One of the classic horror movie tropes has a previously-thought-dead entity suddenly rearing up alive and angry in the last reel, only to be put down for good - or until they figure out a way to bring it back to life in the sequel. This theme can be applied to the found-footage genre, the spawn of The Blair Witch Project which hit its commercial peak with the Paranormal Activity series.
Just when we think there's nothing more to be done with the approach, a unique spin on the genre appears in the form of super-villian origin story Chronicle or the inventive horror anthology V/H/S and its even-better sequel. Like it or not, the genre is here to stay, with an attempt to expand into a new market with the upcoming Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones as well as a project which grafts the found footage approach onto the classic "true story" of The Amityville Horror.
Now officially titled Amityville, a press release from Dimension Films gives us the film's release date of January 2, 2015:
Dimension Films has set a January 2, 2015 release date for their upcoming Amityville (previously titled The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes).
Written and directed by Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands, the latest entry in the horror franchise showcases the events after the time of the original The Amityville Horror book and movie through found footage dating back to 1976. An ambitious female television news intern, on the verge of breaking the most famous haunted house case in the world, leads a team of journalists, clergymen and paranormal researchers into an investigation of the bizarre events that will come to be known as "The Amityville Horror"... only to unwittingly open a door to the unreal that she may never be able to close.
The new release date makes Amityville the first major release of 2015 as well as the first film to claim that particular release date.
This new take on The Amityville Horror has been a long time coming. The first news of another remake dates back to four years ago, and the project then known as The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes saw its release date delayed to the point where the project was largely forgotten. We only just recently heard that the movie was still alive, with the decision to snap up a release date maybe having to do with a renewed interest in real-life horror stories, thanks to the big success of this years The Conjuring, which will see a bunch of different spinoffs.
The original 1979 Amityville Horror - based on a 1977 nonfiction book - was remade in 2005 and starred Ryan Reynolds as a family man who becomes possessed by the evil forces haunting his new house and terrorizes his wife (Melissa George) and three children (the daughter was played by a very young Chloë Grace Moretz). Despite the title's pervasive presence in popular culture, neither the original film or the remake are exactly groundbreaking, with a series of direct sequels to the original and various straight-to-video releases (such as The Amityville Curse, Amityville: Dollhouse, Amityville 1992: It's About Time) diluting the brand nearly to the point of self-parody.
Still, this new Amityville could ride a perfect storm of interest in true-life horror, coupled with one other found-footage approach to a venerable 80's horror franchise: 2015's Friday the 13th reboot.
It remains to be seen whether or not this new Amityville will have anything fresh or original to add to the horror genre. The writer-directors, Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands, have a number of horror credits between them - for example, Farrands has a producer credit on 2009's The Haunting in Connecticut and was involved with a lot of video shorts having to do with the mythos of the Friday the 13th universe.
Will this experience translate into an inventive take on The Amityville Horror? What do you think, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to a found-footage version of this story? Sound off in the comments.
Amityville will be released in theaters on January 2, 2015.