Amityville 3D aka Amityville III: The Demon

Amityville 3D from Dino DeLaurentiis was released in 1983 during that decade’s 3D craze which also saw the release of Jaws 3D, Friday the 13th Part 3 and Metalstorm.  Obviously with a title like Amityville 3D, the film would involve that infamous house from Long Island and use the 3D process as it’s chief gimmick.  It’s also one the many films I would rent as a teenager during the school holidays on the Thorn EMI label with the dodgy demon on it’s cover.

John Baxter (Tony Roberts) is an investigative reporter who with his partner exposes a couple of fake psychics using the Amityville house as a base to rip off grieving relatives at fake seances.  Intrigued by the house John decides to buy it as he is recently divorced and needs a new home.  Of course John being a non believer of all things supernatural isn’t put off by the fact that the real estate agent dies in the house as soon as the deal to buy it is done.

If you remember the scary flies which menaced poor old Rod Steiger from the original film, you’re be glad to know they’re back big time in this one and used to maximum effect in the three dimension process.  With all sorts of weird stuff going on, unexplained deaths, objects flying towards the camera and the fact that the spirits are being annoyed by pesky kids led by a pre-famous Meg Ryan and John’s daughter (Lori Loughlin) the ghost experts are called in for what is an impressive special effect filled finale.  What is more impressive is the display of excellent curly hair from Mr. Roberts and his awesome selection of comfortable knitwear.

Amityville 3D is certainly a film that is constantled belittled and slagged off everywhere.  Is it all deserved?  Not really as it is a reasonably effective, if unoriginal ghost story with some good scenes and at times excellent use of 3D especially now it’s on Blu-ray where it has obviously been remastered.  Compared to the first one with Margot Kidder and James Brolin, it’s a steaming pile of horse shit, it’s not as good as the sleazy sequel (The Possession) either but miles better than the appalling series of films that followed it.

I’m not saying that it’s one of the greatest films ever made, far from it.  In fact a lot of it is drivel but it does zoom along and the alleged ‘scary’ bits are well handled by veteran director Richard Fleischer.  File it under ‘passable sequel to watch if you have nothing else better to do’.

  • Starring Tony Roberts  Tess Harper  Robert Joy  Candy Clark
  • Director Richard Fleischer
  • Distributor MGM and Scream Factory (Blu-ray 3D) in a box set with parts 1 & 2