The Amityville Curse

November 21, 2009 at 4:10 am Leave a comment

The based on a true story Amtyville Horror must have really inspired a lot of film makers. Todays movie is the fifth in the series. Best I can tell from imdb, there were eight of these movies made before the recent Ryan Reynold’s remake. It seems like all of these movies are exactly the same. Some family or group of people move into the Amityville house, not knowing it was the site of many ghastly murders, then get killed because someone goes psycho. This keep with another tradition in that you tube’s description of the movie is a little off base. Actually, its a flat out lie.

Five people who kind of know each other decide to invest in buying the old Amityville place, fix it up, and flip it for a profit. I say kind of know each other because the movie doesn’t really estabolish their relationship to one another. The characters are really paper thin. You have one guy who’s only characteristic is he is a chain smoker. The guy who’s idea it is to buy the house is pretty much a greedy prick. You have his crazy wife who has visions and bad dreams. There is a horny chick who may or may not be married to the chain smoker. It seems like they are just sleeping together but more on that later. Then you have a guy who seems to like classical music. Thats all you ever learn about these people.

So with stock characters like that, you figure its going to be a stalk and slash blood bath. Well, not really. No one gets killed until an hour into the movie. The first person killed is the crazy old lady who wanders in and tells them they are all doomed. Oh spoiler alerts by the way, but really there isn’t a lot to this movie and to explain how it fails, I will have to spoil some things here and there. So they start working on rebuilding this house and spooky things happen every now and again. Like the other Amityville movies I have seen, the house immediately starts messing with the people. The person who seems to be taking it the hardest is crazy wife, who is seeing visions in her dreams, although she isn’t wearing sunglasses at night. I will give the movie this, it holds a decent ammount of tension. There are a lot of near kills thanks to the house playing its games and the people being idiots. Because the characters are stock and we know the house can kill whoever it wants whenever it wants, I was constantly expecting someone to get killed gruesomely. So the chain smoker gets bit by a rapid dog. Instead of doing something smart like going to a hospital, he guts it out and says he is fine. Maybe this was meant to be a sequal to Cujo. Everyone sees him get attacked by this dog and nearly get attacked themselves but none of them insist that he go get checked for rabies. Even after he start to get progressively more sick. So the doomsaying old lady is the first to die and after that, Detective Exposition explains a vague history of the house. It’s such a vague description, there is some debate as to whether or not that house they are in is actually the Amityville house or just another haunted house in Amityville. Two haunted houses on the same block, that’s a lot of disbelief to suspend. Is Amityville just outside Silent Hill? I perfer to think this is the Amityville house although it’s not a point I would have the energy to argue over. Following this death the crazy wife really comes unhinged. Greedy prick has a moment of character development where it is revealed that he cares more about his wife than making money on the house. Too bad the only piece of character development or story arch comes an hour and ten minutes into a hour and a half long movie. They decide its time to leave but the car has a flat. You would think that with everyone leaving there wouldn’t be a reason for the house to bother anyone and no one would die. You would be wrong. Almost everyone gets killed in the time it takes horny chick to go get a fresh tire. Also we are told the whole backstory about what is haunting the house in the last twenty minutes of the movie.

One of the major flaws of this movie is the characters. So I don’t know if I should blame the actors for their performances, which seem flat. The crazy wife is way over the top. Horny chick plays horny pretty well but thats all she plays through the whole movie. Greedy prick plays a greedy prick pretty well. I think he is the best actor in the movie because he does a good job with the one scene were he shows that he loves his wife. Of course, what they do with that character development is kill him in the next five minutes. Another flaw of this movie is the editting. I don’t look for editting mistakes and it is something I rarely complain about in a movie, even the movies as poor as the ones I usually watch. But in the Amityville Curse, the editting looks pretty amatuer. I’m not talking about continuity errors either. I’m talking about shots that really don’t match from one cut to the other. I’m talking about jarring jump cuts that aren’t made to create any tension in the movie. They cross the line more than a couple times in this movie too. Crossing the line is a complicated film term. Look it up. Another flaw in this movie is that they blantently rip off the Psycho riff more than once. How did the film makers not get sued? Thats not the only thing they ripped off. Near the end, crazy wife is running from the killer and she hides in a closet. It is pretty much a cut and paste right out of Halloween. The special effects range from passable to really bad. The killer has his face mangled near the end and it pretty much looks like they glued a piece of plastic on his face.  Amitville II was far superior in that respect. The big flaw with the story is they cram in so much at the end. Amityville Curse could have been about 45 minutes long instead of an hour and a half. And it felt longer than that.

This movie is definately worse than Road House. The whole movie is just an attempt to cash in. The whole movie feels pretty lazy. For fans of the Amityville series or those who read my Amityville II review and thought they might like this movie too, I can’t recommend it. I haven’t seen all the Amityville movies but its hard to imagine they could have gotten worse than this. I think Amityville Curse could be a lot of fun for bad movie fans, just because of how many faults there are in the movie. Also, film students should probably watch this to see what not to do in a movie. While it’s not the shittiest movie I have ever seen, I have a hard time recommending it. Proceed with caution if you must.


Entry filed under: Horror. Tags: , , , , .

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