The only Amityville film that features a tandem bike. At least until “The Amityville Tandem Bike” is released which should be any day now.
Like The Evil Escapes and It’s About Time before it, Amityville: A New Generation is based on the book Amityville: The Evil Escapes, and true to name, evil does in fact escape from Amityville. This time in the form of a hobo mirror. Now, most people know not to accept a big ass ugly mirror from a hobo, but our leading man, Ross, knows no such thing.
Also like the previous films, the powers of the escaped evil is whatever the screenwriter could think of. It causes some people to commit murders, some to commit suicide, others to draw art most suitable for POGs (Remember POGs? They are back in this reference form). The power it lacks is a real connection to Amityville. We know it existed at some point in the house because it flashes a photo of it all the time in the mirror and also of a murder committed in the Amityville house, but not the real murder that happened there. Another murder that didn’t happen in real life.
Okay, a bit of a history lesson. Horror died with the fall of the Soviet Union. Sure, the oversaturation of horror films in the 80s was part of the problem. Every year there was a new Freddy, Jason, Michael or whatever flick in the theatre and people just lost interest. And also, the 90s were a decade of optimism instead of the “is a nuke going to kill us before we all die of AIDS” of the 80s.
So, anyway, Jason went to hell and Freddy had his final nightmare and horror films bombed at the box office. New horror films were not going to get any views, so there were a lot of films made that took a random dark script and a recognizable name was slapped onto it and a few scenes that connected the script to the series were added (see almost all Hellraiser films). I’m willing to bet that this was one of those dark scripts. (Also, the horror genre was saved in 1996 by Wes Craven’s Scream that took a post-modern meta-approach to the genre, which, incidentally, Craven had done two years earlier with New Nightmare).
Anyways. It’s quite nifty. It’s a lot darker than most of the previous flicks and relies more on psychological terrors than just creepy things. It also has a stellar cast: Ross Partridge (Will’s dad in Stranger Things), David Naughton (the werewolf in American Werewolf in London), Terry O’Quinn (The Stepfather and Locke from Lost), Lin Shaye (every New Line film), and fucking Richard Roundtree (Shaft, motherfucker).
All in all, a very watchable psychological thriller that doesn’t really have anything to do with the town of Amityville or its haunted house. Just remember, never accept furniture from hobos.
I also don’t know why it’s called “A New Generation” like it’s a Star Wars spin-off.