Plot: A dysfunctional family has just moved into an eerie old house with a reputation for being haunted and of course, that kind of perfect storm of negative energies and the supernatural makes a potent cocktail. Before the family even starts to unpack, the drama is uncorked and tensions rise within the house, while strange events start to happen around the place as well. As if the creepiness inside the creaky home isn’t enough, the entire town seems to have an unsettling vibe and the locals aren’t exactly the most friendly people around. As more fights break out at home, the townsfolk continue to be weird, and even the school has something off putting about it, the family descends into one problem after another. Is there a supernatural presence in the house or is this family just a magnet for negative energy?
Entertainment Value: I had more fun with this low rent Amityville knockoff than most, but I have an appreciation for mean spirited family drama, which might explain the added entertainment I found here. The narrative is your typical haunted house yarn, with all the negative family energy to drum up those restless spirits and some off the wall moments blended in. I can’t argue against the many criticisms I’ve seen about The Amityville Terror, I can just say I didn’t mind the lesser points as much as some and I had fun with the family dysfunction and more bizarre situations. The serious, even dark at times tone makes the sillier moments all the more outlandish, so I wish there was more of those kind of scenes. If the entire movie was as ridiculous as the most hilarious sequences, this would likely be a cult classic, but while humorous, those moments are on the sparse side here. This leads to some slow, even dull stretches at times and for the most part, this comes across like a run of the mill, low budget take on the haunted house formula. I didn’t think it was bad for the most part, just kind of forgettable outside of the goofier moments, so if you appreciate haunted house movies or dysfunctional families, give it a shot.
This one has a few topless scenes sprinkled around, though most of the sex scenes keep the naughtiness under wraps. I like the rather awkward scene where our long haired man of the house tries to keep from looking at his bare breasted costar, played dead serious, but quite humorous to watch. I also love that there is some mid-sex exposition at one point, another odd, but fun moment. The blood doesn’t flow like wine here, but there are some nice bursts of crimson to be found. A not so relaxing bath yields some red stuff and some melting flesh, we have a severed head in a bag, a juicy neck wound, crossbow induced eye trauma, and quite a fiery farewell. A few other instances pop up as well, but those are the general highlights and memorable bloodshed moments. The dialogue isn’t chock full of quotable lines, but I loved the dysfunction and drama between the family, as it was melodramatic and humorous. The exchanges over the recovering addict aunt prove to be bright spots, but there is an awkward edge to a lot of the family talk, which I had fun with. The craziness scale doesn’t move too much, with the dysfunction and random weirdness adding some points, but otherwise, this one falls into the usual haunted house routine.
Overall Insanity: 3/10