Lionsgate // 1993 // 92 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 16th, 2005
Terror has a reflection all its own.
This may not take place anywhere near the infamous house of the original Amityville Horror, but that doesn't mean there still can't be some supernatural mayhem to be had, right?
Many years after the tragic events that led to the brutal slayings of a family in upstate New York, Keyes Terry (Ross Partridge), a budding photographer, is suddenly thrust into a world of malevolence that may be related to the Amityville horror.
It all begins when he spots a homeless man near his apartment and is compelled to take his picture; there is a connection between him and the man, but Keyes is unsure of what it is. After laying a few bucks on him, the guy gives him an antique mirror as a token of gratitude. Keyes accepts and takes it back to his apartment building, a complex inhabited by unemployed artists.
But as soon as that mirror arrives things go haywire. Anytime an unsuspecting person looks into the mirror, he or she is immediately bombarded by special effects and horrific visions of their faces covered in tuna casserole. Then they kill themselves in an incredibly awkward fashion.
This is all crappy timing for Keyes and his fellow artists, as they prepare for a major show. Add to that the ever-inquiring Detective Clark (Terry O'Quinn, Lost), and you have a recipe for a grand mystery! Actually, no you don't. This movie is stupid.
What's more terrifying than a demon-possessed mirror? Actually, a lot of things. Here, I'll name a few:
* A giant dog with foam coming out of his mouth.
* Old Chinese food.
* A Betamax player with a frayed power cord.
* Ten year-olds with runny noses.
* Head lice.
* Touching old gum underneath a desk.
* Stepping on a crab in the ocean.
* Street mimes.
* The bird flu.
* Ice Cream Cones cereal.
But we're stuck with an evil mirror, so we're just going to have to make the best of it. Amityville: A New Generation has no reason to exist. It has very little to do with the original, featuring only intermingling flashbacks of the murders; and no one ever sets foot in the actual house. It appears this is just a cheap way to cash in on name recognition. Which would be fine I suppose, if this movie had any of its own legs to stand on. It doesn't. It's stupid.
The plot is an incoherent mish-mash of demon possession and family secrets, culminating in a nonsensical ending involving a Super Soaker. You see, apparently the evil of Amityville is transferable between reflective objects. What the mirror does is never really elucidated. It can force people to hang themselves, or a slice up their faces, or even resurrect the dead as crater-faced zombie-things. Also evil guys can live it in if they want to.
One thing this cursed mirror can most definitely do is belch forward crap special effects. I know this movie is 12 years old and was originally a straight-to-video release but the quality of the effects work is horrible. For instance, if someone gazes into the mirror, they will inevitably see their faces distort and turn "demonic." This is accomplished by a laughable overlay effect that looks like someone threw a transparency over a projector and shined it on the mirror.
This is a horror movie and there are some kills, but, save for a well-done shotgun wound to the face, there's nothing of note. That self-stabbing scene was actually one of the dopiest methods of dispatch I've seen in a while.
Two-word capsule review: skip it.
The typical 2.0 stereo, grainy full-frame, extras-free presentation accompanies the release, which is no surprise.
Wow, a sub-par direct-to-video entry to a franchise that's been beaten to death. Who would've thunk it?
Guilty. Go reflect on what you've done.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Rated R