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Sunday, May 20, 2012

AMITYVILLE DOLLHOUSE

     
Amityville Dollhouse
1996
  
Tagline: The biggest name in horror comes home. (What?)
    
Starring Kalabar from Disney’s Halloweentown. That’s about it. And it took me literally the entire movie to figure out where I knew him from.
    
     
WHA’ HAPPENED?
Basically the same nonsense from all the Amityville sequels: supporting characters die but the family is more-or-less safe. Everyone thinks the dad is going crazy. The house blows up at the end.
      
The difference here is that the magic dollhouse of the title is to blame, and it can summon demons, giant rats, and previously dead relatives. Also, the family’s younger son is a creepy little whiner whose only friend is a pet rat. Remember when I said that no one in the core family gets murdered? Well, sometimes that’s not a good thing.
   
ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
The mid-90s was a wonderland of random direct-to-video sequels to semi-popular horror films. Some were fun (Leprechaun 2, 3, and 4), some were painful (Children of the Corn 5), and some involved an evil dollhouse that summoned dead people.
    
SHIRTS AND SKINS:
The older son has a shirtless make-out session with his girlfriend. It’s fairly steamy, until the girlfriend basically gets eaten by the fireplace. It’s kind of a mood-killer.
     
BLOOD AND GUTS:
The zombie dad was pretty great, in a Pet Semetary 2 kind of way, and the burn victim girlfriend was effective. (Seriously, do NOT date someone who lives in a haunted house.) But the coolest scene is when the teen son gets an earful of mosquito. It was like that scene in Wrath of Khan, but with a more realistic fake ear. Gloopy goodness.
        
FINAL THOUGHTS:
After watching Amityville 1992: It’s About Time (which is a slightly lamer title than Dollhouse), I’ve decided that this sequel is just as bad, if slightly less inconsequential. As always, there are plenty of dry patches, and the climax is a little rushed (Look! A demon! Okay, let’s leave.) But it’s charming in a bone-headed way, and the scene with the giant rat was adorable.

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