aka: Amityville 3-D, Amityville 3: The Demon
Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal
Enter the gateway to hell… at your peril!
John and Melanie are visiting the famous Amityville to be a part of a séance held by an old couple. They are hoping that the old ones will be able to contact their deceased child. After some chanting, moaning and a glowing fogball appearing in the middle of the room, Melanie jumps up and takes pictures, revealing that the glowing thing is held by a man and this is all just a hoax. It turns out that Melanie and John are journalists and have a habit of debunking things of paranormal nature.
John does feels drawn to the house that this happened in and since it’s now vacant and he has recently split with his wife Nancy, he decides to buy it and move in. He invites their daughter Susan to move in with him, to big protests from Nancy. Susan and some of her friends think that it’s a great idea to hold a real séance in the house and this time evil things does start to happen again in the Amityville house.
While the first Amityville movie went for a classy and traditional approach and the second went for eurosleaze, the third one goes back to classic horror. Or at least tries to do that. While the first two efforts in this series are, regardless of cinematic quality, enjoyable and entertaining, this third one falls flat and gets quite dull.
The story makes very little sense, and even though I could accept the silliness of a ghost house taking control over a car in the first one, I had a hard time accepting it controlling even elevators several miles away here. All the evil of the house is infested in the basement and it even manifests into a demonic creature here.
It’s also made during the 3-D craze of the 80’s and has a lot of silly 3-D scenes that are laughable. The entire thing seems to have been made simply to sell it as a 3-D movie, so it’s basically a dull gimmick entry into the Amityville saga. Amityville would again be revived during another gimmick craze, this time the found footage genre with The Amityville Haunting in 2011.
Richard Fleischer (Soylent Green, Conan The Destroyer) is responsible for directing this movie and it’s not exactly his best work. It’s quite uninspired and looks like he was after a quick paycheck. The acting isn’t particularly good either, but it is funny to see Meg Ryan turn up as a rebellious teen in one of the minor parts.
Amityville 3 is the first bad sequel of what would become a series of bad sequels for this poor haunted house. It’s for people who are very interested in the Amityville movies only, the average horror fan will not find this enjoyable.