Amityville: Dollhouse

08/17/2015 20:21

Film: Amityville: Dollhouse

Year: 1996

Director: Steve White

Writer: Joshua Michael Stern

Starring: Robin Thomas Grossman, Starr Andreeff and Allen Cutler



This film begins with a family pulling up to a house in the middle of what looks to be nowhere. The father of this family is played by Robin Thomas Grossman. His new wife is played by Starr Andreeff. Grossman has a son that is roughly 16 years old played by Allen Cutler. Andreeff has a son from a previous marriage played by Jarrett Lennon. Grossman also has a daughter played by Rachel Duncan. We learn that Grossman is divorced while Andreeff’s husband died. He was also in the United States Air Force.

We also learn that Cutler is a bad boy and a bully. Lennon is a nerd and doesn’t have many friends, none in the area. He has a mouse that he likes to spend all of his time with. Duncan is probably the most normal child of the bunch. Also Grossman and Andreeff are newly married so they are still in that awkward stage of settling into a family life.

Cutler has a girlfriend who is played by Lisa Robin Kelly. Kelly looks like a nice girl, but we learn later in the film that she has a rough home-life and is trouble.

The house is new, but Grossman is still trying to work some of the kinks out in the wiring and with gas pipes. The air conditioner goes out the same day they move in and everyone is extremely hot and irritable from the beginning.

Grossman and Cutler go to an old shed that is still standing from the original house that was on the property. Grossman finds a dollhouse that is stored there. The thing about the dollhouse is that it looks like the Amityville house from previous films. Grossman brings it into the garage. The lights come on in the attic of the dollhouse and Grossman’s car moves forward.

That night, despite the heat Grossman and Andreeff make love. It gets very passionate, but Andreeff has her mind elsewhere. She stares at a picture of Cutler, which continues to change. It gets closer and closer to his face until his eyes change to white. She panics as she climaxes, clawing the back of Grossman.

The next morning, Grossman sees that a bike that was kept in the garage is destroyed. We learn that Duncan’s birthday is today and the bike was a gift for her. It is decided instead they will give her the dollhouse. Grossman sprays it out first to clean it though.

A lot of children show up for the party as well as Grossman’s sister, who is played by Lenore Kasdorf. She comes with her husband Franc Ross. They are spiritual and act quite weird. Duncan ends up unwrapping the dollhouse and loves it. When she opens it, smoke comes from the fireplace. I think that no one finding this weird was a little bit off. Only Ross, Kasdorf and Andreeff find it weird. Andreeff asks if Grossman had cleaned it. Duncan soon doesn’t feel all that well.

Cutler has learned that Lennon is scared of spiders. To play a trick on him, he puts a fake spider in a piñata for the party. When Lennon cracks it open, a real one comes out and lands on his head. After it is killed, Grossman scolds and punishes him with grounding. Lennon doesn’t think that is a good punishment, but becomes quiet. Cutler is angry with his father.

That night, Lennon’s mouse gets away and ends up going into the dollhouse. The mouse climbs to Duncan’s room and goes underneath the bed. In her room a giant mouse appears and goes under her bed. Cutler comes in and sees the big red eyes. He falls back, trying to get away from it, knocking the dollhouse back. Lennon appears in the room and finds that his mouse has been crushed to death. He is angry and storms out, claiming they did it on purpose. Back in his room, he comes face to face with his dead father. Lennon is happy to see him, but his father is a rotting corpse.

Things get progressively worse for this family. Grossman has horrible nightmares like he did as a child before his house burned down. Andreeff has more and more lustful feelings for Cutler. Will she be able to contain herself? Cutler and Kelly have a run in with a large wasp and the fireplace, will they survive their ordeal? Lennon continues to be visited by his father, who decays more and more. Lennon’s father wants him to help kill Grossman so he and his mother can be together again. Will help or realize what he is doing? Kasdof tells Duncan there is something wrong with dollhouse and Ross will try to help her find out what it is. Kassdof tells her to keep an eye on the dollhouse and tell her what she notices about it that is wrong. Will they be able to stop the demons that live within the dollhouse before it is too late?

I have to say that outside of the wasp, rat and the dead father, this one doesn’t have a lot going on for it. I do like the concept of a dollhouse being possessed and reflecting itself on an actual house. Other than that though, there is not a lot good to say about this one.

For what I said good about this one, I have to say that first off, this film ruins itself by following the Amityville line. I know that it was a direct to video sequel that is just capitalizing on the name. I believe this would have gone farther if it would have just been its own movie and not trying to capitalize on the lore of the series. A major issue I have is that it creates its own back-story and history, completely disregarding the previous films. I also don’t understand how this dollhouse of a house in Amityville, New York ends up in California, which doesn’t make sense. The acting is not very good and there really aren’t much scary things that happen. The story is pretty basic and really doesn’t build any tension what so ever. The demons in the end looked fake as well.

I would avoid this film unless you are set on watching all of the Amityville films. This film really only has a good concept of demons possessing a dollhouse and once they are given a chance, begin to take over. I do like what the dollhouse does reflect what it does to the house. I also think the best parts are the wasp, rat and the dead father scenes, but they aren’t really all that scary. The acting is bland and the story is weak. There is no tension to really speak of and this film doesn’t do anything all that well. I would avoid this one unless you are a fan of bad horror films. There are a lot better demon possession/haunted house films out there that are more worthy of your time.


My Rating: 3 out of 10