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Discussion in 'General' started by Spacetraveler, Feb 9, 2010.
II BY FAR.. most effective.. and really creepy...
i had ambitions to watch all the amityville sequels. as a kid, the Amityville 1992: It's About Time vhs cover seemed really creepy to me. so i was especially looking forward to that one. I made it through the first 3, and generally felt the same way you did. But then I couldn't locate a copy of part 4. I tried for a few months, having copies of the others all lined up. But I just never got around to seeing part 4, so gave up on that particular quest. I was able to complete a similar goal with the children of the corn sequels, though...
"Amityville Curse" is based on a book by occult investigator Hans Holzer, who wrote several books about the haunting and murders (as wikipedia notes, both non-fiction and fiction.) His book "Murder In Amityville" was actually the basis for the second Amityville movie.
I remember they interviewed Hans in that MGM DVD set. Was an eccentric fellow, to say the least. :lol:
Between chancetx and UFAlien we'd definitely have an interesting book thread on the franchise. I'm guessing there are a lot more books on Amityville than there are even movies. Bring it!
Since my posts were apparently stolen by Jody the evil demon pig, I shall reiterate!
I voted for the original because, despite some overacting and poor effects, it still creeps me out to a great extent - a feeling that lingers after watching the film.
Amityville II: The Possession is easily the scariest, but the tacked-on Exorcist epilogue really tarnishes it quite a bit. It's a shame because the first hour or so is really quite disturbing and effective.
Amityville 3D has a couple of decent scenes and is pretty fun if you can get a decent 3D copy (I had one and lost it) - but it doesn't work as a horror film, neutered by its PG rating. I also miss the excellent Lalo Schifrin score from the first two.
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes is awful, but in an entertaining, hilarious way. As a side note, the housekeeper is easily the best damn housekeeper in the world. She saved her employers from a little be-mulleted idiot wielding a demonically possessed chainsaw! Now that's dedication!
The Amityville Curse has some neat ideas and decent atmosphere in places, but ultimately it's just really, really boring. The series doesn't really have any continuity (a practical necessity since the Lutzes actually owned the sequel rights and a copyright to their story), but this one has absolutely no connection to the others.
Amityville 1992 is really weird. It's part goofy craziness (killer diaper truck, anyone?), part surprisingly effective chiller - and the lead actress does a pretty good job. It's also notable for its crew - director Tony Randel also did Hellbound: Hellraiser II, was the vice-president of production for New World Pictures, and also directed two episodes of Power Rangers in Space (no, really). Composer Daniel Licht also did Children of the Corn II and III, Hellraiser: Bloodline, the TV series Dexter, and the game Silent Hill: Downpour.
Amityville: A New Generation is from the same screenwriters as the previous film and quite similar. There's some good and creepy stuff in it, as well as some unfortunate goofiness. My main issue is just how badly it retcons the real-life DeFeo shootings.
Amityville Dollhouse is my current pic for the #1 worst film I've ever seen, though with most of Uwe Boll's stuff and some other choice stinkers the list fluctuates from time to time. It's silly and unscary, the plot is disjointed and nonsensical, the acting is terrible, and it's just an unpleasant waste of time. It's no wonder it killed the series.
The 2005 remake isn't my cup of tea. Too focused on jump-scares, too far off from the true and allegedly true story (not to mention the book), too hyper-stylized (the design for the house really bugs me), and the expanded "evil warlock" backstory is really silly. The whole film seems like an attempt to cash-in on the then-recent success of The Grudge by redoing a classic hit largely in-name-only and adding a long-haired ghost girl.
The Amityville Haunting is the only one I haven't been able to sit through. It was too damn boring, and the found footage style meant I didn't even have any cool music or cinematography to distract me.
Great read and welcome to the site!
So I made it through A New Generation, and you know what, it actually gets a lot better as it gets going. Yeah, the retconing of the original DeFeo shootings is a little problematic, I can forgive it because the flashback/dream sequences it does with those scenes are extremely effective. It gets quite brutal too, with shotgunning to the face in graphic detail and not much letup afterward. The ending, I thought, was quite clever, fusing fact, fiction and art in a way that the original Amityville story could only hope to achieve. Likeable lead, and David Naughton and Terry O'Quinn give some class to the supporting cast. Effects are pretty lame though, but at least they tried to do more than just turning on appliances randomly like in some of these later sequels. I liked the "We Swear." amendment to the "people and places in this story are fictitious" disclaimer during the end credits. Thumbs up overall.
Amityville: Dollhouse is kind of the opposite of A New Generation. It actually starts well and up until the final act actually sustains a good pace along with some elaborate scare sequences and even some sleaze. It flirts with some incestuous overtones, but doesn't go all the way, abandoning them for a more rote, cacophonous ending. The last act sort of feels like Miner's HOUSE, with an over-the-top zombie wisecracking and wrecking the now isolated acreage home. Still, I liked the conceit of things happening in the dollhouse happening in real life (mouse crawls inside and forms a proportionally huge mouse inside the room he enters). The aunt and uncle who conveniently show up and even more conveniently know everything about voodoo dolls and the like lessens the usual fun of seeing regular folks coping with irregular circumstances. And how annoying was that little hobbit boy from the mom's side? Just when you thought the ending couldn't get much worse, it goes all kinds of lazy, defaulting to pyrotechnics and deus ex magic. Laughable is the resolve, just using some ADR voice over to tie up some loose ends with the relationships in the film
(as the family drives away not even bothering to check on the uncle who was, when they last saw him, alive and standing pat in the attic for everyone's safety)
. Bad bad bad...even the credits are lazy, they don't even name any of the characters. When's the last time you've seen post-1980 credits like that? Shame this one went off the rails because honestly, after the first half, I was totally team dollhouse. Oh well, still a lot better than the worst entries in most other DTV franchises, and still better than The Amityville Curse.
Last up, The Amityville Haunting...
Rhett, the uncle was
in the attic of the dollhouse. Because the fireplace was a portal to the dollhouse... somehow. Which led to the attic instead of the other fireplace in the dollhouse that we'd also been shown was a portal because plot convenience.
The way they drop the incest bit with no resolution is one of my big problems with the movie, but there are plenty more in that jumble of a "plot"...
-Who the hell put a newspaper clipping conveniently detailing the previous house fire in the shed?
-What the hell does said house fire have to do with... well, anything? It was building up like the father was gonna follow in those footsteps and kill everyone, but the plot was just dropped - so the backstory is useless.
-Who the hell was the little kid in the dad's nightmare? For that matter, what was the point of the nightmare? It was set up like one of those "significant dreams" and it went nowhere.
-Why is there a magical dollhouse shaped like the Amityville movie house in the middle of a dusty shed in the desert? Is the house they rebuilt supposed to be the Amityville house?
-There's no internal logic for the haunting/phenomena. Some things that happen in the dollhouse happen in real life, but plenty of them don't. Then there's also a zombie/ghost dad, and other generic haunting things, and a possession in progress(?) that's just dropped, and it makes a toy spider real, and the incest...
Basically the movie felt like they had several different scripts in hand when a gust came along and mixed them all up, and they just picked up whatever pages were closest and stuck them together with no regard to where they came from or where they fit in the story.
I did like some of the references to the earlier films (the goo on the dollhouse stairs, the lights in the "eye windows" of the dollhouse, the way the giant rat's eyes look like Jody's from the first movie), but they just reminded me of how much I wanted to watch those instead.
Sad to see all the negativity towards Amityville Dollhouse, I finally caught up with it and thought it was an absolute riot! Sure, it's a better sequel to House than it is to Amityville, but I loved it! A giant rat under the daughter's bed? A boy with arachnophobia breaking open a pinata, only to have a giant tarantula fall out of it onto his face? The evil zombie/ghost of the little boy's dad trying to get him to murder his stepdad? And the highlight: The stepmother staring her stepson playing basketball shirtless while she washes a dish so hard she breaks it! I thought it was outrageous B-movie fun from beginning to end. I was never bored!
I know for sure that I never saw The Amityville Curse, but now that I'm looking at it, I can't remember whether or not I've seen Amityville: A New Generation. After Dollhouse, I really need to watch it!
I agree. This is a fun one. Far better than the recent Awakening.
Amityville II is the best. never cared for any of the others. II say's it all.. its the scariest, sleaziest.. and its got a hot diane franklin
Amityville II is the most effective. It's hard to watch that one late at night.
The first film had such potential and such a great cast (and a great score) but it just never quite gets past being so-so.
Amityville 3-D is my personal favorite. Not because it's a scary movie; it's way too tame and tries to go where Poltergeist excelled but I find it easy to take and I love the scenes with Candy Clark.
I hate the 2005 version with that terrible location, the Hollywood action style finale and that stupid ghost girl cliche (and that stupid 'final jump' attempt...ugh!).
I agree. Jody the pig is so bizarre that it's creepy. A little girl ghost isn't. Blah
Thought I'd revive this old thread to discuss the films in Vinegar Syndrome's Amityville set.
I finally finished watching through the films and came away surprised by the ones I enjoyed this time. I was anticipating It's About Time and Dollhouse but found myself enjoying The Evil Escapes and A New Generation quite a bit. The latter of which I don't recall liking at all when I first saw it, so that was a surprise. It's About Time I'll have to re-watch at some point as I ended up nodding off through it.
The Evil Escapes was pretty unintentionally funny at times, especially that chainsaw scene. I also found the grandma pretty funny with some of her responses and reactions to things. The family was pretty enjoyable overall though and much better than the one in Dollhouse which only had the hot mum going for it (I would have liked to have seen more of her ).
A New Generation I just enjoyed a lot. The characters felt a little more real and I thought the lead was good. I will say I thought it kind of loses it's footing towards the end as it feels a bit tame. Other than that I found it a pretty enjoyable entry overall.
Dollhouse was the hardest one to get through. I think my favorite part is the Mum having the hots for her stepson, but they don't really go anywhere too crazy with that. The little boy is extremely annoying and feels like he should be in a nickelodeon kids show, and I hate how there's this whole boring subplot with the dad and later, son, trying to win him over. Then there's the little girl who feels like she belongs in Troll 2. Even the Aunt and Uncle feel kooky. Again I have to add the mum is a hottie and helped me get through this rather bad sequel lol.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Vinegar Syndrome set. All of the movies are GOLD except for A New Generation, which is the worst of the Amityville franchise (not including unofficial entries like Amityville Curse).
I think 1992 was my favorite this go-around, but I head-over-heels loved re-visiting Evil Escapes, 1992, and Dollhouse in this terrific set.
Just noticed that both "It's About Time" and "A New Generation" is available on iTunes in native 4K.
Making my way through the set after not having seen the films since my last post in this thread 7 years ago. The Evil Escapes is good cheese, and less tame than you'd expect for a Made for TV entry. The dwarfy kind of kid (who just died last month actually, RIP) is hilarious to me, the scene where he can't control the chainsaw as he looks wide-eyed in horror as all the ladies in his house stare at him like he got caught wanking it is one of my favorite moments in the whole series. NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2's Zoe Trilling is also a great addition as the sister. Great transfer and extras as always by VinSyn on that. Hoping to check 1992 out again soon - for me it was probably the best-made of the series, but when it comes to Amityville I kind of like the charm of rougher edges of the other sequels. We also caught up with 2 & 3 in advance of checking out the set, and I still love 2 - forgot how well made that movie is, just a great sense of atmosphere and using the camera as a presence of something sinister. The sleeze is something you never really see to that degree and that's why we love the Italians - nobody else could mix amazing technical proficiency with scummy pulp like they could. I even had more fun than I expected revisiting Part 3 this time - it was my first viewing of it in 3-D thanks to the Scream Blu and it certainly improves what's otherwise a really rote and non-canon haunted house ride. So happy that Vinegar Syndrome put out this set and got the interest up again for Amityville movies - I started watching on Netflix THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS which is kind of like a pseudo-remake of 2, right down to having Diane Franklin and Burt Young (he's still alive!?) back. So far so good there, I like the true crime style of that. Amazing that a series 10+ films deep all started from such a dogshit original haha.
Well said! I remember seeing that movie as a kid and being shocked because I'd never seen anything like it. The fucked up family dynamics were so much more disturbing to me than any of the actual horror elements. I actually tend to lose interest in the movie after the family is murdered. I'm sure the impression it made on my back then is why I feel compelled to watch anything with Amityville in the title no matter how awful.
I can't disagree - it's actually pretty surprising how quickly the whole family is killed, it's almost at the half-way part of the film when you think that's going to be the big climax. I think it is worth sticking around after though for that gnarly face peel effect during the exorcism at the end.
For those who are interested, Amityville Curse is on Amazon Prime in a widescreen (cropped?) version.
It’s terrible but fills the gap.