Amityville: The Awakening Movie Review

Updated: 12 May, 2019 13:20 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

This film may seem amongst the better of the Amityville lot but it's still nowhere close to being best in the horror genre.

Amityville: The Awakening
A; Horror/Thriller
Director: Franck Khalfoun

Cast: Jennifer Leigh, Bella Thorne, Thomas Mann, Cameron Monaghan, Kurtwood Smith, Jennifer Morrison, Taylor Spreitler, Mckenna Grace

The found footage construct of the horror genre is played out all over again in writer-Director Frank Khalfoun's 'The Awakening' allowing for the age-old case to be 'reopened' for further commercial exploitation. After 18 Amityville films having done their bit to create the legend following the 1974 murders, I guess it was time for another one to make some dent on the collective unconscience. Technically, this one is a reboot of 1979's "The Amityville Horror" and it basically discounts what came before as bad, insufferable horror fiction.

'Amityville: The Awakening'
'Amityville: The Awakening'

The footage found is from 1976 when the original Amityville film happened - and an ambitious television news intern shepherds a team of clergymen, paranormal researchers and journalists to the horror house that time had since forgotten. Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is obsessed with her son James (Cameron Monaghan), who has long been in a coma from which he's unlikely to awaken while her daughters, Belle (Bella Thorne) and Juliet (McKenna Grace), have to fend for themselves after moving into the infamous Amityville house. I guess the new inhabitants never saw any horror film or they wouldn't have condescended to reside in this infamous one.

Khalfoun's tricks are the same ones we've been party to over the years. Shadow play, sounds, creaking noises, sudden banging of doors/windows - but he presents it in a style that makes it seem better. The oedipal references in the story are made without any development so it's difficult to connect the dots here. The windows don't look demonic and the camerawork is patchy not exactly 'haunting' quality. The writer-director plays with an all-women lead cast for a new beginning but there's not enough depth or dimension here to give it purchase. The new ideas don't get the kind of exposure they deserve and even though Khalfoun may have intended differently when he started out, eventually the film peters out to a tame almost pointless climax. This film may seem amongst the better of the Amityville lot but it's still nowhere close to being best in the horror genre.

Watch 'Amityville: The Awakening' Trailer

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First Published: 01 December, 2017 08:39 IST

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