“The Amityville Haunting”
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Previously available at Found Footage Flicks, which will be discontinued as of 09/01/2014.
So, in 2011, The Asylum decided to jump onto the found footage bandwagon and Amityville franchise and offered up “The Amityville Haunting. Thirty-two years after the events that the Lutz family experienced at Amityville, a new family moves into the infamous house. What you expect to happen does. The Amityville story is familiar and only needs be mentioned with a brief updated background to set the stage.
A controlling and overbearing father moves his family into the infamous house, against his wife’s wishes, fully aware of the house’s history. Despite the fact that the realtor dies the day they look at the house. Despite the fact that one of the movers falls down the stairs and dies the day they move in. Dad ultimately has a post traumatic stress breakdown and thinks he’s at war with the the ghosts haunting the house, pulling his gun on everyone from older daughter’s new friend to the ghosts to his own nightmares and memories.
This time the occurrences are recorded by the family’s young son, Tyler, who is making a documentary/video diary, and a video security system that the dad installs. Sadly, although the story is being told largely through the son’s camera, the camera is consistently seen by the parents as an annoyance rather than a tool. Even after dad installs his own security cameras, he doesn’t utilize the fact that his son has been video recording non-stop. It is also implied, whether intentionally or not, that the son’s recordings are not reviewed, at all, during any of these evens as the mysterious grey-outs and ghostly images are never mentioned by any of the characters.
The story is slow moving, the dialogue is stereotypical and inane. There is some minimal attempt at character development, primarily of Doug, the father, but it does nothing to move the plot (such as it is) along. A combination of lack of chemistry among the cast/principle characters, poor acting as well as poor (and poorly executed) dialogue leaves the viewer cold. I was completely unable to engage with the characters and found myself cheering for the ghosts to off them within the first 15 minutes of the film. The only exception is Gracie Largent, as Melanie Benson the younger daughter whose constant companion is her imaginary friend, John Matthews, gives a wonderfully chilling performance.
I’m not going to say this was the dregs of film, I have seen worse. It did make me feel something, annoyed. I gave this 1/2 a drink.