The Amityville Curse (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Amityville Curse (2023) Review

Horrorific content by angie on July 18th, 2023 | Movie Review | Canadian, Supernatural, Haunted House - Cursed, Dangerous Exploration, B-Horror

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It's about a group of friends who purchase an infamous home with the intention of flipping it, only to discover a deadly paranormal presence emanating from within the house.

The Amityville Curse was directed by Éric Tessier (Evil Words) and stars Vanessa SmytheEnnis Esmer (Decoys), Jenny RavenTommie-Amber Pirie (The Retreat), Dillon Casey (Creature), Mercedes MorrisMichael XavierKenny Wong (Slaxx), and Felicia Shulman (Bleeders).

The Amityville Curse Review

"The Amityville Curse" found itself entangled in its own web of challenges and underwhelming circumstances. As yet another addition to the Amityville franchise, it carried the burden of being perceived as a mediocrity, much like its predecessors "Amityville Cult" and "Amityville in the Hood." Moreover, being categorized as a Tubi Original film didn't instill much confidence, given the mixed reception associated with such productions.

However, amidst the uncertainties, a glimmer of hope emerged. Director Éric Tessier, although relatively unknown outside of Quebec, had showcased his directorial prowess in the outstanding adaptations of Patrick Senécal's novels, including "5150 Elm's Way" and the notable "Sur le Seuil" (Evil Words). Additionally, the film was penned by Dennis Heaton, who had previously written the screenplay for the Billy Connolly zom-com "Fido." While not an overwhelmingly promising combination, it held more potential than many similar films in the genre.

"The Amityville Curse" was described not as a remake of the 1990 film but as a "modern reimagining of the novel." It opened with a chilling scene of a woman hanging herself after placing an envelope on the mantle. Bizarrely, as the chair kicked away beneath her, the envelope took flight under its own inexplicable power.

The house was subsequently purchased by a group of friends: Lucy (Jenny Raven), Frank (Dillon Casey), Debbie (Vanessa Smythe), Billie (Mercedes Morris), Abigail (Tommie-Amber Pirie), and Marv (Michael Xavier). Their plan was to live in the house while renovating it into three condos, ultimately profiting from their venture. However, from the very beginning, the house revealed its sinister nature through falling mirrors, objects mysteriously shifting, and unexplained accidents. Regrettably, the group's preoccupations with personal relationship dramas overshadowed the mounting paranormal occurrences.

During the film's initial half-hour, "The Amityville Curse" maintained a subdued tone with only a handful of jump scares interspersed among the familiar clichés. To their credit, Tessier and Heaton ensured that the narrative never became monotonous. Yet, despite their efforts, the film failed to achieve anything exceptional. It attempted to inject momentum following a tragic death, introducing Kenny Wong as a paranormal podcaster, whose presence added a brief but entertaining touch. The subsequent appearance of Brendan Fehr as a parapsychologist aimed to further ignite the story through a séance.

Unfortunately, the film was plagued by excessive filler content and implausible character behavior. The endless bickering between the female characters over Marv, despite the mounting fatalities among their friends, strained credibility. As a result, "The Amityville Curse" never managed to shift beyond its first gear, hindered further by lackluster visual effects that made the ghosts appear more like video glitches, and a mere smattering of bloodshed.

In fairness, the original version of "The Amityville Curse," also available on Tubi, was an unremarkable affair, leaving little room for desecration of a classic. However, it remains disheartening that this modern reimagining failed to surpass its predecessor or deliver an improved viewing experience. With relatively low expectations set for the film, considering the franchise's history, it could have potentially become an entertainingly trashy production reminiscent of "Amityville: The Possession."

Worth Watching?

Ultimately, "The Amityville Curse" does manage to surpass some recent entries within the Amityville series and other Tubi Originals. Yet, when the competition includes films like "Amityville Christmas Vacation," such achievement doesn't hold significant weight. It is disconcerting to witness the film's inability to surpass mediocrity, especially when the bar was set relatively low, and the source material possessed potential for an engagingly lurid narrative. It serves as a reminder for aspiring filmmakers to strive for excellence and consider their career choices if they cannot produce a superior film to "Tow."

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