Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Underrated "Amityville: The Awakening" Gets Meta [Blu-ray Review]

"Amityville: The Awakening" is much better than you would expect it to be. Writer / Director Franck Khalfoun actually took the time to put together an interesting film that reaches past what we've seen in prior sequels to "The Amityville Horror." It's what I would consider a "meta-sequel" that brings to mind "Scream" and other self-aware films of that nature. At the same time, there's some great supernatural elements that lead to some effective jump scares.

In "Amityville: The Awakening," Belle (Bella Thorne) and her family move into a new house, but when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house, Belle begins to suspect her mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) isn't telling her everything. She soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.

Jennifer Jason Leigh is the shining star of "Amityville: The Awakening." Her character is quiet and reserved one moment and explosive and violent the very next. She seems to be always on the edge of losing her mind. Honestly, most of the actors in the movie deliver performances that are genuine and believable.

The special effects for "Amityville: The Awakening" are mostly CGI and rather lackluster and noticeable. However, the practical makeup effects do look good and Cameron Monohan's sickly visual appearance in particular is rather creepy and effective.

We don't get much in the way of bonus material when it comes to "Amityville: The Awakening." "The Making of Amityville: The Awakening" is a five minute featurette tht doesn't get too in-depth on the production of the film. The cast and crew are interviewed as well. It's what you would expect for a movie that's been shelved for a few years and then just sort of tossed out.

"Amityville: The Awakening" is rated PG-13 for disturbing horror violence and terror, suggestive images, brief language and thematic material. Actor Bella Thorne walks around in her underwear for a long amount of time. Domestic violence is portrayed as well.

Franck Khalfoun wrote and directed "Amityville: The Awakening." It stars Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, McKenna Grace, Kurtwood Smith, and Jennifer Morrison. The running time is 100 minutes.

"Amityville: The Awakening" is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

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