This review originally posted at The Horror Syndicate, however now presented with a few more critiques as it held the sole position for the worst production of 2017 in the horror genre, and it’s very difficult to call the movie a film, as it’s very abysmal. Perhaps aspiring filmmakers need to see this “film” as insight of what not to do with their productions, the SOV of 80s has more meaningful value than the cheapness and awfulness of this mess.
Once more the I venture into the land of the forgotten wretchedness, to discover films that might not be worthy of consumption and dangerous to horror fans that seek to keep their sanity and wanting their last images in eyes and mind of horrendous films. Everyone, say they 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, in fact the spiritual world cast this out both Heaven and Hell. First, a warning, the director Mark Polonia, also did the film Amityville Death House (2015), marking the second ‘Amityville’ title film he did, but with a higher rating than this one. But the most significant, for this reviewer, it is the first time that marks when I started to view the movie the rating from IMDB as 1.5 and by then start the review the flick turn in a downward trend now residing at 1.4 (March 20, 2017) and then settled back at 1.5 popularity. Films, in general suggest similar construction like a house, the script equals a solid foundation, the crew builds the structure, and the cast adds the interior work, the director adds the architecture, and the curb appeal in the form of the box cover. This time the house needs a condemned sign! Many critics slammed the Amityville: Awakening (2017) as the worst in the series (and while technically more of a direct sequel in the franchise) this movie Amityville Exorcism contains plenty gut wrenching anguish.
This movie, uses a bit of the previous ‘Amityville’ tie-ins, though, one might question, if they actually knew, most don’t, it borrows concept from director Sandor Stern’s Amityville: The Evil Escapes (1989) about a lamp from the infamous house containing a 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 a old mirror. Now Polonia present his conjuring from the building material of wood and nothing-fancy just scraps, the images in the movie show random shots of carpenters working on houses, none that relates to the house in the film, the budget doesn’t allow for that elaboration.
The film starts with using a hammer to murder numerous family members in a lame manner, the killing purely amateurish in design, the holding of the hammer, appears awkward (shaking a tad too much), perhaps the camera operator also holding the murder weapon. Anyway, years later in black background room the killer confesses to a priest Father Benna (Jeff Kirkendall, works often with Mark, starred in Jurassic Prey (2015) and Sharkenstein (2016)) 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 Jagermeister. 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 clearing 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.
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?) the stretch and loosely tied. Meanwhile, frosting makeup covers Amy’s demonic face, and not the one from the DVD cover. A comical line, from Benna “let me get my bag of tricks” to battle the demon, no vestments, just a wooden cross with a black marker written with the name ‘Jerusalem’. Amy says words similar to The Exorcist, along with a pitiful vomit scene and subtle tones of the music of that same movie. Soon enough, cured, movie over, wait chance for sequels, remember the yellow freshly written paper, yes more houses. UGH!
Horror fans know the various grades in the genre, ‘A’ stellar quality; ‘B-movie’ some cheese, questionable dialogue, effects and an image of T&A and then much further down the list ‘Z’ grade and often associated to director Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), however compared to this flick, its worthy of an Oscar. Seriously!
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 involved with at least 50 horror movies, wait for a budget, the shot-on-video approach, not working, and appears more as montages than actually scenes. The issues too grand merely overlook, 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 use water for the vodka, the bottles cost $7 for Crystal Palace if you can’t afford that, stop, gather more money, borrow someone’s. 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 stated that this movie truly not worth the time, or money to watch, as a reviewer I try to find something redeeming, but it just makes no 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: 1.5/10 (out of 345 votes – 255 for 1)
Baron’s Rating: 1/10