AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘Unleash the evil inside’
Amityville: The Awakening is a 2017 American supernatural horror film produced by Dimension Films and (sigh) Blumhouse Productions and directed by Franck Khalfoun (Maniac remake) from a screenplay by Casey La Scala (The Remaining) and (deeper sigh) Daniel Farrands (The Tooth Fairy storyline, The Haunting in Connecticut producer). It was formerly known as Amityville: The Re-Awakening and The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes.

Filmed in 2014, this was originally due for release by Dimension Films on January 2, 2015. However, its release was pushed back and back. For several months, it was scheduled to be released in January 2017 but was rescheduled to June 29, 2017, and then cancelled.

The film finally debuted for free for a limited time on Google Play on October 12 and was released by Dimension Films in select theatres on October 28, 2017. Playing in ten movie theatres the film made just $742 in its opening weekend.

Teenager Belle Walker moves to 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island with her mother Joan, little sister Juliet, and brain-dead twin brother, James. The family’s impetus for moving there was to be closer to Doctor. Milton, a neurologist hoping to treat James, who suffered an accident that has left him on life support.

At school, Belle is taunted by her peers over moving into the home, which she learns was the site of mass murder by Ronald DeFeo 1974. In her bedroom on the third floor, she discovers blood stains from the murder concealed under the wallpaper. One night, Belle invites acquaintances Terrence—an enthusiast of the Amityville haunting—and Marissa, over to watch The Amityville Horror (1979) at the house…

“Clues pointing to disaster were all there, and Amityville: The Awakening is happy to meet lower expectations, offering no real scares and even less common sense for a chiller. Writer/director Franck Khalfoun tries to be a little bit clever with the effort, frosting the endeavor with self-awareness, but what he really needs are effective frights and less predictability…”

” …as mediocre as the genre gets […] There’s a notable lack of set-pieces, with very little bumps in the night for a movie set in the world’s most evil-infested home. We get the occasional dream sequence, but the film is so awkwardly edited that the movie’s oneiric moments often appear to be left open-ended, segueing confusingly into the more grounded parts of the story.” The Movie Waffler

” …I found that the two halves equaled a cohesive experience that had tidbits of mayhem added in at just the right time. Nightmares, flashbacks to the original murders, wallpaper peeling away to reveal bloodstains, and the inclusion of the mysterious Red Room as a quasi-secondary character kept Amityville: The Awakening from burning out.” Horror Society

Amityville: The Awakening is a dopey, clichéd slab of genre slop that is served as artlessly as possible to an audience that have been waiting so long for the meal that they’re long-past the point of being hungry. It might stave off starvation, but it provides no emotional or intellectual nourishment, and scarcely clears even the lowest bars of competency and entertainment value.” Ready Steady Cut

” …for every unnecessary “boo!” moment (and there are many) there are genuinely effective sequences where the filmmaker creates tension through open doors and dark shadows and dead spaces on the screen. And despite the chilly mood and dreamlike atmosphere, there’s a silly ending that does exactly what was advertised…” The Prague Reporter

“The plot, which also written by Khalfoun himself, is plagued with half-baked characters and inconsistent pacing. The movie also relies too much on cheap and random jump scares. There are little build-ups for suspense and the movie’s recut from the original R to PG-13 is so obvious with all the abrupt editing.” Casey’s Movie Mania

” …there’s a good reveal in the climax of the film that seemed potentially cool, but ultimately went nowhere. Even the premise of the film shows a lot of promise.  This is a movie that could have been a solid family horror film, which would be a perfect fit for the Amityville series.  It just doesn’t come together in enough ways.”


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