***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
The Amityville Haunting - 1 out of 5
Imagine if The Amityville Horror and Paranormal Activity made disgusting love and had a baby...now image that baby is filled with no effort, no story, no plot and no semblance of acting and you have yourself The Amityville Haunting! A movie that sets the bar even lower for the "found footage" genre...and let's face it, that bar was already set pretty low.
|Get used to this scene...it's 90% of the film.|
Produced and released The Asylum, a company known for making direct-to-DVD films that are, basically, B-movie versions of bigger budget films--although since this movie is an unholy mash-up of The Amityville Horror and Paranormal Activity, there wasn't much budget in the "bigger budget" part of their ripoffs. Knowing this going in and knowing that it was a "found footage" film, my expectations were very low, nearly nonexistent. The only think I can say walking away from this one is the fact it keeps the track record for the "found footage" genre being the shittiest genre to ever be created.
|The kid by the patio doors is suppose to be a ghost but, let's face it, ghost|
effects are expensive. It's just cheaper to put the kid in a white shirt...
because white sheets also cost money.
Remember The Amityville Horror (drink every time I saw Amityville)? Supposedly based on true events, the book told a tale of a some paranormal activities surround the Lutz family. The book sold like wildfire because of smart marketing with the claim it was real (I say it was a claim because too much evidence has come out to prove otherwise). The book went on to inspire a movie franchise and a remake starring the Green Lantern himself; Ryan Reynolds. This film is the tenth to be inspired by the book but to say this movie was inspired is just plain bullshit. It's a movie from The Asylum...the correct expression would have to be this movie is just trying to capitalize on an already established work without offering any real creativity in the process.
So, the story goes as follows, the events in the book were real and now ghosts are haunting the house and no one is willing to stay there for more than a month or two. Along comes the Bensons, a military family, who gets the house at a steal (you gotta move those haunted homes in this economy). Weird things start right off the bat including the realtor dying of an aneurism and a mover falling down the steps and breaking his neck but these events don't really bother the family very much--in fact, they are barely a hiccup in the moving process. As the days start to go by, doors open by themselves and...well, actually that's about all the ghost does. It was like the filmmakers behind this one saw the three times the demon closed doors in Paranormal Activity and said, "Yeah, we can do more!"
|The Dad went all out on this security system. In case they're robbed, they won't|
be able to tell who robbed him. BRILLIANT!!!
The youngest daughter of the family starts to form an imaginary friend which is, not surprisingly, one of the ghosts and all the while the father becomes more and more paranoid and the mother more and more oblivious. The father puts in a security system, including cameras (but forgets to get the kind that have night-vision) and the hauntings start to escalate to levels of door closing the likes of which no film has ever seen. Now, at this point you are probably asking where the "found footage" part of this film takes place. As if the contrived plot devices to get the documentation in the other gimmick films out there was too complicated for the filmmakers of this one, they decide to just have a son in the family be obsessed with using a camcorder...and that's it--way to think beyond Thunderdome there, filmmakers!
|The fact the screen of my TV didn't shatter from a meeting with my fist every time this |
kid talked is a testament to the anger management classes I am taking.
All the usual "found footage" cliches fill up every second of the film...like the filmmakers were playing "found footage" bingo or something. There's literally no scares in the movie--at least not ones that someone could actually find scary because the "scares" are so predictable that you are bored with them a full minute before they arrive. Also, as if trying to outdo Paranormal Activity on a front that doesn't include demons closing and/or opening doors, they took the terrible acting seen in that entire franchise and said, "We can do worse." And boy did they! To even call the cast actors is an insult to even the worst actor (Sam Worthington). "Ron, is it really that bad?" Yes, quoted line of dialogue meant to imply a one-on-one with whoever is reading this, it is that bad. Hell, try and control your laughter when the Dad goes off the deep end in the last ten minutes and try to convince yourself you are not watching a guy trying to audition for a Monty Python reunion.
|And apparently the son is a pervert trying to get naked video of his sister.|
The only truly remarkable things about The Amityville (drink) Haunting is the fact that two constants are seen: Number 1) The Asylum continues it's record of making the worst ripoff films in the world and Number 2) the lack of creativity in an American "found footage" film continues it's streak of one-dimensional, gimmicky crap.