Wednesday, December 11, 2013


John Murlowski, 1993
Starring: Ross Partridge, Julia Nickson-Soul, Lala Sloatman

This seventh Amityville Horror film was direct to video and continues the theme introduced in Amityville 4 and 6, where an item from the original Amityville Horror house becomes possessed and finds its way to new owners. In this case, photographer Keyes Terry finds a strange mirror after he snaps shots of a homeless man. He takes it home, but his girlfriend hates it, so he gives it to his neighbor, a painter named Suki. After some misadventures with the mirror, Suki begins painting demons and soon kills herself at the mirror’s prompting. Keyes comes to realize that the mirror is possessed by the spirit of his father, who killed his family years ago in the house in Amityville, NY. Can he resist the rising urge to kill within himself being stirred up by the mirror?

There aren't many scares and the gore of A New Generation is sparse, but there’s certainly more sex and nudity than the earlier films with -- count them -- two topless scenes. Unfortunately this has a lot in common with Amityville Curse. It’s fundamentally a boring film, one that has precious little to do with the Amityville series, and it wastes the opportunities presented by a cast of all adults. Unlike the other films in the series, both Curse and A New Generation focus on groups of adult friends rather than families. Granted the characters here are mostly dull, unlikable artists who spend most of the running time being annoying and self-important. 

The first part of the film is dreadfully slow, though things pick up a bit when Inspector Clark arrives. Played by Terry O’Quinn (The Stepfather), Clark is one of the most likable and best written characters. Keyes was played by forgettable B-actor Ross Partridge (Lost World: Jurassic Park). Model and actress Lala Sloatman (Pump Up the Volume) co-stars as his girlfriend, though Sloatman is perhaps most well-known for being the niece of Frank Zappa and ex-girlfriend of Corey Haim. 

Julia Nickson-Soul (Rambo: First Blood Part II) is decent as Suki, a likable if poorly written character who is one of the few victims of the mirror. She does paint some interesting demonic art. While I wish they could have taken this further, I can only imagine the bad effects that would follow. There are also a number of appearances from genre actors, such as Richard Roundtree (Shaft), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), Tom Wright (Creepshow 2), Lin Shaye (A Nightmare on Elm Street), and Robert Rusler (Nightmare on Elm Street 2).

There are a few interesting scenes in the film, such as when Keyes begins to have nightmares about a house where a family is murdered during Thanksgiving dinner. The flashbacks of the murder are surprisingly well done, even though this seems to be a different murder than the one that took place in Amityville II: The Possession that the events of The Amityville Horror followed. To clarify a little, the real life murders involved the Defeo family. In Amityville II: The Possession, they are renamed the Montellis and here the family is called Bonner. As with Amityville Curse, A New Generation would probably have been a more effective film if it wasn't shoehorned into the Amityville series, but so be it. 

I can’t recommend A New Generation even though it is exceedingly silly. The mirror is just stupid, far worse than the lamp or the clock, and whenever anyone looks into it, it shows the Amityville house or a cheesy, cartoonish demon face. And to make matters worse, almost no one dies. What do you take me for, New Generation? If you really want to watch it, download it or rent the DVD

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