Amityville: The Awakening is facing its own kind of horror as the movie sees its release date delayed yet again. Based on one of the most famous “true life” hauntings in American history, 1979’s The Amityville Horror has become something of a minor classic over the years, despite even its proponents usually not contesting that the film has flaws. What nobody likely saw coming at the time was just how long-lasting of a franchise Amityville would become. Between “official” studio-produced entries in the series and low-budget knockoffs loosely based on the Amityville case and using its title, a whopping 18 films have been produced to date.
The 19th Amityville film has actually been in the can for quite awhile now, having completed principal photography back in 2014. Centering on another new family unfortunate enough to move into the titular house, The Awakening was set to serve as yet another reboot of the franchise, and features former Disney star Bella Thorne in the lead role. Joining her in the project are several other recognizable names, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison, That ’70s Show’s Kurtwood Smith, and Gotham’s Cameron “Jerome Valeska” Monaghan.
Amityville: The Awakening was originally set for release by Dimension Films and the Weinstein Company back in January 2015, before being abruptly pulled from that date. The film was later moved to April 2016, before once again being bumped back, this time to January 2017. Just weeks before its planned January date, The Awakening was delayed yet again, to June 30, 2017. Now, Deadline reports that the seemingly cursed entry into the Amityville legacy has been taken off the schedule again, with a new release date yet to be determined.
It’s anyone’s guess as to why Dimension remains so wary of finally pulling the trigger on Amityville: The Awakening, as honestly, the series as a whole doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for quality. Then again, most of the entries have gone direct to video, so the lack of care isn’t too surprising. One wonders if the recent failure of Paramount’s own long-delayed horror follow-up Rings contributed to The Awakening once again getting pulled from the schedule.
At this stage — with the film having been sitting on a shelf for over three years now — it seems like a real question as to whether Amityville: The Awakening will ever actually see release, at least in theaters. Every delay has just added to the dark cloud surrounding the movie among horror devotees, and it’s hard to imagine it being a big hit at this point. Perhaps Dimension would be better suited to send this latest Amityville straight to the bargain bin, where so many of its predecessors have eventually ended up.