City Press review
Film: Amityville: The Awakening
Starring: Bella Thorne, Cameron Monaghan
Directors: Franck Khalfoun
Rating: 1 star
In 1979, director Stuart Rosenberg scared the pants off audiences with The Amityville Horror, a haunted-house saga that grossed $80 million and is now considered a classic in the genre. Despite being panned by critics, the film (adapted from a book by Jay Anson) spawned many more movies, and this year we got number 18, Amityville: The Awakening.
Directed by Franck Khalfoun – famous for making absolutely no movie you’ve ever heard of – the film stars former Disney Channel redhead Bella Thorne. Apart from being Hollywood’s new millennial It girl, Thorne is a strange choice to play angsty teen Belle, who moves into a new house with her complicated family.
Belle’s brother James is brain-dead and bed-ridden, and Belle expresses her sadness with black lipstick, Green Day posters in her room and a permanent surly frown. She is the clichéd Goth girl incarnate, made even more laughable by the fact that almost no teenager in 2017 still wears the studded belts and corset tops that is Belle’s “sad girl” costume.
Belle is, obviously, teased at school for looking different and is then, obviously, befriended by two other misfits. She soon finds out that her mom hasn’t been truthful with her, and that her new house is actually the infamous demon-ridden Amityville house of horror.
Of course, strange things soon start happening, with the strangest of all being James miraculously coming out of his coma despite having been declared brain-dead.
According to E! Online, the film grossed only $742 in its first week in the US, despite coming out on Halloween. This week isn’t great for other releases either, with George Clooney thriller Suburbicon and Mel Gibson comedy Daddy’s Home 2 already panned by critics. Maybe save your bucks and stay home with some Netflix.