Friday, 9 August 2019

Horror Review: Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

A desperate single mother moves with her three children into the notorious, supposedly haunted, real-life Amityville house to try and use its dark powers to cure her comatose son. Things go horribly wrong.


Ever since I first saw "The Amityville Horror" film I've had something of an obsession with the franchise.


First of all I have to talk a bit about the back story of this film. I remember first hearing about it being made and then it kind of disappeared, at one point I actually thought that I had maybe dreamed about it or maybe I'd even imagined the whole thing. Then finally news came out about an actual release date.

Unfortunately that day came and went with no release, this film had so many false starts that it became a running joke. Some started to wonder if it would ever get released at all, like it would be stuck in some form of production purgatory. We knew there was a completed movie, we just didn't know if we'd ever see it.


After five years of waiting it miraculously got released to a very underwhelming response, a response which I understood. When you wait so long for something the hype around it can build and build only to leave you disappointed. It was inevitable really, but would it have been the same response if we hadn't waited five years?

I recently re-watched it and whilst it's certainly not a great film it isn't as bad as I remembered it to be, though my biggest problem with it is that we're to believe our main character has never heard of the "Amityvile Horror". I know we have to suspend disbelief with films but that was just a stretch too far for me.


"Amityville: The Awakening" is not going to wow you but there is worse out there, I'd only recommend it as something to watch if you can't think of anything else to pass the time.

 
If you want to see the "Amityville: The Awakening" trailer then just click on the video below:

 
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
 
The movie had several failed theatrical release dates including January 27, 2012; January 3, 2014; January 2, 2015; April 15, 2016; April 1, 2016; January 6, 2017 and June 30, 2017. The film was finally given a limited theatrical release on October 28, 2017 before the eventual Blu-ray and DVD release on November 14.

The original plan for this reboot was "Amityville: The Lost Tapes." Written by Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands and utilizing the found footage angle, the plot involved "an ambitious female television news intern, on the verge of breaking the most famous haunted house case in the world, who leads a team of journalists, clergymen and paranormal researchers into an investigation of the bizarre events that will come to be known as The Amityville Horror, only to unwittingly open a door to the unreal that she may never be able to close." After a couple of delays, this concept was eventually scrapped

13 minutes of footage was edited out of the original 100 minute R rated cut to achieve a PG-13 rating for the 87 minute theatrical cut.

Is not a true sequel to the Amityville films but is instead a meta film, where this film takes place in the "real world" and the original 1979 film, its prequel, and the 2005 remake are all fictional.

The film's tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign features posters which are made up to resemble the social media site, Instagram, with the main character depicted using the site and posting a photo of the infamous Amityville house with the caption: "Moving in today #NewBeginnings".

This movie was originally rated R but after it was re-edited and sent back to the MPAA, they gave it a PG-13.

With a release date of 2017, this was the first theatrically released Amityville film since The Amityville Horror (2005) remake 12 years prior.

Since the movie took 5 years to complete Cameron Monaghan's body tone is different in each scene.

The film was originally titled Amityville: The Reawakening before being renamed Amityville: The Awakening.

The first theatrically released Amityville film to be a completely original story as The Amityville Horror (1979) and its remake were based on a book chronicling the story of the Lutz family while Amityville II: The Possession (1982) was based on a book as well that recounts the story of the DeFeo family (renamed Montelli for the film) while Amityville 3-D (1983) recounts the investigation by paranormal researcher Stephen Kaplan (renamed John Baxter for the film).

Had this film not been delayed several times, it would have been the feature film debut of Mckenna Grace.

Mckenna Grace and Jennifer Morrison have worked together before but not directly. Jennifer Morrison played Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time (2011), while McKenna Grace played one of the younger versions of Emma Swan.

Although their characters are supposed to be fraternal twins, Bella Thorne and Cameron Monaghan are actually 4 years apart.

Bella Thorne and Cameron Monaghan have both worked with Adam Sandler. Thorne played his daughter in Blended (2014) and Monaghan in Click (2006).

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurtwood Smith have both worked with Paul Verhoeven before. Kurtwood Smith on RoboCop (1987) and Jennifer Jason Leigh on Flesh+Blood (1985).

Cameron Monaghan appears barefoot in all but two scenes.

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