This review is based on a true story.
You probably wont believe what just happened to me. It was just after 3:15 a.m. when I’d been awakened by… something, just hours after watching The Amityville Asylum and heading to bed. I could have sworn it was a voice, coming from somewhere in my unlit apartment, just up the hall.
I investigated, and arrived there to find DVDs strewn all over the kitchen table. All the Amityville films – everything from the original theatrical release to The Amityville Asylum, and all of the horrid releases in between.
Placed next to them was a shotgun.
Then I heard it again. It was a voice. It spoke to me without volume, perhaps inside of my head.
“Kill them,” it said. “Kill them all.”
I grew up a stone’s throw from Amityville on Long Island. I’d read Jay Anson’s novel when I was a boy (it was the second book I’d ever read after “Its Alive”), and had seen all the films, from The Amityville Horror (1978) to its most recent sequel, January 7th 2014’s DVD release: The Amityville Asylum. Aside from the My Amityville documentary (which was sort of an anomoly), the films had just gotten progressively worse and worse. After 2011’s The Amityville Haunting, I thought the series had hit the bottom of the barrel. Therefore, I accepted The Amityville Asylum with lonely, open arms.
It couldn’t get any worse, could it???
“Kill them,” the voice spoke to me again. “Kill them all.”
I reluctantly picked up the shotgun with a shaky grip.
“I… I can’t…” I stammered.
In The Amityville Asylum, a young woman named Lisa Templeton (Sophia Del Pizzo) heads to the newly erected High Hopes Sanitarium in search of a job. She is hired on for a cleaning gig, meets her co-worker Delaney (Lee Bane) and learns the ropes of the facility. It’s not long before she is seeing things – a little girl running around the halls, an other patient who had died one day before – strange things that make no sense and cause her to have a hard time fitting in with the crew. In time, we of course learn that the hospital was built on the grounds of 112 Ocean Avenue – the same location where murders and ancient rituals and the legends of Amityville all took place. So, of course, you can guess how this might play out. The question of The Amityville Asylum becomes, is what Lisa is seeing real, or is she being maneuvered into believing she is crazy so she can be locked up and used for a dark ceremony and sacrificed in trade for someone’s evil pursuit of immortality?
While not a direct sequel to any of the films (was there ever one?) this eleventh (or so) entry in this series does nothing to boost the Amityville legend. If anything, it fortifies its reputation for being one of the worst franchises in the genre. The violence is below television caliber, it’s void of jump scares or creepiness, and in all honestly you’d never know it was tied into the Amityville story if the actors hadn’t repeatedly delved into the past to discuss its history. In fact, the most disturbing element of the whole film are the opening credits, reflecting upon when Ronald DeFeo went around his Amityville home and shot his family dead while they slept.
To discuss any more about what this film holds will rob it of the few calories it has to offer. The story is weak, but it is somehow made watchable by a good choice in casting – as many of the supporting actors are good at what they do. While the two leads, Del Pizzo and Bane, manage to hold your attention, its very clunky and poorly constructed, with newcomer Victoria Rodway’s cinematography sort of overshadowing Andrew Jones directing efforts – the whole production feels pasted together on the fly with novice experimentation.
It’s a step up from The Amityville Haunting (what wouldn’t be?), but it’s a baby step. What I’ll remember most from this tale, is Sophia Del Pizzo. She is cute, and has quirky nervous mannerisms that kept my eyes roaming her naturally pretty face. But its not enough to distract you from the fact that she (I haven’t confirmed this) may be British, as her accent starts coming through when she gets upset. Between her British accent, Delaney’s Russian accent, and Lisa’s friend’s Scottish or Irish accent, many will pull up IMDB.com to verify, yes, this was not filmed in the United States – but in the UK. This in itself doesn’t bring the film down, but when Lisa’s friend tells her of the history of “a MIDDIE-ville”, and mispronounces the town’s name repeatedly, it becomes an ear sore to anyone trying to suspend their belief and accept this is taking place as they say – on Long Island.
“Kill them all,” the voice strongly implored me, once more.
I aimed the barrel of the shotgun at The Amityville Haunting first, and cocked it.
Saddened, I asked aloud. “Can I keep the original and Amityville Horror 2, with Burt Young? Cause those were —”
“Sure!” the voice urgently interrupted. “Just kill the others! Please! Kill them ALL!”
Pointing at the DVD…
BLAM!!!! BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM!!!!!