Saturday, July 13, 2013

Amityville 3-D (1983)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal, Leora Dana, John Harkins, Lori Loughlin, Meg Ryan, Neill Barry

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Enter the gateway to your peril!

Plot: A reporter moves into the ominous Long Island house to debunk it of the recent supernatural events and becomes besieged by the evil manifestations which are connected to a hell-spawn demon lurking in the basement.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#178 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

Thirty minutes in and the only weird thing happening with the famous house is a death by flies.  Even when things start happening it's little bits that creep people out but John (Roberts), and rightfully so, holds onto his skepticism.  I liked that.  This flick is a slow burn, not wanting to give you all the goods at once.  I liked how once character narrowly misses death only to snuff it a minute later by another freak occurrence.  It pulls a POLTERGEIST (1982) with John bringing in a paranormal crew to set up shop in his house with cameras, microphones and lots of electronic equipment in the hopes of getting his daughter back and finding evidence. I'm not saying POLTERGEIST has a lock on that trope but they did do it the previous year and very successfully.  Man, I love that movie.  The cool thing about it was they brought in all this equipment just 15 minutes before the end of the film.  Once they're there, that night the spooks come out to play and the shit hits the fan as the house tries to kill everyone inside.  I LOVED the flying door kill.  Nice.

Howard Blake's score serves the picture well.  I'm a big fan of Tony Roberts so seeing him in anything gets bonus points in my book and it's fun seeing a young Meg Ryan a few years before she hit the A-list.  This was her second film and it'd be another 6 films and 6 years from her catapult into stardom with WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989). Filmed and released in anaglyphic 3D (red/blue glasses) the current DVD is in regular ole boring 2D but the film looks great.  I have a copy of the 3D print but I couldn't get the adjustments right on my projector in order to get a good 3D effect.  While this picture might be light on good scares it's still a pretty good haunted house movie and it shouldn't be overlooked because of it's low IMDb rating.  Overall this franchise has been pretty good.  None of the three films were bad.  THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) was interesting and had some good creepy scares but it was much too long and Brolin was rather bland.  AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION (1982) was an improvement until the second half which went from a great haunted house flick to a run of the mill demon possession story ala THE EXORCIST (1974).  Had 2 stopped halfway it could have been one of the all time best movies of its kind.  Now that I'm through I've got the bonus disc to get through that comes with the box set.  Almost done...

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