Back in 1975, the Lutz family temporarily moved into a house in Amityville, a Long Island suburb in New York, but quickly left due to "paranormal activity" within the residence. Almost 40 years later, we’ve been through 10 films, some more related than others, and even more books on the subject. The Amityville franchise will continue anew with the completely fictional and unrelated found footage film simply called Amityville, which Dimension Films has given a January 2, 2015 release date. So just in case you were wondering what the first shitty movie of 2015 would be, now you know.
Formerly going by the awkward title The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes, this new film is currently sitting alone on its release date, according to ComingSoon, in a month where films are usually sent to die quiet deaths. I’m certain the deaths taking place in Amityville will be of the much louder variety however. It will follow a ballsy news intern who wants to blow open the investigation involving the haunted house on Ocean Ave. To do so, she brings in a team of journalists, paranormal enthusiasts and religious leaders to explore the seemingly unexplainable events, but the investigation only unleashes another even more evil presence. Put your hand inside a garbage disposal if you thought something different was going to happen.
My opinions may be particularly damning about this film, since it continues one of the worst franchises in horror history, but I have quite a bit of faith in co-writer/co-director Daniel Farrands. This will be his first feature, though he has directed a host of horror cinema documentaries, including the exhaustively excellent Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th and Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. He also co-wrote the much better than average 2007 thriller Girl Next Door, adapted from the Jack Ketchum novel. His fellow Amityville writer and director Casey La Scala is best known for producer duties, as well as directing the skater comedy Grind.
The last time Hollywood tried to resurrect this franchise was with 2005’s super-average The Amityville Horror with Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George. There have also been two direct to trash bin flicks called The Amityville Haunting and The Amityville Asylum, and the decent documentary My Amityville Horror, which told the original story from the point of view of Daniel Lutz, one of the children who moved into the Ocean Ave. house in 1975.
There’s no denying people are still quite interested in this story, but that doesn’t mean anyone is clamoring for a found footage take on the subject. Wasn’t anyone inspired by the lush look of James Wan’s The Conjuring? That film incidentally involved the Amityville investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It’s a small, haunted world. For a glimpse into the worst that the Amityville franchise offers, look no further than 1995’s Amityville 7: A New Generation.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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