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Times of India
Things go awfully wrong rather quickly when a single mother moves into a haunted house with her three children.
When Joan Walker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) moves into the reportedly haunted Amityville House with her three kids — Belle (Bella Thorne), Juliet (Mckenna Grace) and James (Cameron Monaghan), the family is hoping for a fresh start. Having fallen on difficult times after James is left brain-dead following an unfortunate accident, Joan is struggling to pay for his rising healthcare costs while hoping he gets better someday. Soon after trying to settle into a new school where Belle struggles to make friends, she starts experiencing strange things around the house. She discovers that 40 years ago, a family had been murdered by one of their own members in the very house she now resides in. Belle increasingly gets convinced that tragic incident is behind the uneasiness and sense of foreboding she feels.
While director Franck Khalfoun tries his best to salvage a weak script, he depends far too much on trying to startle the viewer with cliched eerie scenarios that include slamming doors and windows, and dream sequences that seem repetitive after some time. The simmering tension between Joan and Belle over James' well-being seems illogical given the fact that the former is hoping for a miracle cure despite knowing he has been possessed. The story fails to mask the weak attempt at trying to scare the audience and you find yourself asking several questions about the characters who almost seem indifferent to the proceedings.
Among the performances, Thorne does a somewhat decent job as the distressed sister while as the comatose James, Monaghan tries his best to deliver a role that has many limitations. The rest of the cast fail to leave an impact and the film doesn't quite engage you after a while. While Hollywood is known for its spook fests, not all of them manage to creep the heebie jeebies out of you. Although Amityville: The Awakening has instances where you might get a start, the film doesn't quite succeed in its mission of being a bonafide horror flick where you literally jump out of your skin. Horror fans can probably give it a single viewing but if you aren't a fan of the genre, you could skip this one.