Back in the early 80’s there were a number of 3-D films made, most of which were rather gimmicky. Those done in the horror genre included Amityville 3-
D, Friday the 13th Part III, and Jaws 3-D.
A3-D starts out strong with a seance that is debunked by a paranormal investigating team. The scene works well and sets the stage for all that is to come. As scene one draws to a close, we hear the sound of a fly and then the creepy music kicks in! The next shot is of the infamous Amityville house that one of the investigators, John Baxter, decides to purchase. Boys and girls, we have a horror film!
The cast is packed with a solid cast of character actors. Tony Roberts [Serpico, Law & Order] plays John Baxter and the always excellent Tess Harper [No Country For Old Men, Tender Mercies] plays his wife. The cast also includes Lori Loughlin [Full House], Meg Ryan [Sleepless in Seattle, When harry Met Sally] and Robert Joy [CSI NY, Land of the Dead] who I’ve always thought is an immensely underrated actor. [You’ll know him when you see him. He’s been in everything!]
While the copy of A3-D I saw was in 2-D, it’s easy to see where they applied the effects. Most of it is cheesy such as opening titles jumping from the screen, a swarm of flies and a hand reaching out. Ho-hum. It never takes advantage of the medium like modern 3-D films such as Avatar.
Overall, I don’t see why IMDB rates it a 3.9. It’s a much better movie than that. While the 3-D work is silly, the basic storyline is solid [except for quite a few really bad special effects] and the acting is good as well. I also enjoyed the symphonic soundtrack that was done by Howard Blake [Flash Gordon, RoboCop, The Hunger]. It beats the usual synth-driven film scores which were so prevalent in the 80’s.
So, don’t count this one out. A3-D is much better than you might assume it would be.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.