Thoughts on “Amityville: The Awakening”

I was fooled once before with a movie that claimed the “Amityville” name but turned out to be a cheap and schlocky crap horror movie, and so was a little hesitant when approaching this one.  However, this one is indeed a fully professional Amityville movie.  Unfortunately, it still isn’t all that great.

The basic story is that a teenage girl, her mother, her younger sister, and her comatose and likely brain dead brother all move into the Amityville house, in the hopes of getting the brother treatment.  The teenage girl thinks he’s a lost cause and that they should give up, while the mother refuses to do so.  There’s also a hint that the teenage girl feels responsible for his condition, which it is implied might have something to do with why she wants to give up on him.  Anyway, as he stays in the house he seems to make incredible improvement, while weird things happen elsewhere in the house.  He finally seems to make a full recovery, but is it really him, or is it a spirit from the house taking over his body so that it can live again?

The big flaw in the movie is its inability to make any real links to anything in the movie.  While we do find out later why she feels responsible for his condition, it’s because some guy leaked nude photos of her online and her brother got injured trying to beat the guy up.  Even if she’d feel guilty over that, it wasn’t really her fault at all which makes that a plot point that should be resolved with her realizing that.  But other than it being used once or twice against her by the entity, nothing comes of that.  Additionally, it links to the house and things in the house that I recognize from other media — I have the original series of movies but have yet to try to watch them — they don’t really seem to tie any of that in to what’s happening other than in the most token way.  Also, the mother gives up on religion because of what happened to her son, but then at the end when confronted with the entity seems to find her faith again … but it is irrelevant as she’s unceremoniously killed off.  Pretty much any element they bring up — like the brother wanting to be killed, at least supposedly — is never really developed and paid off, but is instead just there.  That makes it a rather dull movie.

I’ll give the movie credit for having pretty good performances, but it really does feel like the emotional centre of the movie is missing, and so even at the end when she kills her “brother” we don’t really get the feelings that the movie seemed to be hoping for.  I didn’t really connect with anyone or anything in the movie which leaves it emotionally hollow.  I can’t imagine I’d watch this movie again.

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