornly insists to remain apathetic, even after yet another tragedy sends his ex-wife, Nancy, one step before madness. However, an ancient evil lies at the root of the problem. What is the dark secret of the most horrific house on earth?Written by
The disclaimer on the posters, video box cover, and at the end of the credits reads: "This film is not a sequel to The Amityville Horror or Amityville II: The Possession". See more »
Shout! Factory Blu-ray edition uses a different opening title graphic than other releases. In most prints the word "AMITYVILLE" zooms toward the viewer from the house's windows, then is wiped off the screen, after which "3D" appears. The Blu-ray 2D and 3D versions use a different design of "AMITYVILLE," and in what seems to be an error it stays onscreen as "3D" appears under/behind it, mostly obscured. See more »
Surprisingly, this second sequel to the supposedly fact based thriller "The Amityville Horror" is a worthy installment in the otherwise wretched series of shockers. Richard Fleischer, a Hollywood veteran whose directorial credits include such diverse fare as "The Vikings" and "The Boston Strangler," brings a skill to the proceedings that were conspicuously absent from the original film, which was more notable for the laughably bad performances of James Brolin and Rod Steiger than it was for inducing chills. The performances in "Amityville 3-D," or "Amityville: the Demon" as it is known on television, didn't deserve Oscar consideration, but they are professional and, in the case of Candy Clark's suspicious photographer, almost inspired.
The movie opens in typical haunted house fashion: a seance is being held in the notorious Long Island house where, in earlier films, toilets backed up (shudder!), marching bands played in the dead of night (shudder again!), and a giant red-eyed pig named Jody roamed the premises and engaged in small talk with children (Babe in an early role?). The seance produces mysterious apparitions and odd noises, all of which are exposed by two of the participants--a reporter and his photographer-- as a hoax. The realtor denies any involvement in the souped-up spookiness and explains to the reporter (Tony Roberts on holiday from Woody Allen's repertory company) that the house's infamous reputation is such that he's willing to sell it at a bargain rate. Roberts, newly divorced and eager for a peaceful environment in which to write his great American novel, buys it, all the while ignoring the warnings of his less courageous colleague, the delightful Miss Clark.
Roberts, a stubborn type who sneers at the supernatural, moves in and continues his sneering even as anyone who sets foot in the house experiences terror and, ultimately, death. But, dumbo that he is, he continues to pooh-pooh any notions that the house is cursed.
Some talented performers are on view in this film, and if not for their admirable abilities to keep a straight face, the movie would be a lot funnier than it's supposed to be and sometimes is. Roberts is his usual non-plussed self, refusing to accept any supernatural explanations for the bizarre circumstances taking place around him.
The special-effects are adequate, but they do the trick, and probably worked better in 3D, which is the way the film was presented theatrically. The process is evident in the use of so many scenes in which hands are extended toward the camera and, in one scene, a frisbee is tossed directly at the audience.
"Amityville 3D" will never take its place beside the greats of the horror genre, but neither will its two predecessors. However, unlike those failed shockers, number 3 succeeds on its own modest terms, providing, amid the occasional unintended chuckle, a few moments of genuine suspense and a thrill or two. It's a satisfying spook show on the same level as the William Castle flicks of the late 50s and early 60s ("The Tingler," "House on Haunted Hill," et al).
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