Amityville 3-D (1983)

Article 5383 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-3-2017
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Featuring Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy
Country: USA
What it is: That spooky old house again

A professional debunker decides to buy the Amityville house so he has a quiet place to write his book. It’s not as quiet as he hoped…

For legal reasons this movie couldn’t be called a sequel to the original movies, but it amounts to a marketing decision; they just make no mention of the family from the original movie. Still, it’s a sequel in spirit, though I do notice that it borrows as much from POLTERGEIST as it does from the original movie (though we don’t have a regurgitating clergyman in this one). The spooky events seem to reach beyond the house as well; there’s an elevator sequence in an apartment building and a bizarre traffic accident that don’t happen anywhere near the house. The movie was one of the entries in the short-lived 3D revival of the early eighties; reportedly, the 3D effects were more headache-inducing than effective, and the movie tanked at the box office. I’m not a fan of the Amityville series at all, but at least the first two movies managed a scare or two; this one didn’t do a thing for me, and some of the moments (bad music cues, goofy fake scares) yielded laughs. This didn’t exactly kill the Amityville franchise, but it certainly slowed it down a bit. Despite what the trivia section of IMDB claims, this wasn’t the feature film debut of Meg Ryan (she appeared in a movie two years earlier), but it’s probably one of the very few movies I’ll be covering to feature her at all.


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