Having already delivered a lacklustre ‘found-footage’ horror, (The Amityville Haunting in 2011) audiences could hardly be blamed for avoiding Amityville: No Escape as if it was a plague of flies.
The fourth movie with the Amityville title in five months to be released in 2016, Amityville: No Escape is the seventeenth film in the franchise. A series where expectations are at an all time low which for many a film-maker might be something of a relief. They don’t have to make a great Amityille film, they only need to make a passable one. Do that & it will automatically be considered one of the high points of the franchise.
You can read our reviews of the series so far below:
1979 – The Amityville Horror
1982 – Amityville II: The Possession
1983 – Amityville 3D
1989 – Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes
1990 – The Amityville Curse
1992 – Amityville: It’s About Time
1993 – Amityville: A New Generation
1996 – Amityville Dollhouse
2005 – The Amityville Horror – Remake
2011 – The Amityville Haunting
2013 – The Amityville Asylum
2015 – Amityville Death House
2015 – The Amityville Playhouse
2016 – Amityville: Vanishing Point
2016 – The Amityville Legacy
2016 – The Amityville Terror
Amityville: No Escape is a mediocre watch, one that saw the success of Paranormal Activity/The Blair Witch Project & decided that it wanted a bit of that pie.
The movie takes place during two different time periods. One in 1997 & one in 2016 with two different but seemingly related pieces of recovered footage No Escape tries the Blair Witch route of selling itself as ‘real’ but hilariously then drops in a disclaimer that the footage we’re about to see is for ‘marketing purposes’.
The 2016 part of the story surrounds a college student called George (Josh Miller) who is recording a thesis project looking at personal fears. He wants to know what scares his girlfriend, family & friends so plans a camping trip to the haunted woods of Amityville.
The 1997 part of the film deals with Lina (Julia Gomez) who has recently moved in the infamous Amityville house (112 Ocean Avenue). Her military husband is away on deployment, so Lina records video diaries documenting the new house & sharing her daily activates with him.
As the movie progress her loneliness increases & strange occurrences begin to happen. Small things such as something falling over or being moved. It’s so Paranormal Activity in its delivery that if it wasn’t for the 2016 time jumps you’d believe you where watching another in that series of movies.
Julia Gomez is a decent actress who has an energetic chattiness that gives some life to her character but can also be really annoying. She is the most memorable of the group with the 2016 timeline cast utterly forgettable.
The two timelines seem completely unrelated to each other until the final scenes that culminate in a ‘is that it?’ feeling. It is in no way satisfying & ticks every found footage trope going. Blurry & out of focus shots, shaky camera control, dark environments where nothing is visible…it’s all here & as frustrating as always.
That being said, Amityville: No Escape isn’t a horrible film. The 1997 parts are enjoyable & it builds anticipation well even if the end result is lacking. It’s not particularly scary in any regard & rips off far too many movies that came way before it. Of the two Amityville found footage horrors this is far superior but it’s not like it had much to actually top.
Amityville: No Escape