The 12th movie in the Amityville series is a bit of a surprise. Not in that it’s a good film, it’s not but rather that it uses plot points from previous movies in the series to create its own story here.
Fawn, yes, that is her actual name, inherits a dilapidated theatre in Amityville after her parents died. The theatre hasn’t been in use for some time but she decides to check it out hoping to understand why her parents owned it & never told her.
She takes some of her friends with her, a group of bland & irritating characters who fit every teenage cliché going. Once inside the group explore & get a little freaked out when mysterious things start happening. They decide to leave but the find the doors sealed closed, there is no way out.
Things get worse as they meet a strange homeless woman who has been living inside for some time & the group begin to get picked off one by one by unseen forces.
You’ll read a lot online about how little this movie has to do with the events that occurred in the book or first film & that is true. However most of the series has taken this approach so it hardly comes as a surprise. Here though there are some thin links to ideas suggested in both The Amityville Asylum & Amityville Death House….the death of 6 and the rise of a dark lord.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not praising it for this as these plot points are idiotic & unnecessary. It’s hardly a compelling reason to watch but it does create a little mystery when one of Fawn’s teachers decides to look deeper into the town’s links.
It’s just a shame that the end result is so laughable, so poorly done that all you can do is shake your head in amazement. The acting is bad to diabolically bad, a film jammed packed with dialogue that is often pointless & said with very little convection or believability.
The film cuts between the events in the theatre & the teacher’s investigation but for reasons that make little sense we also get these terribly done jumps to England. There we see the teacher dropping into his local pub to say goodbye to a few people before he goes off to America. These cuts make no sense & come across as padding of the worst kind.
The film is very light on scares & gore, no surprise considering the age rating (UK – 15) but it does have occasional moments that momentarily chill such as the theatre performance that sees the audience turning to look at Fawn. Effective but like much of this film it chooses to drag it out rather then keeping it short & sharp.
By the end not much is clear, why Fawn’s parents kept her in the dark about the theatre, why everyone in the town is in on it, why the mayor suddenly has a change of heart, who the homeless woman was…the list goes on.
It’s not the worst in the series & leaves hope that the next movie might capitalise on this slight upswing.
I doubt it though.
The Amityville Playhouse