Franchise Review: Amityville – It’s About Time

An architect brings home a mysterious old clock, not knowing that it’s haunted by the demonic presence of the Amityville house. Soon, the clock begins to alter time and space and starts to possess members of the household.

After the awful run of sequels I seriously wasn’t expecting much from this next addition to the franchise.

Initially when I read the synopsis for this film I honestly thought we were going to have another awful “Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes” story line all over again, but luckily for me I was wrong and we were actually given something decent to watch. I know, I was surprised as well.

Director Tony Randel (who directed “Hellbound: Hellraiser II”) takes over the reigns here and you can see his touch on this release as it delves into a-lot of weird situations and has a quirky atmosphere to it, something that has been missing from the series.

Despite not being set in the Amityville house itself we are actually treated to a peculiar film (and I mean that in a good way) and the storytelling is finally getting better and nearing the quality we had at the start of the series, not quite there but still better than what we’ve had.

The cast is admittedly nothing special but for a b-movie release they do enough to keep your attention and help keep the movie watchable, something that as I said has seriously been lacking. It finally brings back the entertainment factor to the series, I know I was entertained.

“Amityville: It’s About Time” is admittedly a kooky film but as I said it brought the entertainment factor back, it’s definitely better than some of the recent entries.

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

In its original release, the movie was officially titled “Amityville 1992: It’s About Time”. When it was released on DVD in 2005, it had a new artwork, and the “1992” was dropped from the title. During the opening titles you can see a black box over the spot where “1992” should appear in the title.

Shot in 25 days.

The crew shot the scene with an overflowing bathtub for real, in an actual house’s second-story bathroom. This proved to be ill-advised when, just after the shot was filmed, the soaked floor caved in and the tub fell all the way through down to the first floor.

Just like the fourth film of the series, Amityville Horror: The Evil Escapes (1989), this film is also loosely based on the series of short stories titled “Amityville: The Evil Escapes” by John G. Jones.

Director Tony Randel and production designer Kim Hix designed the interior of the main house to be an intentionally unpleasant, off-putting, nightmarish caricature of a suburban home.

When producer and co-screenwriter Christopher DeFaria read the short story collection ‘Amityville: The Evil Escapes’ by John G. Jones in preparation for writing the script, he became confused by what he felt were inconsistencies in the nature and abilities of the demonic entities between stories. He called Jones to ask for clarification. Jones simply told him “Yep, Chris, that’s the way evil is – it’s just unpredictable!”

Last Amityville Horror movie in the series based on a book.

For the film’s climax, cinematographer Christopher Taylor stuck cut-off tree branches to all of the house’s windows so that all of the light coming in from outside would cast ominous, dense, woodsy shadows.

For the climax in which his character has finally gone murderously insane, Stephen Macht decided to stuff cotton balls into his cheeks to make himself appear puffier and sicklier and distort his speech.

To director Tony Randel’s surprise, the original cut of the film received an R from the MPAA without any edits – in stark contrast to his experience on Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988).

Margarita Franco’s debut.

This film is canon to the Amityville Horror trilogy as the original house was destroyed at the end of Amityville 3-D (1983). It’s mentioned that the house was torn down at the beginning of the film.

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