Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Geoff Meed
Cast: Luke Barnett, Casey Campbell, Devin Clark
The Amityville Horror franchise may be one of the most disappointing and, strangely enough, overrated horror franchises in existence. Sans the original 1979 entry The Amityville Horror, virtually every sequel (or remake) has felt like little more than a half-assed effort tossed together utilizing shoe-string funds while ignoring anything that could be confused as a semblance of passion. That’s just depressing, and dreadful. And the films themselves are absolutely dreadful, but one of the latest to hit the market, the much discussed found footage effort titled The Amityville Haunting may just be the absolute worst of the lot. This is bottom of the barrel stuff, and a great example of a movie that should never have been made. I doubt it even recuperated the paper thin production costs.
This film is so miserable it’s actually challenging to pinpoint my springboard, I mean really, when virtually everything about a picture is nauseating, where the hell do you begin? I suppose the positives may be the finest point, as I can cover the pros with ease. In fact, there’s honestly only one good thing I can say about this picture: the Amityville house (not this one, but the original) is the perfect type of setting for a found footage feature, and even through all the shit that clutters this film, it’s easy to see that a competent cast and crew could potentially revive a horribly subpar franchise utilizing this mold, should they land the right house for filming. Unfortunately, those involved in this piece lack the talent to make that happen, and this isn’t really the Amityville casa.
The acting is atrocious, and when you’re attempting to sell the idea that the footage is legit, that’s just a deal-breaker. With the performances on hand here, it doesn’t take long to realize the flick is buried too deep to save. Seriously, these actors turn in loathsome efforts. I was so repulsed by the film I won’t even invest the time in referencing performers’ names, as I’m not even certain I can rightfully call them performers. The father figure is wooden, unlikeable, and utilizes virtually zero logic. To make things worse, he knows the history of the house, which completely contradicts the oblivious nature exhibited by his character. Another terrible performer is the son. I’m not sure who the kid is, or how much experience he’s got; for all I know he’s got a high ceiling and he’ll improve greatly with time, but in this instance he misses all the proper emotional cues. Then there’s the… all to hell with it: The rest of the onscreen crew fail miserably as well.
The effects are shoddy and insanely uninspired. Don’t expect any enjoyable shots or memorable sequence. All you’ll find is a flat picture, some doors mysteriously opening and a handful of off screen deaths. It’s all so heartless that it’s virtually impossible to dedicate your full attention to the film. If you’ve got a shitty script, shitty performers and a shitty location (I don’t want to get started on the house itself, I’d launch into a ten page tirade), you’ve got to give the audience something.
Honestly, this one ranks amongst the worst horror offerings I’ve seen. It’s hard to liken this complete failure to any other film, but I can certainly say this: Imagine the most revolting SyFy channel flick you’ve ever seen, then contemplate a film ten times inferior and you’ve got a slight idea of just how bad The Amityville Haunting truly is.
I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone. Not the diehard found footage fan, not the dedicated Amityville Horror followers. No one, absolutely no one.