Amityville: The Awakening (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Horror
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 87 minutes

Amityville: The Awakening (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
6.7
Good: Ending is quite satisfying
Bad: Plot starts of rather slow
User Score
3.5
(2 votes)
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Rating: 3.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Usually when titles are chosen there’s a meaning behind them. The title of ‘Amityville: The Awakening’ opens up two subjects. There’s the place of the action, ‘Amityville’, which is a place known by horror fans, and ‘The Awakening’, which is defined as: ‘An act of waking from sleep, an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something, or coming into existence, awareness’. When it comes to the title, the directors have their material pretty much summed up. So the viewer shouldn’t be surprised as to what they are getting. Whether or not it will keep you awake at night is another matter entirely.

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When it comes to the plot of Amityville: The Awakening, it’s pretty standard fare. For those of you new to the wonderful world of horror, Amityville is the place best known for the freakish murder of a whole family, a wife and two kids, by a man who claims the devil made him do it. As the story got embellished over the years, things get added and this stuff makes for easy adaptation to horror. When a movie was made about a family moving into the haunted house and reliving the events anew, only several years later, it left the directors of Amityville: The Awakening, no other option than to write something mildly original instead.

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What happens in this movie is that a family moves into a house, but there’s a catch. It’s a normal family, but the only son (Cameron Monaghan) is bedridden after an accident. The mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has no qualms with nurturing her son and stays hopeful that one day he’ll wake from his comatose state and rise from the bed like a phoenix from the ashes. The son rises all right, but it’s not the son doing any of the actual inhabiting of the body. In his place is a very evil manifestation and it’s out for blood. The mother is actually quite thrilled that her son awakens after having heard from her doctor time and time again it was a lost cause, and when he starts becoming more sentient, she grows more protective of him. This creates a rift between her and her oldest daughter (Bella Thorne), who was present when the evil started invading her brother. As the movie progresses, little clues are dropped in the form of television broadcasts that are pointers to the not completely oblivious watchers, but aren’t totally in your face as someone reading out the script aloud standing in the middle of every room. It’s a cool way to make sure the viewer notices something new after every viewing.

Writing-wise, it’s not stellar, but Amityville: The Awakening has its moments that aren’t too shabby and would have made the film blander without them. There’s the moment between the brother and the eldest sister a quarter ways into the movie that uses just the right cues to give you goosebumps, and the finale is complete ‘oh, snap!’ material.

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When it comes to the plot there are some points the directors just threw in there and they don’t delve deep enough into it, so it feels like they were put in there as more of an afterthought like how it would be cool to reference the bible to make sure the viewer knows the protagonists are fighting the ‘antichrist’ or some other dark force, but telling people forty years is a very important number in the Bible comes across as complete hokum. No, Thirteen is an important number, three is an important number, seven, but no one thinks of the bible when you mention the number forty. Amityville: The Awakening does get some momentum going but it’s rather late into the movie. When it does however, it really pulls out all the stops. You’ll know when the shit’s about to go down and it’s a shame the movie only starts getting good so late.

When it comes to the casting of the characters, it’s a mess. There’s no other way around it. The actors come across as way too old for their age and the whole ‘Gothic’ vibe the eldest sister is trying to pull off comes across as completely too ‘try-hard’. This makes her into a charade and makes the audience do a 180 when her true personality shines through, or they might not bother at all, because now she comes across as shallow and vain.

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The soundplay is fine, but the jump scares were a little off, just by maybe a couple of milliseconds, but if you want to really go for it, the I’s should really be dotted and the T’s crossed. A bit of a shame because they didn’t feel out of place in this movie.

It would be great if the DVD actually had some extra content but it doesn’t, right now fans have to wonder because who’d mind at least a sneak peek behind the scenes or even cut content.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a movie to watch that will make you feel unsettled, then Amityville: The Awakening will surely fill the niche. If however you are a hardcore horror fan and have seen the messiest and survived the most grueling movies then this movie won’t really scratch your itch.

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Rating: 3.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Amityville: The Awakening (DVD) - Movie Review, 3.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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