Eschewing any connection with previous installments of the creatively strip-mined Amityville saga, this film is actually derived from one of a series of novels by John G. Jones and focuses on a mantle clock from the original Long Island horror-house which serves as a vessel of supernatural evil. A real estate developer (Stephen Macht) purchases the clock in Long Island and brings it home to California, where it promptly anchors itself to the wall and begins to exert a nightmarish influence on the house and its inhabitants. As creepy phenomena and violent behavior run rampant through Macht's family, the occultist neighbor (Nita Talbot) begins to take notice -- but is killed in a freak accident shortly after discovering the secret of the clock's Satanic history. In a twist that echoes the original Amityville Horror, Macht succumbs to the clock's evil influence and turns on his family, just as his scale-model of a planned development is transformed into a block of very familiar-looking houses. Tony Randel's direction is remarkably restrained, allowing the horror to unfold gradually until the final act, where he pulls out all the stops in a style reminiscent of his earlier Hellbound: Hellraiser II. The script makes a valiant attempt to breathe new life into a long-dead franchise, but many interesting subplots fail to develop beyond their sketchy origins. The creepy inner workings of the clock are reminiscent of the ancient machinery of The Church or the vampire-bug-machine of Guillermo del Toro's Cronos, but little is done to explain their origins.
by Cavett Binion synopsis