Franchise Review: Amityville – The Awakening

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.

With the film being delayed and delayed again, after a LONG wait, fans finally got to se the next instalment in the franchise.

I remember hearing news about this film being made being and then over time it kind of disappeared, I actually thought for a while I’d imagined it, then news finally surfaced of a release date. The film ended up having so many false starts that it became something of a running joke.

Some people even 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. Finally after 5 years that day arrived and fans eventually got to see the finished product.

The film received mixed reviews but I have to say that I actually enjoyed it, 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.

Now some people argue that this is not part of the series, sure it’s a meta film, the film takes place in the ‘real world’ and the original ’79 film, its prequel, and the 2005 remake are all fictional. I thought it was a great twist that helped freshen up the franchise and in my opinion it worked.

“Amityville: The Awakening” is certainly not going to wow you but there is a lot worse out there, I enjoyed it for what it was and if you watch it I hope you do too.

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 film 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.

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”.

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

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.

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

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).

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

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

Cameron Monaghan appears barefoot in all but two scenes.

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