The 10th movie in this long running series has the simple task of bettering the awful movie that came before it, The Amityville Haunting.
In similar fashion to many of the previous movies The Amityville Asylum has very little connections to any of the previous films & focuses more on the true story of what occurred at 112 Ocean Avenue, the Ronald DeFeo murders.
The star of the movie is Lisa Templeton, a young woman in need of a job. She applies for a cleaning role at High Hopes Hospital, a mental institution in the town of Amityville.
After a less then stellar interview with the head of the facility (sneezing snot over his hand) she is shocked when she is offered the job. Delighted, she accepts readily & is given a tour of the building on her first day.
The facility holds all manner of patients from the catatonic, manic depressives to the criminally insane. The latter ward houses some very dangerous individuals including Sadie who knows more about Lisa then she should & a mysterious ‘John Doe’. This part of the movie really intrigued me, sending my imagination into overdrive. I saw shades of The Exorcist 3 with this John Doe being an aging Ronald DeFeo or something equally as fascinating.
Unfortunately this amounts to nothing which can also be said about the movie as a whole. All the mystery & intrigue built early on is wasted in the final third with a substandard plot development regarding witchcraft & a dark lord.
Several times the movie threatens to have an exciting development (such as when it is suggested Lisa might actually have been an inmate at the institution) but it constantly drops the ball.
The movie is an improvement over the last in the series & it can’t be faulted for trying something different but it has far too many lulls & not enough scares. That being said though it does have one or two that slightly chill but the poor supporting cast end up ruining those moments.
I am glad to see more emphasis put on the true events that occurred in 112 Ocean Avenue (The DeFeo murders) but a subplot regarding native American Indians & curses makes a mockery of a story that is scary without needing any extra details.
This is one of the few films in the series to take it self a bit more seriously & it shows with a dark finish that leaves things open for expansion. Something that wouldn’t actually happen with the next film anyway.
The Amityville Asylum