Release Date: January 3, 2014 Studio: Dimension Films Director: Not Available Screenwriter: Casey La Scala, Daniel Farrands Starring: Casey La Scala, Daniel Farrands MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
An ambitious female television news intern, on the verge of breaking the most famous haunted house case in the world, leads a team of journalists, clergymen and paranormal researchers into an investigation of the bizarre events that will come to be known as The Amityville Horror, only to unwittingly open a door to the unreal that she may never be able to close.
It appears Dimension Films is facing some difficulties getting any momentum going for The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes despite setting release dates over the years.
Once again, the film – a found footage entry in the series – has been pulled from its release date and is now floating in limbo. It was expected to hit theaters January 3, 2014. The last we had heard about the project was December 2012. Since then, zero word on a creative team or shooting start date.
Will 2014 mark the movie-going audiences’ return to the Amityville house? Perhaps. The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films have set a January 3, 2014 date for The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes. Will this date stick? The brothers Weinstein are notorious for penciling in – yet not meeting – release dates. And this particular title has fallen victim to that, missing its initial 2012 debut.
The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes was announced in 2011 and marked a joint venture between Dimension Films and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister). At the time, Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands were slated to write and direct. I have not heard if they’re still on board the project. This release date announcement indicates there’s momentum in the project, perhaps thanks to the fact that producer Blum has had a very good 2012 in the realm of horror.
Found footage never went away, it has always been here, contrary to the mainstream media’s claims that “found footage” films are smokin’ hot courtesy of The Devil Inside successful opening weekend. And I’ve waxed philosophical before here on Shock as to why audiences are fascinated with this narrative device.
Some of it has to do with the curiosity and arousal one gets watching home videos on You Tube where the element of voyeurism is amplified. Found footage – as far as horror films are concerned – eliminates the need for polished visuals, allowing filmmakers to get creative; however, on an audience level, the raw nature serves a more plausible connective tissue between the screen and the viewer, opening the door for immeasurable ways to create frights. Take Neil Marshall’s The Descent, for instance. It’s by no means a found footage film, but what is the one scene that elicits the biggest jump? When Marshall employs the use of a home video camera, in night vision mode, and in a frantic state, the frame finds a creature lurking just over another character’s shoulder.
Found footage is here to stay, at least until movie-goers completely dismiss the sub-genre. Then it may go into hibernation, only to be rejuvenated years later. For now, with Chronicle opening on February 3, I thought we could look ahead at what is to come.