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Monday, January 28, 2013


     John Baxter (Tony Roberts), is a skeptic who works for Reveal Magazine.  His job is to debunk ghost stories and claims of haunted houses.  In a questionable case of real estate, recently divorced Baxter decides to buy the infamous house in Amityville, Long Island.  Why not?  Well, to solve the mystery of 112 Ocean Avenue and see it it's legit, or a bunch of bunk.

     Turns out his daughter Susan is none other than 80's icon Lori Loughlin, who would go on to a different house in a few years. The wonderful Candy Clark plays Melanie- John's faithful photographer assistant and who does not think any of this is a good idea.  Baxter's grumpy ex-wife, played by Tess Harper, is also vehemently against this arrangement.  And surprise- spunky Meg Ryan shows up as Susan's best friend. Don't you just love the 80's.

     This was the second sequel to the hit classic THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.  Cashing in on the hot but very brief 3-D craze of the time, AMITYVILLE 3-D, along with FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 in 3-D and JAWS 3-D, all made a memorable 3-D horror trilogy of the early 80's. Is it any good?  No... yet I find it irresistible all the same. This was the first sequel in the series not to continue the existing storyline, and it plays with the idea that maybe the house itself is infamous, but could still be seen as a hoax. This is a curious entry in the AMITYVILLE series. It was the last movie before the series turned to utter shit, for one.

      I'm reviewing it because it's included in the fabulous box set with the first two films, and anyway it's not terrible. There are lots of things I actually like about AMITYVILLE 3-D. It's damn weird, for one, and oddly entertaining.

     This sequel really does kinda veer off into Crazytown, and that's part of its charm. We're treated to Meg Ryan wanting to hump a ghost, flying swordfish, ouija boards, purple floating mists, more flies, and a freaky demon that comes out of the well right at the end and burns a guy's face off (Jim from DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN)!  It builds to a rousing climax that literally brings down the house, and ends on an ominous and mysterious note. While nothing memorable, it's still a totally enjoyable slice of 80's b-movie camp heaven and part of a pretty strong haunted house trilogy. And don't go any farther than this installment. Trust me.

        I think it's kind of cool that for whatever reason, AMITYVILLE 3-D, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 in 3-D, and JAWS 3 IN 3-D were all third sequels, and all in 3-D.  These movies were a huge fucking deal deal back in 1982 and 1983, and a lot of memories are attached to them. That alone give this movie cool points. Another golden HBO staple right here.

      It's definitely the odd man out of the original trilogy, but that makes it sort of endearing to me. The first two AMITYVILLE films were serious attempts at scary movies. I think they were going for that with the third, but it somehow came out rather campy and curious instead.  It should have truly ended here though.  It would have been a respectable horror trilogy and that would have been that. But no.


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