Directed by Andrew Douglas [Other horror films: N/A]
I won’t pretend to remember much about the original The Amityville Horror (it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen it), but this remake, which I’ve also seen before, strikes me as almost entirely pedestrian despite a few solid sequences.
The movie’s certainly tense, no doubt about it. But movies before did it better (such as the classic Burnt Offerings), and this really adds nothing to the table, which is a shame, as there was a pretty good atmosphere perforating much of the movie.
However, it was held back by it’s utterly Hollywood style. The jump scares, the ghosts no one but the audience can see, the idiotic conclusion, the hideous flashes of ‘scary’ stuff, I hate that type of movie-making. Kids may eat it up, and it may sell tickets, but I’ve no interest in it.
There were some good scenes, though, such as the sequences that took place atop the house. The opening to the film, a flashback of an earlier slaughter, was moderately welcomed also. But then most of the other scares aren’t worth much, and good tension doesn’t erase the taste of an otherwise stale film.
If this remake has anything really going for it, I think it’s the decent acting of the lead, Ryan Reynolds. Throughout the film, he grows more and more unstable, culminating in a blood-less potential carnage. Jesse James (who I know best from 2003’s Fear of the Dark, a long-time favorite of mine) was also noticeable, but I don’t know if he, or really any of the kids, were that crucial to the story.
Honestly, while I really liked some of the scenes and ideas this was going for, it felt incredibly Hollywood, both tame and wrought with unnecessary jump scares meant purely for the audience. I don’t remember if I liked this when I first saw it, but I definitely see it as below average now.