Written and directed by Franck Khalfoun and starring Bella Thorne, Cameron Monaghan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jennifer Morrison, McKenna Grace and Kirkwood Smith.
As some of you already know, this movie had been plagued for years. In a nutshell, the movie, was completed in 2014 and continually given release dates which would get pushed back.
Then in 2017, the film was once again set to be released after some edits to give it a PG-13 release rating. This attempt was unable to help the film out once again and it was pulled from it’s release date in North America but were able to do limited showings overseas in order to make a return on the film on it’s name alone.
This past week, likely tired of pushing the film again, the production company, Blumhouse, released the film for free via the Google Play Store for all to see and I took full advantage of this in order to bring you this spoiler-free review!
As there is no real hook to this film next to the fact that it’s part of the Amityville series, the film is played out exactly as you would think. There’s a degree of haunting and the obvious and inevitable possession that takes place in all these films. If this was something that you were not expecting, I apologies for the slight spoilers, but it’s basic knowledge to most horror fans of what happens in Amityville films.
Considering the push backs the film suffered from, it would typically make most people expect nothing but garbage to come out of it, but I was almost pleasantly surprised with what I had witnessed.
The first half of the film almost nailed the mood instantly. It felt like a horror film should and provided and atmosphere that had me focused in full on what was going on throughout the film and aided me in taking in all the scares, jumps, creeps and everything in between. I knew what to expect but they were doing something right and I was hooked.
But, of course, all good things must come to an end, and this amazing feeling quickly subsided once coming up to the halfway point in the film.
Bella Thorne who plays the lead girl, Belle and whom we spoke of in part while talking about her role in The Babysitter, was not able to do anything really spectacular from what I could see. Her biggest strong point was showing that Belle was a very compassionate person towards her siblings and those she is able to get close to, otherwise, they seemed to have used her more along the lines as eye candy, specifically for one certain scene which I’m sure you’ll catch on to it very quickly. I feel like her abilities as an actress have progressed after seeing her in the most recent release of The Babysitter but only time will tell how great she will actually become.
On the other foot, Cameron Monaghan who plays the comatose twin brother of Belle, James. Monaghan has been on my to watch list for a while now. I had first seen him on Gotham in which he’s played Jerome, or what people have been saying should be the shows official Joker. I’ve also seen him recently on a show he’s going into eight seasons on entitled “Shameless” in which he not only plays a gay character but on with some mental issues which allows him to play crazy which he excels at. For The Awakening, I felt like he was underused. Not anybody’s fault as his character was very limited in what he could do considering he was the guy stuck in a bed with limited to no mobility throughout most of the film.
As mentioned earlier, the second half fell flat and I’m not going to blame the script or actors or anything of that nature. I believe this happened because of the limited potential an Amityville film actually has for an ending. It’s either going to end with death or survival, plain and simple but going from the atmosphere it had to nothing really killed the vibe for me.
In all it’s not a bad film. I was surprised and can actually say that I enjoyed a good portion of it. It may not be for everybody but I think that most genre fans are going to appreciate at least some aspects this movie but with that said, I also know a lot of people are going to tear it apart for a few random reasons.
I feel like this one is worth your time especially as a free to view film.
6.5 out of 10