By: Jim K.
and I still own those tapes which is so cool. Useless, but cool. It's a fun film with cheesy moments. The woman when she examines the photos in the darkroom and then the burning car scenes used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. The ending, which at the time seemed like a good idea, was ridiculous and really affects every single sequel to follow (we'll get there). 7/10.
sends it as a present to her sister and it proceeds to wreak havoc. Another nostalgia one for me. Saw it when it premiered back in the day. It's a bad movie 100%, but I had fun with this watch. some of the scenes are just hilarious - the kid with the chainsaw that takes out the basement; the young kid who has an encounter with the garbage disposal; the plumber dude who meets up with something in the drain and so on. I was having a good time. I guess they went this route because of the success of Friday the 13th, the Series at that time, which used cursed objects as the series' premise. In that case, it worked well and that was a good TV series Problem here is that the lamp just isn't scary. If this was direct-to-video and had more gore, they might have made it work. Ok for what it is. 4.5/10.
the neighbourhood of the infamous house and the house was subsequently torn down - love the continuity change there. Anyway, the dude returns with a clock from the house and then things take a turn for the worst. The one had poor acting, especially Leonard the boyfriend, who's just over-the-top. The storyline gets really silly and the ending just left me saying: "what?!". After "Curse" tried to go to a different direction, they returned to the cursed objects from the house plotline and it just doesn't work. 3.5/10.
just end up being just modern version copycats. The other big question is do films need to be remade? In this case I believe no and, as I said earlier, felt it was unnecessary and that's why I probably didn't love it. 7/10.
The Amityville Haunting (2011) - Another direct-to-video film and found footage has found its way into this series. Yet another couple move into the infamous house which has apparently changed appearances again. Their young son has a video camera on hand to capture everything of course, Right away, people are mysteriously dropping dead left and right and it doesn't seem to faze this family. Other strange things start happening that the son captures on his camera and yet no one believes him. Sigh. What can I say other than this is a pretty suck-ass film. The acting is so terrible and especially the father who's just an utter dick and waaaaaay over the top, especially with his military shit. if my son recorded some weird happenings, I would definitely view the video to see why he's so insistent. Of course, these idiots don't even bother and quickly dismiss him. There's so many things in this film which boggle my mind and many times I found myself saying: "come on":. Yes, it's one of those films. Btw, the film's supposed to be set in 2008 and yet they're using an iPhone 4 which wasn't released until 2010. In the open credits they even screwed up the Lutz's time in the house - 28 days, not two years - anyone on the production could've Googled that. Come on guys. This ranks up there as one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I thought nothing could compare to some of the Witchcraft films I saw last year. But, of course, I was wrong and the best part is that there are more to come. Ugh. 0.75/10,
it and got fed up with the place and sold the house and land to the owner of the asylum who's some creepy foreign guy. She then starts experiencing strange sightings and events, which coworkers dismiss as nervousness for the new job and the place itself. It
then goes down hill from there. This film is really low budget - like school project low budget. The acting is just terrible. The main girl is so stiff and couldn't deliver a smooth line to save her life. Her friend was just brutal. When you can't even pronounce the name of the village you've grown up in, that's a problem. Ameeteeville. Are you f'in kidding me? No one on the set couldn't say to her: "hey, you might want to say it this way" ...umm the correct flippin way. The doctor was ok in his role, but the story just
takes an outlandish turn. I did like the fact that it went dark and had a downer of an ending, but the movie was long ruined by that point. It's silly, pointless, drags on and the continuity change with the house is laughable and hard to keep track of. 2/10.
that the house, which is haunted, starts possessing the occupants and it leads them to kill each other off in order to satisfy a witch's thirst for revenge on the descendants who took her out centuries before. What can I say? Bad acting, bad CG, bad makeup effects and to top it off, they have Eric Roberts, or rather his voice, make an appearance. The story's a mess with too many plot holes. And to think I paid for the DVD. Why? Because of the name Amityville in the title. Lol. 1/10.
As I continue to review this series, It's always interesting to do research on some of the background information. The question of sequels and the name itself keeps coming up, so I decided to look into it and find out what's exactly up with the whole naming thing.
The Lutz's and the author of the book, Jay Anson, co-own the rights to the name "The Amityville Horror". This is why we don't have any more films with that exact title. They granted the naming rights to Professional Films, Inc. for the purposes of making the first film. When Orion Pictures and producer Dino De Laurentiis made Amityville II: The Possession and Amityville 3D, the Lutz's and Anson took them to court. Ultimately, the Lutz's and Anson lost the case, mainly because Orion and De Laurentiis didn't use "The Amityville Horror II and III" as titles which would've been a copyright infringement and also even in their promotional material for the second film stated clearly that "this is not a sequel to The Amityville Horror". The secondary name "Amityville" was not exclusive to the Lutz's and Anson and thus not protected and this is why all these "sequel" films have the title "Amityville" in them. The only protection that remains is the name "The Amityville Horror", references to the Lutz's, so we could never have their names appear in any subsequent films, stating that any future Amityville films are a direct sequel to the first film and the numerical sequel - i.e. The Amityville Horror II, III, etc.
As a matter of fact, the court decision stated that anyone, including Orion and De Laurentiis, could make more "horror pictures" about fictional events set in the Amityville house or about real events set in the Amityville house before the Lutz's moved in, but they could not be identified or promoted as sequels to the first picture. So, technically, all of the films after the first one are not sequels - they are just relatives. Lol.
Basically, according to copyright laws, film companies own the rights to their films and franchises, but not their titles or names (there are a few exceptions).
Because of this decision from the courts, we now have every Tom, Dick and Harry whipping out a camera and rolling out Amityville films like crazy. So the hope of also having proper numerical titles will never happen or having a direct sequel to the first film. It would've been cool to have a film sequel looking into what happened to the Lutz's after they left the house a la Poltergeist II and III - maybe under the Montelli family name.
So, after getting a gut punch finding out that there isn't an official Amityville franchise,
I thought to myself: "should I bother continue reviewing the films or quit? ....naaaaah - of course I'm going to continue. I'm already neck deep in it.
kiddies. You have been forewarned - do not watch this garbage. This one needs to be buried and never seen or heard from again. If I could give a negative rating, I absolutely would. Having said all this, I loved it. 0/10.
on his killing spree and there's a weird toy monkey there (the creepy one with the cymbals in its hands). Flash forward 40 years later and there's a family reunion/birthday for dad, Mark, and one of his daughters gifts him a toy monkey that, of course, came
from the Amityville house and we don't know how she managed to acquired it. Mark then becomes possessed (presumably by the monkey) and we get a complete slaughter fest that follows. Once again, ultra-low budget and has actors that were picked up from the side of the road, although the grandmother was cheesy and hilarious. The backstory of the monkey and how it got possessed and how it possesses Mark isn't told. Why are we going there again with the cursed objects? This is a pretty quick watch at under an hour, with about 6 mins of end credits that crawl ever so slowly. I usually let the credits play at the end of films, but these were painfully slow. The story's pretty basic, the dialogue is cringe worthy and a lot of it is ad-libbed. No one's likable and the ending's just about as abrupt as you could imagine and leaves a silly cliffhanger of sorts. Apparently, there's supposed to be a sequel to this which is in development. Why? Why would a film like this need a sequel? The thing that really gets me about this film are the technical blunders. The sound's poor, mainly because it's only recorded from the camera. There are several scenes where the camera blurs and goes out of focus. There are also other scenes where there's something on the lens. Couldn't the cameraman notice this and wipe the flippin lens? Seriously? The backstory scene at the beginning was filmed with a red filter and is just an joke. The filter may have blown the budget on this. I had this rated a bit higher the last time I saw this, but with a critical eye and being sober, they're just too many glaring problems. 1.5/10 because it's slightly better than Playhouse.
(they don't actually specify that - we just assume it), she was told by her therapist to record herself to get over the loneliness. It starts off light and ho hum, then strange things start happening that are captured on the recordings. It cuts back and forth between the storylines and eventually they are linked, but that makes no sense whatsoever and the ending is just ridiculous. This was a better entry for the second half of the series of films, but it's still not great. The premise is silly and the acting is poor. The effects are bad and there really isn't much going on. I preferred the woman's storyline, but even that had a lot of filler. 4/10.
Bad cheesy effects and Sickle looked laughable. The plotline's silly and pretty outrageous and they made no attempt whatsoever to tie in Amityville - not even a passing reference. Good luck 22shots - there's lots of goodness that awaits you in reviewing this series. Not! 1/10.
The Amityville Murders - This one seems the most legit and scheduled to be released in 2018. Directed by Daniel Farrands, who brought us Never Sleep Again, His Name Was Jason and Crystal Lake Memories. From what I read, this looks like a remake of Part II.
Amityville: Evil Never Dies - This is the sequel to The Amityville Legacy from 2016 and features a cameo from Marc Patton (Nightmare 2). Apparently, this one's been completed and a distribution deal's being worked out with Wild Eye Releasing. There was a limited edition VHS tape that was being sold, but I couldn't acquire it.
Amityville Cop - I guess this is a take on Maniac Cop. A renegade cop pursues a possessed criminal - I guess caused by the house.
Amityville Legacy 3-D - This one will centre on a family, suffering from a terrible tragedy and the entity from the Amityville house pays them a visit. The first 3D Amityville since part 3. Hannibal Classics were attached to this one since 2012.
Amityville High - Yup. A teenager moves to Amityville and discovers an accomplice to the 1974 DeFeo killings. Of course, all of the cops and detectives then and now couldn't find any evidence of that except this teenager?
Amityville Arcade - You heard right - a haunted arcade cabinet from the house. Didn't even know the Lutz's owned one. Someone buys it and gets sucked into a deadly game where it's life or death. I like the cover though.
So, potentially six more Amityville films coming down the pipe that could bring the total to twenty six - unbelievable. As you can see, lots of fun's heading our way. Will I check them out? Of course - it's the completest in me. Lol.
Just when you think it's over, two more announcements come down the pipe:
Amityville: The Beginning - This will be the "true" sequel to the original. Better than the best film in the series? We'll see about that one.
Return to Amityville - A reporter goes to Amityville and makes a discovery that puts his life in danger. When isn't your life in danger in that town?
That brings the total to eight more potential Amityville films and bringing the total to a possible twenty-eight in the series.
Just mind boggling.
Time to wrap-up the Amityville series' review with some final thoughts, rankings and ratings.
We know this isn't a true franchise, so anything reviewed after the first one is completely optional. A lot of cash-ins and a lot of bad, bad films but it was fun though. I personally would go with the "original" eight, remake and Awakening. You have to be in a certain frame of mind to stomach the rest. Lol. I followed the same thing that I did with the Witchcraft franchise to get through them - just watch them and don't think about how bad they are until review time. If I'm being honest, I actually preferred the Witchcraft franchise, although Amityville averages slightly better overall, because other than two films, the rest had a direct continuity which makes such a big difference in a franchise and overall enjoyment (producers take note!).
The Amityville Murders (2018) - This is a remake of Amityville II: The Possession. It's the story of the DeFeos, who were given the house on Ocean Avenue by Louise DeFeo's parents. Strange things start to happen and are witnessed by Louise (the mother), Dawn (the eldest daughter) and Butch (the eldest son). The two siblings aren't helping matters by performing rituals and conjuring stuff up in the red room in the basement. Eventually, the presence takes control of Butch and you know what follows...
This is the 22nd Amityville film that I've reviewed and it seems like there's no end to this series. This one's directed by Daniel Farrands of the super franchise docs of recent time (Never Sleep Again and Crystal Lake Memories). He stated in an interview that Amityville II is his favourite film of the series (as is for most people), so it's no wonder that he wanted to be connected to this one. He also stated that he wanted to focus on the human element - mental illness and madness. The acting was good, especially Robinson as Butch - he had to be, as he was the main focus. I didn't realize that the actor playing Louise was one of the daughters in Amityville II, which is pretty cool and there was also a nice cameo by Burt Young also from that film. This interpretation of the prequel was okay, as it closely followed the court transcripts of DeFeo's trial, but the film was kind of slow in parts. My biggest question is: why would you bother to remake arguably to best film of the entire franchise? It was way better than a lot of the turds in this franchise. It wasn't a great film, but above average. I personally prefer the original film and the possession angle. Upper third ranking in the franchise for me. 6.5/10.
This is the 23rd Amityville film that I've reviewed. Every once in a while I do some digging and seem to uncover yet another entry. There are several things that derail this entry. The main one is the fact that they used the "Amityville Prison" title. You quickly assume that this will be set in Amityville - someone connected to the infamous house is haunting the prison (even the film poster goes down that path). The problem is that one of the guys in the group of friends, Nick, very early on reveals that the prison's in Philly. If you want to exploit the Amityville name, why wouldn't you just edit that part out and leave it ambiguous? Probably the budget prevented this and adding the "Amityville" title was an afterthought to cash in.
The acting's pretty laughable. It seems like a lot of the dialogue is off the cuff. The character's decision-making are ridiculous and their reactions to what's going on are pretty pathetic. How are we supposed to buy in if the actors aren't bought in? Although the setting of the prison was a good choice, Director Brian Cavallaro didn't use it to create an atmospheric setting. The camerawork and lighting were horrible - it was way too dark and the quick cuts were awful. The breathing dead bodies were another one having me laughing a bunch of times. The ending was a joke and just looked brutal - you have to see it for yourself to understand. Any chance the film had to somehow tie-in Amityville was killed off by this ending. The film started off decent enough, but fell off the cliff in a hurry. At a running time of 85 minutes, the film really seemed to drag along. This film offered very little in terms of any explanation to what was going on and what it did present was completely full of plotholes. Another cash-in, another turd entry, but this has a slightly better smell than some of the other crap in the Amityville heap. Lol. 2/10.
This is Amityville film number 24 for me. The only true terror was deciding to spend the money and watch this. At 75 minutes, this one takes its time, and I mean, takes it time - to play out. The opening credits sequence alone slugged by, along with many other shots. It's always funny when you see the various production crew listed as the same two people over and over. The acting was horrible. Charlie was sort of normal, but Buzi was just atrocious. We don't really see anything except Buzi filming herself screaming "CHARLIE! CHARLIE!" for about 20 minutes. The sound design, if you can call it that, is really bad and Charlie is a musician for goodness' sake. The ending was a complete joke. One online reviewer said it best when he described the film as one made by these people for themselves like a home movie. The most obvious question here is: what's the "Amityville connection"? Did you really expect one - the film takes place in the same state - if that counts. Really, really piss poor. Great film though. 1/10.
*Update #2 2020
The Dawn, aka The Amityville Dawn (2020) - It's the early 1800s and a young girl, Rose, witnesses her father kill her mother and siblings. She survives and is later sent to a convent. Fast forward years later and Rose has now grown and is a novitiate. She hasn't taken her final vows as she's struggling with what her father did and is also having nightmares and hearing voices and visions. Will she be able to let go of the past, or will it come back to haunt her?
This is my 26th Amityville film reviewed and this was actually a decent watch and entertaining. This was the most subtle Amityville film ever and doesn't actually reveal itself until the very end. It's an Amityville origin story with an actual budget and the results are a much better film than what I'm used to experiencing watching this series. The performances were okay and it has a bit of The Nun (Conjuring) vibe to it. It's a bit dull in parts and some of the CGI's the crap we all hate. There are also some confusing elements, which can lose you if you're only half paying attention. Admittedly, the Amityville tie-in was weak, but not horrible as some of the other sequels never even attempted a proper tie-in. Overall, it's an okay watch and a much better latter sequel to this series. 6.5/10.
Because of this new film viewed and reviewed, the rankings and overall rating have changed:
Amityville II: The Possession (1982) - 9/10
The Amityville Horror (1979) - 8.5/10
The Amityville Horror (2005) - 7/10
Amityville 3D (1983) - 7/10
The Amityville Awakening (2017) - 7/10
The Amityville Murders (2018) - 6.5/10
The Amityville Dawn (2020) - 6.5/10
Amityville: A New Generation (1993) - 6/10
The Amityville Terror (2016) - 6/10
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) - 4.5/10
Amityville Dollhouse (1996) - 4/10
The Amityville Curse (1990) - 4/10
Amityville: No Escape (2016) - 4/10
Amityville 1992: It's About Time (1992) - 3.5/10
Amityville Prison (2017) - 2/10
The Amityville Asylum (2013) - 2/10
The Amityville Exorcism (2017) - 1.5/10
The Amityville Legacy (2016) - 1.5/10
Amityville Death House (2015) - 1/10
The Amityville Playhouse (2015) - 1/10
Amityville Island (2020) -1/10
Amityville: Evil Never Dies (2017) - 1/10
Amityville: The Final Chapter (2017) - 1/10
Amityville: Mt. Misery Road (2019) - 1/10
The Amityville Haunting (2011) - 0.75/10
Amityville: Vanishing Point (2016) - 0/10
The updated average rating for the series was 3.74/10.