This is part of my Horrorathon for Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings (aka MASK). Is It Worth It? is where I talk about sequels a lot of people skip, and determine if they are worth a visit or better left in the bargain bin. Fair warning, there will be spoilers in my recap, so if you just want the verdict skip to the bottom.
From IMDb: An old mirror from the haunted Long Island house finds its way into a photographer’s family where the evil soon manifests itself to cause more terror and mayhem.
This movie is also loosely based on the short story collection Amityville: The Evil Escapes by John G. Jones. I can’t believe we are doing another haunted object from Amityville travels to California movie. It is like a subgenre within a series at this point. This is also another direct to video entry.
We begin with an establishing shot of a rat on an urban street. A homeless man breaks into a parked car to steal an umbrella. From a loft apartment above the car, Llanie sees the crime and expresses concerns about the neighborhood to her boyfriend Keyes.
Keyes and Llanie are a couple living in a loft in what appears to be a gentrifying area of…Los Angeles I guess? They never state where the film takes place, but L.A. was the filming location. Their conversation is disrupted by a couple arguing in the apartment next to theirs. Their neighbor Suki is kicking out her boyfriend so he can become haunted mirror food later.
Keyes is a starving artist along with Suki. The two of them go together to a local coffee shop after Llanie leaves for work, and then this movie becomes Rent meets Amityville.
Similar to the plot of Rent, they beg their otherwise nice landlord/friend (?) Dick to let them host an art show in their apartment complex. He tries to explain he doesn’t have the proper permits for this. Keyes informs him if he doesn’t let them host an art show, he won’t have tenants because they won’t make rent. I don’t think this is how any of this works.
Keyes also takes some photos of the same homeless man who stole the umbrella at the beginning of the film. Afterwards, Keyes approaches the man, and tells him since he will probably make money off the photo, the man should get some money too. Keyes seems very confident in his art for someone who cannot make rent.
The homeless man calls after Keyes, and gifts him with a mirror that he says has been in his family for generations. Oh no. It’s another haunted Amityville object.
Later that night, the neighbors are all hanging out because they are acting out Rent.
They have strong-armed Dick in an art show on the property that next week. Suki is enamoured with the haunted mirror, so they give it to her as a gift.
Later that night, we are “treated” to a surprisingly erotic sex scene between Keyes and Llanie next to a space heater which they have a close up shot of for no specific reason. It is like it is teasing us for an Amityville movie about a haunted space heater.
Suki’s ex-boyfriend comes over angry and wasted at her rejection. I wonder if the haunted mirror will do something about this?
The mirror shows Ray’s skin getting cut open before he sort of launches himself into a window and somehow slashes his own throat. The investigating detective rules it a suicide.
That night, Keyes sees the Amityville house in his dreams, and some random man sharpening knives at a dinner table before he wakes up. Later, he tells Llanie he never met his father. I’m sensing a connection…
Suki cuts herself while crying the next day. She then looks at the haunted mirror, and inspiration hits. Suki paints a bunch of demons she makes “dance” with nooses that are rigged to the paintings.
Her landlord Dick comes over, and she seems manic. It is clear Dick has a crush, and they start to hook up despite him being married to Janet. They get interrupted, and later when Suki is alone the mirror shows her reflection grabbing a noose and putting it around its neck.
Suki follows suit, seemingly entranced a bit while doing so, and the noose shoots up to the ceiling, hanging her.
A detective named Clark asks Keyes to come identify a body, but in a twist it is not Suki – it’s the homeless man from the beginning. They claim the man had Keyes’s name and address written on a note. Also the medical examiner is the best character in this movie:
Keyes says the man looks sort of familiar, and says he will pay for a proper burial for the man.
Dick discovers Suki’s body, and Keyes gets the haunted mirror back. He looks at the back of the mirror, and sees the name Bronner. Most upsetting, he is inexplicably wearing a bandana in his hair now.
Keyes and Detective Clark visit Bronner’s grave, and Clark explains that they finally IDed the man as Franklin Bronner. He is essentially a stand in for the real Robert DeFeo, or Sonny from the second movie. He lived in the infamous Amityville house and murdered his parents and two younger siblings at Thanksgiving. This yet again creates another version of the real DeFeo murders, and breaks continuity with the second film. Bronner’s gravestone is placed, and Keyes is enraged to see it says Keyes was Bronner’s son. Clark explains it was probably just a mistake and asks him to calm down, but Keyes is hungry for answers now.
Keyes visits the state hospital Bronner was held in after he successfully pled insanity, and learns more from a nurse played by Lin Shaye!
Lin tells Keyes that when Bronner was released seven years ago, he could have returned the the Amityville house since he inherited everything, but all he wanted was the mirror he gifted to Keyes.
While exploring the hospital alone, Keyes has a flashback and realizes Bronner actually was his father. Bronner knocked up his girlfriend as a teenager. Yes, take a moment to process this. The homeless man at the beginning of the movie who happened to meet Keyes because Keyes took a picture of him happened to be his father.
Keyes quickly starts spiraling at this realization. To top it off, Detective Clark knew all of this and was trying to get Keyes to realize the truth.
Llanie realizes Keyes is spiraling, and encourages him to confront his fears of becoming his murderous father by acting them out metaphorically at the art show by “shooting his family”, aka the Rent posse, with a water gun.
Pauli suddenly appears in the movie again, and shows Keyes his newest art installation called “When and Where” which features a loaded gun that will fire off randomly at some point before 2001.
Wait…an art installation titled “When and Where” about a violent act that will happen and 2001 was referenced?! WAKE UP SHEEPLE AMITYVILLE: A NEW GENERATION PREDICTED 9/11 SOMEHOW.
That night, the art show is set to begin. It is a dark and stormy night of murky licenses and permits for hosting an art show in a residentially zoned building.
Also, at this point in the film, Keyes starts looking like budget Robert Pattinson.
But his not-licensed therapist/girlfriend Llanie starts looking like a budget Manic Pixie Dream Girl so touche.
The power short circuits and Dick goes downstairs to fix it. The ghost of Suki appears to Dick and kills him by throwing Dick against a circuit breaker that somehow electrocutes him. But his body getting electrocuted fixes the power so that’s good I guess?
Always the hallmarker of sanity, Keyes yells at the sky that he isn’t like his father Bronner and he won’t do it!
The haunted mirror goes into orange strobe light mode as a sign of anger.
Bronner’s spirit tells Keyes “Amityville! It’s in your blood!” which should have been the name for this movie.
Keyes goes to the art show where Pauli, Llanie, and Janet are sitting at a dining table to recreate the Thanksgiving massacre for the art critics and patrons.
Keyes walks in with a loaded gun instead of the water gun, but eventually shoots the haunted mirror instead of his Rent family.
After a moment, all the critics clap thinking it was a performance. Shockingly, I have to agree with the police officer character:
The police officer/unlikely voice of reason and Detective Clark are on the scene because they received a distressed voicemail from Keyes earlier. But because he was a white man aiming a gun at two women and a Black man they kept standing down to see what he would do instead of subduing him in any way.
Detective Clark tells Keyes he will have seven years of bad luck for this one. Clark doesn’t seem put off by the fact Keyes threatened his loved ones with a gun in front of a crowd of strangers.
The final moment lingers on the little red-eyed gargoyle design on the mirror’s frame, indicated once more the spirit is still there.
- At this point, the word “Amityville” has become code for something spooky, so the movies just go off on whatever tangent they want
- I appreciated the throwaway line about Reagan cutting the budgets for mental institutions, forcing unwell people like Bronner back on the street
- Not only does this seemingly erase Amityville II: The Possession, it also implies the son was demonically possessed and the demon never left his body.
- Like many of the previous films towards the later part of the series, there is no mention of Catholicism and there’s no evil flies! I guess the true spirit of Amityville was inside us the whole time.
- Much like Rent, there is no way these people could afford these apartments and as a Millenial it pains me to see them in expansive loft apartments with exposed brick walls and gorgeous views.
This movie is awful and no one should watch it. It is one thing to be bad like most these Amityville movies, but this film is bad, boring, cheap, and pointless. It made evil/out of sync mirror doubles boring to me! One of my favorite tropes! It made The Amityville Curse look like a masterpiece. It is truly shocking to me it mustered a 3.8 on IMDb.
The next movie is called Amityville Dollhouse and I bet it is a terrible movie about a haunted dollhouse.