Amityville: The Awakening – Blu-ray Review

Amityville: The Awakening is a 2017 American supernatural horror film that was written and directed by Franck Khalfoun, and stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Cameron Monaghan, Thomas Mann, and Kurtwood Smith. It is the tenth installment of the main Amityville film series and a metafile taking place within the “real world” outside of the continuity of the series which establishes The Amityville Horror (1979), the sequels from 1982 to 1996, and the 2005 remake of the original film as fiction. Its storyline follows a teenager who moves into 112 Ocean Avenue with her family, who shortly find themselves being haunted by a demonic entity using her brain-dead twin brother’s body as a vessel.

Despite going through a few delays in the US, the film began its theatrical run in the Ukraine and Central America on July 20, 2017, where the film grossed only $580,466 from the 830 screens playing it. It later opened in the United States on a limited release on October 28, 2017. Playing in ten theaters, the film made just $742 during its opening weekend (an average of $74 per venue), and finished sixtieth at the box office. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall approval rating of 20% based on the ten reviews that have been submitted, with an average rating of 4.2/10.

The Film Itself (3/5):

Amityville: The Awakening is a completely new take on the films of the Amityville franchise, and this is something that should be remembered when going into this film.  Overall, the story itself wasn’t too bad with its take on post-horrific events of the house.  However, I feel that the presentation of the film could’ve been executed better.  The overall feeling of the cast and characters felt as if they really weren’t into their roles, and as a result, cause my wife and I to feel rather “meh” at the end of the film as it made the overall experience pretty generic.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Presented in the more than popular 1080p resolution, Amityville: The Awakening looked really great as it played out across my living room television.  Providing a crisp and clean look into the house and the horrific paranormal events that surround the house within the story.  Even in the scenes that have less than the normal amount of lighting, there was more than enough ambient light provided during these sequences that allowed for my wife and I to visually understand what was happening without the requirement of additional focus or having to squint to see what was going on.

Audio Quality (4/5):

Packaged with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, Amityville: The Awakening does everything that it can with its technology to offer an immersive experience for its viewers.  Making perfect use of not only the front channels, but the two rear channels and the subwoofer.  Perfectly placing the audience right in the middle of everything, and following them based on the location of the camera, it helped to make the experience a little more fulfilling.  Even during some of the jump-scare sequences, the impact that my wife and I felt roar through all of the available channels, definitely did a great job at letting us know that shit was about to get real and we should keep paying close attention to the finer details.

The Packaging (2.5/5):

Amityville: The Awakening comes packaged in your standard single disc Blu-ray amaray case.  Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film, the disc featuring a piece of artwork that is relative to the film but varies from that of the case art.  There is no DVD copy of the film included with this release, however there is a digital copy redemption pamphlet.  There are no slipcovers provided with this release.

  

Special Features (1/5):

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray release of Amityville: The Awakening is pretty barebones in terms of special features.  There is a single special feature that has been included that does offer a behind the scenes look into the work that went into making this film available, a simply titled featurette named The Making Of Amityville: The Awakening.

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles

English SDH, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 86 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Generally speaking, I am really glad that I was given the opportunity to check out Amityville: The Awakening.  The story that is being presented in this release is a new take on an originally written feature, and offers a new look into that story.  Sadly, the experience left a lot to be asked for as a result of underperforming cast members.  Both the visual and audible experience of the Blu-ray release were really nicely done and my wife and I were not only able to visually see and understand everything, but the audio track did a really nice job at placing us into the center of the action.  Unfortunately, the Blu-ray release of this film is pretty lackluster in terms of additional content with its behind the scenes look of the film, and lack of audio commentaries from anyone who worked on this film.  If you’re on the fence about picking this movie up for your collection, I’d recommend grabbing it only if you do not have the dire dedication to the original films, and even then, wait for it to go on sale.  It will be available from all major retailers beginning on November 14.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven’t heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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