Amityville III Cover Can houses truly be haunted? Or is this type of thing a by-product of a vivid imagination? Also, who would know the answer to these questions? A Doctor? A Priest? A Spirit? Someone from the cast of CSI? Or maybe one of the three dimensional character in this film? One Directed by: Richard Fleischer; and Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, and Candy Clark. It was made in 1984 and lasts for 105-minutes.

Amityville III

Now would you buy a haunted house like Amityville? Just look at its history. Two families have been murdered there – the previous tenants were psychic fraudsters – and the man who sells this house dies under mysterious circumstances. Oh! And the electrics are crap too.

No – I would not buy it either – but sceptical journalist, John Baxter (Tony Roberts), does – to the chagrin of those who are around him.

Now why do I say that, huh? Well, first off, John’s photographer, Melanie (Candy Clark), is attacked by this house – whilst he is stuck in a lift elsewhere. Next, John’s ex-wife, Nancy Baxter (Tess Harper), doesn’t like the idea of him buying this ‘damaged’ property – even though there daughter, Susan (Lori Loughlin), and her friend, Lisa (Meg Ryan), visits this eerie abode at their peril. After that, a fateful occurrence strikes Melanie, just after she discovers some information that could prove to John that something is amiss with Amityville. And finally, something even more stranger happens than all of this put together – something that is just difficult to sum up in words.

Well, you see, does John’s daughter, Susan, die in a freak boating accident outside the house? As witnessed after the event by John. Or is Susan wandering around wet inside the house? As witnessed by his ex-wife, Nancy.

Who knows, huh? Maybe paranormal investigator, Elliot West (Robert Joy), can get the answers for us? That is why what next transpires is a right wet knickers moment I can tell you. As demons rise – houses fall – people die – fish fly – and the fate of the future resides in a ghost’s eye.

Not the end – not yet anyway.

Now before I start giving you my opinion about this very strange film, ‘Amityville 3’, please allow me to give you some very strange facts first. (1) This film has two names, the aforementioned ‘Amityville 3 – The Demon’, plus the aptly titled ‘Amityville 3D’ – because it was made in... errr... 3D. (2) Unfortunately, because of a lawsuit between the Lutz family [whom devised the original works] and the producer of this film, Dino De Laurentis, this movie was not deemed a sequel. (3) Regular Woody Allen collaborator, Tony Robert’s, hair is made out of sponge. (4) The person who devised the screenplay for this film, David Ambrose [whom used the pseudonym ‘William Wales’] also wrote ‘The Year of The Gun’ for the big screen, and ‘Colditz’ for the small screen. (5) Believe it or not, Meg Ryan was very good in this movie. (6) Lori Loughlin was a print model since she was eleven. (7) Robert Joy got the job for CSI: NY, because the shows producers did not know that he was in this film. (8) Tess Harper’s husband is called Ken. (9) Dino De Laurentis looks and sounds like a used car salesman. (10) The pink ghostly effect in this film appears to be a pink hued fractal sound wave transposed onto the celluloid. And (11) I think that this film has given me the flu.

Amityville III Monster

OK, that’s enough nonsense for the time being - ‘Amityville 3 – The Demon’ – is it good or what? Well, I suppose that all depends on what the ‘what’ is, huh? Still, as a film goes, the term ‘what’ does sum it up rather nicely. Because what type of a nut would buy a haunted house? What type of a person can be scared by this film? What the hell made Dino want to make it for? And what the hell am I doing, keeping on asking questions?

Meg Ryan in Amityville 3 The Demon
Oh! I know – because I want to try to figure out if I like this film or not – as it is one of those ‘bad films that you do kind of like’.

You see, in essence, the whole conceit of this film is perversely good – a sceptical journalist who does not believe in the myth of a haunted house. Moreover, the cast of this film is great, and the overall tone and ambience is very well executed too – especially for a low-budget flick.

However, where this horror fest falls flat on its ass, is in everything else.

Initially, the structure of this piece is rather philandering – because the focus of this movie jitters back and forth between the numerous cast members, and at times the ‘reach’ of the ‘haunting’ is not fully explained. Next, I would have to say that the special effects are bloody useless – I have seen scarier illustrations from my eight-year-old Goddaughter (except for maybe the demon). But ultimately, this film just does not have that extra kick that horror movies need – its flat – its not relatable – and it does come across as a ‘cash in’ on its predecessors (click here for one of the reviews).

CSI Meets Amityville III

Overall, though, ‘Amityville 3’ is a somewhat bi-polar film. It has good bits in it – it has bad bit in it – and it even has bits in it that are unintentionally funny. So if you want your spook with a silly twist – maybe this is one for you?

Boy, am I asking questions again? Shucks.