Blu-ray Review: AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING was written and directed by Franck Khalfoun and stars Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, Mckenna Grace, Thomas Mann and Taylor Spreitler with Jennifer Morrison and Kurtwood Smith.

Based on horrifying true events, the film tells the story of a family tormented by an evil presence after they move into their new home. In Amityville: The Awakening, Belle (Bella Thorne) and her family move into a new house, but when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house, Belle begins to suspect her mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) isn’t telling her everything. She soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.

The story for Amityville: Awakening not only connects to the true events that took place inside the terrifying old house but it also has a kinship to the 1979 horror classic. That movie is actually referenced in this movie! This one follows Joan and her three children who move into this cursed old haunted house and things immediately begin to get weird for them. Belle is the only one who quickly notices that things are getting a little creepy around the house but eventually the rest of them witness it as well. Joan also begins to change as well as her sickly bedridden son James who is now showing signs of healing. What happens is, the curse is alive and well and it possesses Belle’s brother and heals him so that he can be used as a vessel for its evil bidding. In the end, the rest of the family have to battle it out with this evil presence and unfortunately not all of them make it out alive.

Okay, there just wasn’t much to like about this movie except for the impressive cast that was assembled for it. The story was kind of interesting but the movie was just so boring and watered down that I had a hard time sitting through it. There just weren’t enough scares of any kind and that’s what a horror movie like this is supposed to bring to the table and Amityville: The Awakening failed miserably with this. How can we go this long without a big Amityville movie and still get it so wrong? Well, producer Jason Blum has lots of money to play and even though I’ve enjoyed a number of the movies that came out of Blumhouse, some of them have ended up being duds and sadly this is one of them. It must be nice to have enough money so you can produce a stinker sequel like this and just write it off in the end. I honestly believe that I could have done a better job.

Sorry, there’s no slipcover/o-card for this release. The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Amityville: The Awakening just wasn’t that good of a watch and another let down in the long-running attempts to revive this horror franchise. I had a feeling that this movie was doomed because of the numerous delays it got and I just don’t see how productions like this even get a green light. Although, I guess if I had enough money to play with I could make one too. Right? Even though the plot was kind of interesting (because it was connected to the actual events and the horror classic) the movie itself failed miserably at keeping my attention and delivering the scares. There were no scares! The movie was also very predictable and it even did a retread on some of the events from the original. Amityville: The Awakening finally arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) on November 14th. Maybe the millennial Bella Thorne fan club will like it, if there is such a thing. Watch at your own risk!

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 87 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: There’s not much as far as the extras go but we do get a behind-the-scenes featurette and a digital copy of the movie. Where are the trailers and TV spots?

  • “The Making of Amityville: The Awakening” Featurette (05:01)
  • Digital HD Copy
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