The Amityville Curse (1990) Movie Review
Written By: Angela DiLella
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Tom Berry
Producer: Franco Battista
Writer: Michael Krueger, Doug Olson, et. al.
Based on the book The Amityville Curse by Hans Holzer
Date Released: June 6, 1990
Kim Coates as Frank
Dawna Wightman as Debbie
Helen Hughes as Mrs. Moriarty
David Stein as Marvin
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
In another part of Amityville, the cruel murder of a priest in 1974 leaves the clergy house haunted. Decades later, a group of friends, entranced by the cheap prices, decide to stay over while they’re fixing the place up in hopes to flip and sell the property.
There is very little gore in this film. However, there is one notable and effective scene in which glass is embedded in (and removed from) a woman’s hand which is fairly cringe worthy. Other than that scene, there is no other scenes which can be considered remotely convincing gore.
The Grave Review
This fifth entry in the Amityville Horror series took a path less traveled to diverge from the haunted Ocean Avenue house of every other Amityville movie to another house in the same town. Just as with its more famous counterpart in better-known movies, bizarre things begin happening to the new residents of this particular haunted house, and one man in the crew becomes possessed and attempts to reenact the murders of the past. If you have seen the other Amityville movies, you can probably guess every beat this story takes well before it happens. If you haven’t, you still won’t be lost in the dark.
This is one of those movies where it’s hard to tell if the cast is that good at portraying unlikeable people or are just bad actors. The characters themselves are so uncharismatic that it’s just generally hard to invest in the performances or characters themselves until the cast is whittled down to almost nothing.
Similar to Halloween III, The Amityville Curse attempted to diverge from the known tales to forge its own path. The problem is, while Halloween III actively attempted to diverge from its predecessors for something new, The Amityville Curse simply gave viewers the same old story in a new house. It doesn’t surprise me at all that this is the only Amityville Horror that hasn’t had a wide DVD/Blu-Ray release (at least as of now)—I can’t imagine that even the most dedicated Amityville fan thinks of this one affectionately. The best I can say for this movie is that when the movie isn’t just cribbing the Psycho theme, the score is effective. There are even some decent effects here and there.
If you absolutely feel you must watch this one, at least consider skipping to the last half hour—the makeup on the possessed houseguest isn’t half-bad and there are some interesting choices made to up the ante in the final stretch of the film. Otherwise, the majority of the film simply adds nothing new to the franchise.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Amityville Curse (1990) one grave out of five graves.
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