Horror Movie Review: Amityville 3D (1983)


Amityville…in 3D! I really wish I could have watch this to see 3D flies & the odd object coming at me from the screen but alas, it was not to be. Still, although not titled as such, the third Amityville horror brings us back to the demonic house & introduces the latest inhabitants.

John & his partner, Melanie attend a séance at 112 Ocean Avenue (the Amityville House) where they expose a group of con artists. Turns out they are both investigative reporters who expose shams like this around the country.

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John is taken with the house & is talked into buying it by the estate agent. While exploring the basement they notice what appears to be a boarded up well but the agent is quick to gloss over it & less than happy when Melanie takes his photo.

When Melanie develops the photos she is shocked to see that the agents face is one of a corpse even though the rest of the picture appears to be fine. Later the agent is killed by a swarm of flies in the attic after hearing footsteps (watch out for the 3D fly). John arrives there to see the agent die but he presumes it was a stroke or heart attack.

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Both John & Melanie begin to experience strange events but not just in the house. In a confusing turn the evil in the house influences an elevator at John’s place of work causing it to malfunction.

After Melanie comes under attack at the house she becomes convinced that it is evil but can’t convince John until she discovers a demonic face in her photos. Rushing over to John, can she warn him & his family in time?

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Amityville 3D is well known for not just being a bad movie but also being one of the poorest movies to utilise the 3D fad of the 80’s. There are numerous problems that make the movie a chore to sit through most noticeably with the horror elements. There is no sense of dread or actual threat from the demonic house. It whips up a wind, slams doors & utilises flies to attack the patrons but seemingly at random.

There is no build up; it’s an evil house that takes its first victim within the first 20 minutes. From that point onwards it’s all downhill with horrible effects, some of the worst for a film of this era.

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Why, during the opening séance does the demon presence not make itself known in the slightest? Long exterior shots of the half-moon windows might seem ominous but it is more for time-filling than anything else.

One attempt at a chilling section is undone by how long it drags on for. John’s daughter & friends play with an Ouija board which warns them that she is in danger. They go out for boat ride on the lake, shortly afterwards she returns drenched & silent. She walks past her mother & goes upstairs locking the bedroom door behind her. John returns home to see his daughter being dragged out of the returning boat having fallen into the lake. She dies there on the pier…

So who walked past the mother?

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Chilling for the most part but packed in with some of the most boring scenes of any horror movie.

The actors are mixed bunch, John takes far too much convincing & he never really seems that cut up about his daughter’s death while Melanie fares better, having a nasty experience in the house gives her a chance to flex her acting muscles.

John is an investigative reporter yet seems to have not looked too far into the houses history. As a viewer it’s confusing to know what this movie is referencing…does it take the Lutz family story into account from the first movie? Do the events of the second matter? If not how is the house so powerful, enough to influence events at John’s workplace?

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As you can see Amityville 3D leaves you with a lot of questions but you’ll not really care for the answers.

I can only hope the next movie in the series improves on this lacklustre affair. Although considering the destruction of the house it’s hard to see where the series goes next. Wait? The Evil Escapes…oh gods.

Amityville 3D
  • 3/10
    The Final Score - 3/10
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