The Amityville franchise may be one of the most disappointing and, strangely enough overrated horror franchises in existence. Sans the original 1979 entry The Amityville Horror, virtually every sequel (or remake) has felt like little more than a half assed effort tossed together utilizing shoe-string funds while ignoring anything that could be confused as a semblance of passion. The films are absolutely dreadful, and the latest to hit the market, the much discussed found footage effort may just be the worst of the lot.
This film is so miserable it’s actually challenging to pinpoint my springboard. I mean really, when virtually everything about a picture is nauseating, where the hell do you begin? I suppose the positives may be the finest point, as I can cover the pros with ease. In fact, there’s honestly only one positive thing I can say about this picture: the Amityville house is the perfect type of setting for a found footage feature, and even through all the shit that clutters this film, it’s easy to see that a competent cast and crew could potentially revive a horribly subpar franchise. Unfortunately, those involved in this piece lack the talent to make that happen.
The acting is atrocious, and when you’re attempting to sell the idea that the footage is legit, that’s just a massive pitfall, and you may as well consider your film buried deep, very early as you can’t bounce back from that. And believe me, the acting is truly loathsome. I was so repulsed by the film I won’t even invest the time in referencing performers’ names, as I’m not even certain I can rightfully call them performers. The father figure is embarrassing; this guy is wooden, unlikeable, and utilizes virtually zero logic. To make things worse, he knows the history of the house, which completely contradicts the oblivious nature bestowed upon his character. Another terrible performer is the son. I’m not sure who the kid is, or how much experience he’s got; for all I know he’s got a high ceiling and he’ll improve greatly with time. In this specific picture however, he misses all the proper emotional cues and well, at this point, is just a generally disappointing actor. The rest of the onscreen crew fail to fare much better.
The effects are shoddy and insanely uninspired. Don’t expect a single monumental shot, or memorable sequence, as you won’t find it here. You’ll find a dull pace laced with a whole lot of doors opening and deaths occurring off screen. It’s all so soulless that it’s virtually impossible to dedicate your attention to the picture. If you’ve got a shitty script, shitty performers and a shitty locale (I don’t want to get started on the house itself, I’d launch into a ten page tirade), you’ve got to give the audience something. But no, you won’t find that something in the special effects, and you won’t find that something in any other element of the picture.
Honestly, this one ranks amongst the worst horror offerings I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to liken this complete failure to any other film, but I can certainly say this: imagine the most revolting Sci-Fi channel flick you’ve ever seen, then contemplate a film ten times inferior and you’ve got a slight idea of just how bad this movie truly is.
I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone. Not the diehard found footage fan, not the dedicated Amityville followers, no one, absolutely no one. Well, I retract that statement, this may be the perfect movie to show aspiring filmmakers, in order to outline a blueprint of everything wrong with a film that never should have been afforded distribution.
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