AMITYVILLE: THE EVIL ESCAPES
AMITYVILLE 4: THE EVIL ESCAPES; AMITYVILLE HORROR: THE EVIL ESCAPES
None of the numerous films with Amityville in the title, whether official works or others jumping aboard the name, are particularly good films. (Amityville II is probably the best of the bunch because of its deliberately entertaining absurdity). Out of all these, Amityville: The Evil Escapes would have to be a clear winner as the absolute worst. The sole reason for this is the absurd heavy-handedness of Sandor Sterns direction. The opening exorcism of the house, for example, is preposterously overwrought bleeding walls, slamming doors, a face appearing in a lamp, flashing lights, the gas flame on the stove erupting in a huge jet, a rocking chair flying across the room at the priest. The effect is more akin to the pop-up effects in a fairground haunted house ride than anything approaching atmosphere.
With that merely the opening act, Sandor Sterns shocks become increasingly more preposterous. We subsequently get:- a killer kitchen sink disposal; a phone that melts in priest Frederic Lehnes hand while a Satanic deep voice says stay away; Aron Eisenberg going crazy in the cellar with a possessed chainsaw; the lamps electrical cord becoming possessed and strangling the maid; a scene where a plumber crawls under the house, a beam falls across his chest trapping him then a pipe bursts open causing a severed hand to fall on his face and black ichor to ooze out and cause him to melt down, while outside his van spontaneously gets in gear and drives off. Sandor Sterns build-up is crude and obvious you can see where every single set-piece is going from the start of the scene. Each of these might in themselves be competent scares in the hands of a halfway okay director but Sterns complete lack of any style causes them to collapse into the laughable.
Sandor Stern also wrote a further haunted house film The Strange and Deadly Occurrence (tv movie, 1974), as well as the last people on Earth film Where Have All the People Gone? (tv movie, 1974) and the nuclear war thriller Red Alert (tv movie, 1977). As director and writer, he has made the possessed doll film Pin (1988), the android film Duplicates (1992) and the plague outbreak thriller Jericho Fever (1993).
The other Amityville films are: The Amityville Horror (1979), Amityville II: The Possession (1982), Amityville 3-D (1983), The Amityville Curse (1989), Amityville 1992: Its About Time (1992), Amityville: A New Generation (1993), Amityville: Dollhouse (1996), The Amityville Haunting (2011), The Amityville Asylum (2013), Amityville Death House (2015), Amityville Playhouse (2015), The Amityville Legacy (2016), Amityville: No Escape (2016), Amityville Terror (2016), Amityville: Vanishing Point (2016), Amityville Exorcism (2017) and Amityville: The Awakening (2017). The Amityville Horror (2005) was a remake of the original. There have been several documentaries Amityville 2000/The Amityville Horror: 25 Years Later (2000), The Real Amityville Horror (2005) and Amityville: The Final Testament (2010) that try to examine what happened in the house, while the parapsychological investigation into the house is also featured in The Conjuring 2 (2016).