The Amityville IP: Exploring the Ludicrous Evolution of the Franchise with ‘Amityville Scarecrow’

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. — The Amityville Horror film franchise has taken a turn towards the absurd in recent years. In a new editorial series called “The Amityville IP,” Joe Lipsett analyzes the evolution of the franchise, focusing on its increasingly ludicrous directions.

Welcome to a new year of The Amityville IP. The series kicks off with a review of Amityville Scarecrow, which marks a departure from the four films released in 2021 to a whopping ten titles in 2022.

Amityville Scarecrow, despite its low budget and questionable script decisions by screenwriter Shannon Holiday, manages to capture the essence of the early Amityville entries. The film emphasizes fractured family dynamics, reminiscent of the original films.

Interestingly, Amityville Scarecrow arbitrarily changes the mythology of the series. In this installment, the Amityville murders were not committed by Ronald DeFeo but rather by “the Richards brothers.” The family home was demolished, making way for a summer camp that became cursed.

The plot revolves around adult sisters Tina and Mary, played by Amanda-Jade Tyler and Kate Sandison respectively, as they inherit the Amityville Cornfield from their mother. The relationship between the sisters is strained, with Tina having slept with Mary’s partner, Derek (Andrew Rolfe), leading to years of estrangement. To add more drama to the mix, both women have daughters with Derek: Tina has Harriet (Sofia Lacey), and Mary has Lucy (Chelsea Greenwood).

The film primarily focuses on the sisters’ attempts to reconcile, which serves as both a strength and weakness for Amityville Scarecrow. While the dedication to character development is a refreshing change for a franchise known for its lackluster characterization, the film overestimates the audience’s investment in their reconciliation and the outcome.

One drawback of the film is the inclusion of a Nightmare on Elm Street-like backstory. The mother of Tina and Mary murders a camp pedophile who had killed their older sister, leading to the curse on the land and the resurrection of the killer scarecrow, portrayed by Richard Lovell.

Overall, Amityville Scarecrow is a run-of-the-mill low-budget slasher film that heavily relies on unremarkable character dynamics. It has its moments of violence and suspense, particularly in the final act, but fails to leave a lasting impression.

Despite its shortcomings, Amityville Scarecrow still stands out as a more competent and watchable direct-to-video entry in the franchise.

In conclusion, The Amityville IP provides an engaging analysis of the various films in the Amityville Horror franchise. Amityville Scarecrow explores different elements of the franchise, including a reimagined mythology and a focus on fractured family dynamics. While the film has its strengths, such as dedicated character development, it ultimately falls short in creating a memorable viewing experience.