The Horror of Poor 3D

Tony Roberts in Amityville 3-D (1983)

Having made a career by uncovering fraudulent clairvoyants, reporter John Baxter (Tony Roberts) decides to move in to the notorious house on Amityville which is supposedly the home of much paranormal activity. It is a decision which is ex wife Nancy (Tess Harper) is less than happy about and forbids their daughter Susan (Lori Loughlin) and her friend Lisa (Meg Ryan) from going to it. But teenagers rarely do as they are told and it is one of a series of strange events which lead to John having to call in some paranormal experts to try and unlock what is going on in his Amityville house.

There is a scene in "Amityville 3-D" about 20 minutes in which sums up this movie perfectly. The realtor heads up to the room with the eye shaped windows and unaware that the door is closing behind him spots the window is covered in flies which then swarm all over him. Now some may say that is a classic horror element whilst others, including myself, will say it is a cliche idea lifted from other better movies. And the reason I side on it being a cliche is because it is in "Amityville 3-D" to use the 3D gimmick of flies coming towards you except the whole thing is incredibly tacky and contributes to a list of things which are bad about the movie.

Lori Loughlin in Amityville 3-D (1983)

The thing is that "Amityville 3-D" is all about the 3D; the image of a dying man's flailing arm as it flops towards the camera, a floating green orb which is part of a fake clairvoyants act, a steel pipe coming flying through the window of a car and I could go on. The trouble is that not only is none of it much cop but it is clear that little effort was taken to put a decent storyline behind it. In fact all that "Amityville 3-D" comes across as is a basic haunted house movie which pilfers scene ideas and story elements from various other horror movies which have gone before it and not all the ideas really connect to the main story but have been used purely because they provide an opportunity to use more 3D.

There isn't a lot more to say other than the acting is a bit of a mixed bag with Tony Roberts doing a decent job of leading movie. But then there is Candy Clark as his work colleague Melanie and between her acting in conjunction with the editing and also the soundtrack make many of her scenes feel more like they belong in a horror spoof. In truth the only thing I will remember "Amityville 3-D" for is that it features a young Lori Loughlin with Meg Ryan playing her friend and a question of whether Lori Loughlin has ever had a different hair style?

What this all boils down to is that "Amityville 3-D" is not a very good horror movie and watched because you are looking for paranormal frights it will be a disappointment. But in a way it is an interesting movie as it highlights the poor attempts to do 3D during the 80s with it again being little more than a gimmick.

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