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The Amityville Asylum (Review)

A rather weak effort

Yet another movie attempts to cash in on the name of Amityville. They use the land the old Amityville Horror house stood on, and built -- of all things -- an asylum. This is quite an interesting approach to take, but it would have been even better with a budget to help with production. Even so, they managed to produce a somewhat watchable film. As usual, I started making notes while watching, however, found myself repeatedly writing in the same errors, mostly to do with the camera position. The lens looked to have been in the actor's faces half the time. Another concerns the shots that were hiding behind everything, peeking out, so you had half a door or something, which is fine and dandy when it's needed. For example, when you want to give the impression of someone spying just out of sight, but director Andrew Jones had the cinematographer overuse it. For example, at the beginning, when Lisa is being interviewed by the doctor for the cleaning job, the camera is unnecessarily peeking out from the door, then cut to another tight shot of Lisa, back and forth. It started getting on my nerves almost driving me to distraction.

The Amityville Asylum
Written and Directed by Andrew Jones
Cast Sarah Louise Madison, Lee Bane, Eileen Daly, Kenton Hall
DVD Release Date 2 October, 2013
Ed's Grade: D

I'll get the other faults out of the way first. The dialogue could have been better thought through, like the Star Trek Chekov impersonation while Delaney (Lee Bane) explains to Lisa how to work the buffing machine and a long-winded rant about how it all worked. It was needless because it didn't get exploited later in the film. Why were cleaners doing rounds in darkness a lot of the time, and why did Delaney have details of all the highly-dangerous inmates locked rather insecurely in "Ward X"? Why did the doctor walk into a dark room with a killer holding a knife? Actually, there is a lot more but I'm actually being so critical because it shows promise.

Occasional overacting aside, this movie isn't that bad, and the performances by Sarah Louise Madison and Lee Bane were, on the whole, quite good. I'm unsure why Jarod Morgan portrayed the doctor as he did, but I've seen him way, way better. The makeup looked good during the closing scenes, particularly the effect of the cheek being torn off. However, it was a bit too in-your-face to be truly effective.

What elevates this film is the budget of $20 thousand because when looked at from that point of view it's quite an achievement. I would actually watch this again I think because it was better than most of the micro-budget schlock I sit through.

by Ed Blackadder

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