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'Amityville' Acquires Director and Cast; Found Footage Angle Dropped

Amityville House

Over the last few years producer Jason Blum's studio Blumhouse Productions has mastered the art of turning a high profit from micro- or low-budget horror films, the best example of which is probably the original Paranormal Activity and its subsequent sequels, which have so far grossed over $800 million worldwide (with a collective production budget of just $18 million).

Found footage is an easy direction to take when producing a horror movie on a shoestring budget; by their very design such movies are usually unpolished with minimal production value. It therefore came as little surprise when Dimension Films announced a new Amityville Horror movie (with Jason Blum producing), which would be titled Amityville: The Lost Tapes and be shot found footage style.

Since then, however, an over-saturation of found footage movies in the horror genre - including Dimension's own dismal found footage Hellraiser sequel, Hellraiser: Revelations - has led to horror fans becoming more than a little weary of the sub-genre. Perhaps this is the reason why (as The Wrap reports based on the Bloody Disgusting exclusive) the found footage angle for Amityville: The Lost Tapes has now been dropped. This also explains why the movie was recently retitled to the more hashtag-friendly Amityville.

Ryan Reynolds Amityville 2005

Amityville is a sequel to the original 1976 movie about an ambitious news intern who tries to score her big break by leading a team of clergymen, journalists and paranormal researchers into an investigation of the haunting, only to find herself falling in a little too deep. The Wrap also reports that Amityville will be directed by Franck Khalfoun, whose most recent movie was Maniac, a stylistically-experiemental horror starring Elijah Wood as a serial killer who stalks young women.

Speaking of casting, Amityville has found its young lead in Bella Thorne, currently known for Disney dance-tasting kids show Shake It Up! There are certainly worse ways to try and break out of the Disney mold than an Amityville Horror sequel; at least this probably won't involve any wrecking ball stunts. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hitcher) has also been cast as a single mother who moves her three kids into the Amityville house. The script for the movie was penned by Daniel Farrands and Casey La Scala, who are also co-producing with Blum.

Is this latest Amityville movie sounding any more promising now that the found footage angle has been dropped, or should this haunted house be left undisturbed?

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Amityville will be released in theaters on January 2, 2015.

Source: Bloody Digusting [via The Wrap]

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