Amityville Dollhouse is a 1996 American supernatural horror film directed by Steve White and starring Robin Thomas, Allen Cutler, Lenore Kasdorf, and Lisa Robin Kelly. The film follows a family who find themselves haunted after discovering a dollhouse replica of 112 Ocean Avenue—the site of the Amityville hauntings—on their property. It is the eighth film in the Amityville Horror film series and was released directly to video. This was the last film in the series released before it was rebooted nine years later.
|Directed by||Steve White|
|Written by||Joshua Michael Stern|
|Produced by||David Newlon|
Zane W. Levitt
Lisa Robin Kelly
|Cinematography||Thomas L. Callaway|
|Edited by||Kert Vandermeulen|
|Music by||Ray Colcord|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
Newlyweds Bill and Claire Martin move their new family into a new house constructed by Bill himself. Shortly after moving in Bill finds a doll house (modeled after 112 Ocean Avenue) in the shed. He brings it in the house and puts it in the garage. Later that night, Bill notices the fireplace in the house turns on by itself, heating the entire home. He has a hallucination of his daughter Jessica burning to death in the fireplace. The following morning, Claire finds the dollhouse in the garage and suggests giving it to Jessica for her birthday. At her birthday party, Jessica's aunt Marla and uncle Tobias arrive. Jessica is elated over the dollhouse and finds a chest of miniature dolls inside it: her aunt and uncle, however, seem inexplicably nervous regarding the toys.
In the ensuing days, numerous strange incidents occur: Jimmy, Claire's eldest son, loses his pet mouse, which finds its way into the dollhouse; simultaneously, Jessica is confronted by an enormous white mouse hiding under her bed. Claire also begins to have unexpected sexual urges toward Todd, Bill's eldest son, and fantasizes about him while having sex with Bill. Bill is also plagued by nightmares about voodoo dolls, demons, and his family being murdered. In conversation with Marla, Bill reveals he suffered from similar dreams as a child, including a premonitory dream of his parents dying in a fire, which came true. Jimmy also experiences supernatural visitations from his deceased father, who appears to him as a decaying zombie, urging him to murder Bill.
One afternoon, Todd brings his girlfriend Dana to the home. While in an exterior shed on the property, the two find newspaper clippings about the foundation on which Bill built their new home: they surmise that the new house was built around the fireplace from the original home. The two go in the house and begin to have sex, but are attacked by a giant fly. The following evening, Bill and Claire go out for dinner, leaving Todd to babysit his younger siblings, Jimmy and Jessica. Todd invites Dana over and sends the children to bed. While Todd makes cocktails in the kitchen, Dana's hair inexplicably catches fire, leaving her with disfiguring burns. Todd blames his father for the accident, believing it was caused by a faulty coil in the fireplace's gas line.
Meanwhile, Marla and Tobias, both of whom apparently practice magic, have taken one of the dolls from Jessica's dollhouse. They perform a ritual on the doll and watch it come to life. Objects begin to fly around their home and Tobias stabs the doll with a knife, after which a large fly escapes. Later, Claire finds an unexplained bruise on Jimmy's face and believes Bill hit him. She shuts him out of the house, only to be confronted by the zombie of her deceased husband, who ties both her and Jimmy up and forces them to sit in front of the fireplace. Bill attempts to enter the house through the garage, but is knocked unconscious by carbon monoxide fumes from his car, which begins running by itself. Tobias arrives at the home and is able to save Bill. The two enter the home: with him, Tobias has the voodoo doll he had taken from the dollhouse.
Tobias and Bill fight with the zombie, and Jimmy throws the voodoo doll into the fireplace, causing the zombie to disappear. Todd is then visited by an apparition of Dana, who is in the hospital: she attempts to kill him, but Claire intercedes. The family attempts to flee the house, but cannot find Jessica. Scrawled on a piece of paper, they find a list of observations Jessica has made about the dollhouse, one of which reads: "My hand disappears in the fireplace." Bill realizes the fireplace is a portal to somewhere else. Bill and Tobias enter the fireplace and realize they have in fact entered the dollhouse. They find Jessica on the floor, surrounded by bloodied remnants of the voodoo dolls. Tobias casts a protective spell, allowing Bill and Jessica to flee: Tobias, however, is dragged away by the demons that have escaped from the dolls. Bill destroys the dollhouse by tossing it into the fireplace. As they flee in their car, the house explodes behind them.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||June 1, 1999|
|6.||"More Dead Dad"||3:18|
|8.||"I Had a Dream"||1:09|
|11.||"You Did This"||0:45|
|17.||"Dig We Must"||2:21|
|20.||"Along Came a Spider"||0:40|
The film was featured in the 2010 book 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See, in which reviewer Steve Miller wrote: "Don't bother asking why someone built a dollhouse replica of a place on Long Island. And don't ask how it ended up in a shack in the desert, or how it became filled with evil—the writer and director barely gave any thought to the subject. The film is rendered even less scary by the fact that no one seems particularly distressed by the weird developments." In 2015, TV Guide rated it two out of five stars, writing: "The awkwardly titled eighth film (!) in the Amityville series has its moments but adds little to the franchise or the horror genre in general."
- "Amityville Dollhouse". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Derry, Charles (2009). Dark Dreams 2.0: A Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film from the 1950s to the 21st Century. McFarland. p. 404. ISBN 978-0-78-645695-6.
- Young, R.G., ed. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film: Ali Baba to Zombies. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-557-83269-6.
- Phares, Heather. "Amityville Dollhouse [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". AllMusic. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- "Amityville Dollhouse (1997)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
- Kane, Joe (2000). The Phantom of the Movies' Videoscope: The Ultimate Guide to the Latest, Greatest, and Weirdest Genre Videos. Three Rivers Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-812-93149-5.
- "Amityville Dollhouse". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
- Miller, Steve (October 18, 2010). 150 Movies You Should Die Before You See. Simon and Schuster. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-440-50902-5.
- "Amityville Dollhouse". TV Guide. Retrieved September 13, 2017.