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Nov 30

Amityville: Dollhouse

amityvilledollhouseGenre: Horror
Year: 1996
Country: USA

aka: Amityville Dollhouse: Evil Never Dies

Director: Steve White
Starring: Robin Thomas, Starr Andreeff, Allen Cutler, Rachel Duncan, Jarrett Lennon

 

 

Bill Martin and Claire have recently gotten married. Bill is bringing his son Todd and daughter Jessica, while Claire is bring her son Jimmy into the marriage and they are all moving together in a new house that Bill has been building. The last house on the spot burned down several years ago and the only thing remaining was the chimney and tool shed, which Bill has built this new house around.

Inside this tool shed, Bill finds a dollhouse that looks just like the Amityville house. Disregarding that it has a box of voodoo dolls in it, they decide that this is an appropriate birthday gift to little Jessica. Weird things start to happen in the house and especially Claire is starting to behave strangely. They soon find out that the ground that this place was built on is damned and they have to get out before it’s too late.

Amityville: Dollhouse starts out slowly and sets up the mood for a regular haunted house story. However, when it hits the 60 minute mark and we are getting ready for the usual haunting occurrences to go into full mode, it switches up and it becomes more about zombie demons than ghosts. It takes such an unusual turn and just throws everything they can at you to avoid it becoming another boring movie and it sorta work. It does make it fun, and I guess you can’t ask for a lot more than that when you come to nr. 8 in a movie series that have had quite a few bad entries by now.

I particularly loved the demon zombie guy that showed up. He was a bad guy of the Freddy Krueger and Wishmaster school and if he had his own movie, then I think it would have done well (given that they worked a little more on his look). The family was cliché, but sort of funny at the same time. The dad, played by Robin Thomas (Without Warning: Terror in the Towers, Jade) has to be the most laid back dad in any of these movies. Jarrett Lennon, who has been in two other movies that I enjoyed named Servants of Twilight and Highway to Hell plays the geeky Jim. He still has this sickly look in this movie aswell, and even though the young geeks are usually the ones that the viewers are supposed to feel for, his character becomes quite annoying instead. Another character that could have used more work was the mother Claire played by Starr Andreeff (Ghoulies 2, Scanner Cop). When she wasn’t touching herself and fantasizing about her stepson, she was just boring and stale. Allan Cutler as Todd, the typical high school jock and Rachel Duncan as Jessica did their parts ok.

Dollhouse was directed by Steve White, and this is the only movie he has directed so far. He still works in the business, but now primarily as a producer and has been involved with movies such as The Devil’s Advocate and Halloweentown High. He was also a producer on Amityville: A New Generation, Amityville 1992: It’s About Time and Amityville: The Evil Escapes. I wonder what his original plans for this one was, cause it is clearly something that was thrown out midway in the movie. He is not the worst director in the series and he knew better than to take this entry too serious.

Amityville: Dollhouse has a stupid premise, but is saved by the filmmakers who decides to add a lot of entertaining (and dumb) fun into it, probably at the last-minute. It’s not a movie that you should take seriously if you wish to enjoy it. If it stood on its own it would be more compared to House 2 than any of the Amityville movies. The ending has a long burn of the entire house, almost in a way that tells the viewer that this is the last one that we will get… but as we all know, you can never keep a good ghost house down for long!

 

 ★★★☆☆ 

 

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