Horror Movie Review: Amityville Poltergeist (2020)

Here we are again… another of 2020’s Amityville titled horror movies. As always, take the fact that this uses the Amityville name with a whole pit of salt. It was written as No Sleep and later changed to Don’t Sleep before being given the title of An Amityville Poltergeist. Followed by the ‘An’ being dropped completely. It’s just another attempt to piggyback off what was once a bankable name. Another in a long line of movies that have nothing to do with the original horror and just use the Amityville name to get a few extra viewers. We know what we’re talking about as we’ve tried to keep up with them here.

Unlike a lot of the other Amityville titled movies, Amityville Poltergeist goes for simplicity. By that we mean, it’s a haunted house scenario.

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Directed by Calvin Morie McCarthy who also wrote it with help from Jon Ashley Hall who also acts in the movie. Amityville Poltergeist stars Parris Bates, Conor Austin, Rebecca Kimble and Sydney Winbush.

Jim (Bates) needs money so ends up taking a job as a house sitter for Eunice (Kimble) and her son, Tony (Hall). A simple enough job for the youngster, watch the house over the weekend and get paid. Eunice isn’t too happy about it though and warns Jim that what is in the house already is the real problem. Something Tony dismisses as her advancing age and a potential illness.

Unfortunately for Jim, this house is actually haunted and it doesn’t take too long before he starts to experience ghostly-goings-on. Sort of. Do dreams count? How about dreams within dreams? That’s about all Amityville Poltergeist does. Uninspired and uninteresting attempts to scare while also going the route of reality blurring. No wonder they had to give it the Amityville title as it’s the only thing about this movie to gain any attention at all.

Unsurprisingly though, Amityville Poltergeist has absolutely nothing to do with 112 Ocean Avenue. It’s not the house, it’s not the ghosts, it’s not even got a lamp, dollhouse, wood or vibrator that may have come from the original building. This is an Amityville movie in title and title alone.

That’s par for the course though. The question is whether it’s a decent movie regardless.

The answer is a straight-forward no. From the (always) idiotic idea of starting the movie at the end before flashing back. To the unlikeable lead and poor characters, average acting and confusing narrative. To the shoddy effects and ham-fisted ‘gun ownership’ message, Amityville Poltergeist fails in pretty much every department.

There have been worse, so much worse, but Amityville Poltergeist commits arguably the biggest sin of all. Which is just how immaterial it feels. A horror movie you’ll forget about immediately, that’s provided you even made it to the end.


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Amityville Poltergeist
  • The Final Score - 2.5/10
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