The Amityville Terror (2016) Horror Movie Review


The Amityville Terror, directed by Michael Angelo and written by Amanda Barton, is a film that attempts to capitalize on the notorious reputation of the Amityville horror story. The movie introduces us to a family that moves into the infamous town, unaware of the dark history that lurks within their new home. The narrative follows a familiar trajectory of supernatural occurrences and psychological torment, but does it manage to stand out in the crowded field of horror?

The film stars Nicole Tompkins, Kaiwi Lyman, and Kim Nielsen, who deliver performances that are commendable given the material they have to work with. The plot centers around the family’s teenage daughter, Hailey, played by Tompkins, who becomes the focal point of the haunting. The family’s dynamic and their interactions provide a canvas for the unfolding terror.

One of the most significant challenges for The Amityville Terror is its struggle to offer something new to the genre. The movie treads well-worn paths of the haunted house narrative, with elements such as creepy dolls and music boxes, and a small town with a sinister secret. While these tropes are staples of horror, their execution in this film does not bring the freshness that might have set it apart.

The special effects, often a highlight in horror films, unfortunately, do not rise to the occasion here. Critics and audiences alike have noted the CGI effects as a weak point, with some elements, such as fire, being particularly underwhelming. This aspect of the film detracts from the immersive experience that horror fans look for.

Despite its shortcomings, The Amityville Terror does have moments that shine. There are scenes that effectively build tension and atmosphere, and the setting of Amityville still carries a certain intrigue that will draw viewers in. However, the film’s inability to fully leverage this setting leaves the story feeling somewhat hollow.

In the Nutshell

The Amityville Terror is a film that may appeal to die-hard fans of the genre or those with a specific interest in the Amityville lore. However, for those seeking innovation or high-quality horror, this may not be the first choice. The movie’s reliance on clichés and subpar effects overshadow the efforts of its cast and the potential of its historical backdrop. It serves as a reminder that even the most chilling of tales need a fresh approach to keep audiences truly engaged. For a more in-depth analysis, one might refer to the detailed reviews available on platforms like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.  I give 1 out of 5 stars.

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Genre:  Haunted House

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One comment

  1. Dang, after seeing the poster for this, and actually seeing The Amityville Horror remake…people DO realize that the real house is in a suburb, right? Not far at all from neighboring houses. Yes, it was built in the ’20s, but it wasn’t half castle or 1800s mansion. I get it, make it look insanely older or like it’s out in the middle of nowhere = spooky. Supposedly. But for me, the creepiness was always the fact that it IS a normal house in a suburb. It could be any house. I don’t believe the story is real, of course, as it is an admitted hoax, but taken purely as horror fiction, the book is one of the scariest I’ve read. Done right, a really scary movie could, and SHOULD be made out of The Amityville Horror.


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