The Amityville Haunting (2011) Movie Review
The Lowdown: Well it started off with a lot of promise.
The Amityville Haunting is the latest “found footage” movie from The Asylum. I’ve never seen Paranormal Entity, which I’ve heard mix things about it, but I have seen Gacy House which I thought was actually watchable. So how does this fair in the ever growing found footage subgenre? Let’s find out.
The Bensons, a family of five, have just moved into the infamous Amityville house. The parents knew the house had a dark history but the father insisted on moving due to their financial situation. As soon as they move in people start to die, like the realtor in the driveway, and a mover that falls down the stairs and breaks his neck. The young daughter befriends an “imaginary” friend and ghostly images start to appear in the video recordings made by the son and the security cameras set up throughout the house. Will the family escape in time or will they be forced to relive the Amityville horror?
I’ll be honest the first half of the movie I really dug. I thought the family was interesting and there was enough decent freaky things that occurred that kept you on your toes. There is a scene with an outline of a guy in darkness at the top of the stairs that was plain spooky. All this was fine and dandy until the second half of the movie occurred.
The first huge negative I’ll point out is some of the acting. The main teenage son who is the cameraman and narrarator of the movie is just awful. He spit out a few lines that made me want to punch my T.V. Why they would cast the worst actor of the lot to be the cameraman is beyond me. Most of the other acting is fine until you get towards the end. The father is pretty decent and convincing but there is a scene when he “snaps” and starts commanding his family like a drill sargent, that is just laughable.
Of all the recent trend of “found footage” movies that claim to be true this is by far the least believable. Not only is all the camera footage professional grade quality but the sound is also amazing. No little camcorder that I know of can pick up sounds tens of feet away like a professional boom mic. Plus towards the end the ghosts start to manifest themselves in human form and it’s obvious one of them is a dude in make up. Also the Amityville house looks nothing like what we’ve all come to know and love. It’s just a normal two story house in the suburbs.
Despite the bad acting I enjoyed the first half but once it gets to electrocution scene (which also looked fake), it just goes downhill. The Dad turns evil too fast, the stuff ramps up too quick, and all believability goes out the door. Having said that I still believe some found footage lovers will still enjoy the film. My opinion is that you can find many other of these types of movies that are way more enjoyable. Skip it.
Final Rating: 4.5/10