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Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

Review by CJ

Director:
Franck Khalfoun

Starring:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Mckenna Grace, Cameron Monaghan

Other notable appearances:
Jennifer Morrison, Kurtwood Smith

Running time:
85 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Rings, The Woman in Black, House at the End of the Street

 

Belle’s (Thorne) mother moves her to a new home to be closer to family and medical care for Belle’s twin brother James (Monaghan). When Belle finds out that the house was so cheap because of the infamous murders that took place, she must take up arms against the darkness that threatens everyone she holds dear.

There are a few things I wished I had noticed before watching Amityville: The Awakening. First and foremost is the PG13 rating, which seldom is indicative of a truly great horror film. The second is that when it was released after lengthy delays, it was released free of charge on Google Play. Also, not a super reassuring sign.

Those things aside, I found Amityville: The Awakening to be below average in terms of scares, thrills, decent plot, compelling characters or dialogue. All around, it was a dud. 

Let’s start with the horror aspect. Whether you are a fan of the original film (or its remake) or not, there’s no denying that it is a horror classic. Amityville: The Awakening is barely a horror story. The plot is predictable and there are no scares worth the film on which they are printed.

The characters are all painfully two dimensional with their corny dialogue and forced backstories only exacerbating the issues. 

Amityville: The Awakening tries to be meta by including references to the previous movies about the Amityville house, but they mostly just fall flat. 

I can’t in good conscience recommend a film that has so little to add to the Amityville story or to the horror genre as a whole. If you want a story involving the Amityville house (albeit peripherally) that has genuine horror, check out The Conjuring 2.

Rating:

“God gave up on us, sweetheart, so I gave up on God.”

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