Greetings, once more I venture into the land of the forgotten wretchedness, to discover films that might not be worthy and dangerous to horror fans that seek to keep their sanity and wanting their last images in eyes and mind of horrendous films. Everyone says they have seen the worse, but here I examine and autopsy the worse of the worse, and this week, the discovery of a fresh grave. Yes, it is a film from 2017, called Amityville Exorcism, can prayers save it? I strongly doubt it. This movie marks a few firsts for both this column and this reviewer, such as the director is the Mark Polonia, who did Jurassic Prey (2015), hence becoming our first repeat director (unsure if congratulations is warranted), in addition he directed Amityville Death House (2015), marking the second ‘Amityville’ title film he did, and the distribution repeats itself, Wild Eye Releasing. But the most significant, for this reviewer, it is the first time the marks when I started to view the movie the rating from IMDB as 1.5 and by then start the review the flick turned in a downward trend now residing at 1.4, yet one must continue forward to understand this death of filming. Films some suggest similar to the construction of a house, the script equals a solid foundation, the crew builds the structure, and the cast adds the interior work, and the director acts the foreman, sadly collectively along with the curb appeal in the form of the box cover, can’t save it from a the condemned sign.
This movie, uses a bit of the previous ‘Amityville’ tie-ins, though, one might question, if they actually knew, most don’t, but as a Horror Historian, it borrows its concept from director Sandor Stern’s Amityville: The Evil Escapes (1989) about a lamp from the infamous house containing transference of evil. Then the film Amityville: It’s About Time (1992) from director Tony Randel, known for Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) used this same plot point except as a mysterious clock, and once more with director John Murlowski’s Amityville: A New Generation (1993) as the object becomes an old mirror. Now Polonia presents his conjuring from the building material of wood and nothing-fancy just scraps.
The film starts various disjointed images someone using a hammer to murder numerous family members, the killing purely amateurish in design, the holding of the hammer, appears awkward (shaking a tad too much). Anyway, years later in black background room the killer confesses to a priest Father Benna (Jeff Kirkendall, works often with Mark, starring in Jurassic Prey, Sharkenstein (2016) and Amityville Death House) and asks the priest to go to a house to exorcise it. His reasoning, demonic transference, the lumber from the infamous Amityville house in Long Island, used in his house and hence possessed him to kill, (in other words his wood made him murder). The wood used in other another home already causing havoc, between an alcoholic father Jeremy Dukane (James Carolus, who you guess it starred the same movies, which Kirkendall did too) and his daughter, Amy (Marie DeLorenzo), her mother Bonnie (Kathryn Sue Young) killed in DUI by her father. Hence, the animosity, definitely present, but not explored, nor used to create any tension and the actors appearing to plod through the short 77-minute runtime of this flick, but Jeremy enjoys his holding a bottle Jägermeister. Father Benna, lost his brother, a fellow priest Father Jonas (Steve Diasparra) to the demonic forces at the original Amityville house, drives to the location of where the lumber used in a house construction, given to him by the killer. Coincidentally, Amy becomes possessed at the same time, by a red robe dressed demon, wearing clearly a cheap red plastic mask.
A killing of burglar occurs, but noting he enters at night, into the basement and clearly showing through the windows the sun showing – oh well, time for demonic lightshow.
Quickly enough, the priest gets the father to believe him, and starts to bless the outside of the house, as they approach a shed with the legendary Amityville flies, except this time represented as black dots on the screen, even the flies, wouldn’t star in this production. Union Rules or they got standards too, either way, when the Father and Jeremy escape no flies (black dots) emerge with them to get off the location.
As the priest blesses each room in the house, the demon and Amy feel the power of holy water at the house, yet they both return, (WHY?) they’re out of the house, freely killing, Amy embraces her demonic zombie side, but back to the house.
Now the quickest portion the film, involves the exorcism, a very poor variation of the famous version in The Exorcist (1973), with the Benna and Jeremy using bungee cords on Amy’s limbs, (WHY?) they stretch and loosely tied. Meanwhile, frosting makeup covers Amy’s demonic face, and not the one from the DVD cover. Amy’s words are similar to The Exorcist, along with a pitiful vomit scene and subtle tones of the music of that same movie. Soon enough, she’s cured, movie over, yeah!
Sometimes a new filmmaker without a budget or just a few hundred dollars tries their best to make a horror movie, using friends as the actors, and locations of family, and maybe referencing other name movies. However, the director, Mark Polonia, knows better since he’s been involved with at least 50 horror movies; wait for a budget, the shot-on-video approach not working. The issues too grand merely overlooked, a plot helps, an actual movie, not just a series of mismatched scenes, and some sort of special effects, but not a duct-tape chewing gum rubber-band manner of filming, horror fans deserve better as does one’s craft. For example, filmmakers know to use water for the vodka, the bottles cost $7 for Crystal Palace to Smirnoff $11, if you can’t afford that, stop, gather more money. The costumes of the demon beyond silly along with the lightshow to show his killing powers, and then add in the blood scenes very poorly created extremely cheesy.
One, cannot more forcefully state that this movie is not worth the time, or money to watch, as a reviewer I try to find something redeeming, but it just doesn’t make sense, the cheapness echoes clearly throughout the production. Sometimes scenes repeat themselves, and the movie lacks any enjoyment, no jump scares, weird (not interesting) music and dreadful effects. As many horror fans know, the year-end lists for best films and actors exist on many sites, and then there’s the list for the worst film of the current year, well, Amityville Exorcism clearly leading the race for the number slot for 2017.
imdb rating: 1.4/10
DOA Rating: 1.3/10