I’m not sure what I’m a bigger sucker for, films about Bigfoot, or films with Amityville in the title. Though given the fact that, after recently reviewing Amityville Vampire, Amityville Scarecrow and Amityville Cult I’m reviewing The Amityville Moon I think I may actually know the answer.
Writer/director Thomas J. Churchill (Xenophobia, Check Point) pens the film with a prologue in which a guy finds out the hard way that normal bullets will not stop a werewolf. Ten years later Alyssa (Alex Rinehart, Art of the Dead, They’re Inside) and a friend are trying to escape from St. Matthias House of Rehabilitation, a church-run halfway house for troubled girls. She escapes, but something big and hairy kills her friend.
Since the girls were sent there by the court, Detective Kimball (Trey McCurley, P-51 Dragon Fighter) is assigned to find them. The duo in charge of the facility, Father Peter (David B. Meadows, Alien Warfare, The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre) and Sister Ruth (Tuesday Knight, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Wanton Want) aren’t exactly helpful, but Mandy (Augie Duke, Eminence Hill, Necropolis: Legion) manages to give him a few clues.
This is Mr. Churchill’s second visit to Amityville, but, as far as I can tell this is a standalone film with no connection to The Amityville Harvest apart from the setting. And honestly, after watching The Amityville Moon I’m not inclined to watch it and find out.
Despite a fairly promising start, The Amityville Moon very quickly turns into an incredibly slow and talky mess. We sit in on a meeting to tell us that Kimball is the kind of cop that has no problem beating up a handcuffed prisoner. We sit in on one of the cringiest group therapy sessions in history to tell us that the girls of St. Matthias are really bad bitches.
The closest any of this comes to horror is an attempt to build up suspense by trying to make us care who the werewolf is. Is it the newly arrived Father Michael (Michael Cervantes, Clown Fear, Big Freaking Rat)? Or could it be Sister Francis (Katarina Leigh Waters, Redcon-1, Killing Joan) who is kept up on the top floor, hooked up to some kind of monitor? Or is that all an extremely obvious attempt to divert your attention from somebody else?
The plot thread about the search for Alyssa is equally dull. She heads straight for the bar she used to work at. And is still there when Kimball shows up. That not only makes it easy to find her, but it also sets up a horribly staged fight with the bikers that hang out there. The only less convincing thing in The Amityville Moon is Alyssa’s attempts at tears shortly afterwards. Of course, he brings her back just as the werewolf gets hungry again…
For a low-budget film, the werewolf isn’t bad, and the suit is convincing enough, but the rubbery mask leaves a lot to be desired. Most of The Amityville Moon’s gore consists of fake blood. Even a beating with a fire extinguisher only leaves a few cuts and scrapes. But at least it isn’t CGI blood.
The Amityville Moon unfortunately is just another poor attempt at making a genre film that’s had “Amityville” inserted into the title to get people to watch it. It worked on me, but you have been warned. Go watch Amityville II: The Possession instead.
I should mention that one of the actresses in The Amityville Moon, Sarah Polednak, has accused the director of some pretty shitty behaviour on the set. I don’t know either of them and haven’t seen anything confirming or denying her claims. But you can read her account on her Instagram account and make up your own mind.
The Amityville Moon is available On-Demand, Digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.