What Will Be On The Amityville Tapes?

Neil Marshall Stevens has spoken to Fangoria about his upcoming projects, two of which are the comic book series Demon Squad and Havoc Brigade (if you’re reading, Neil, I suggest Crazy Club for the hat trick) but one of which is a film, and therefore comes under my jurisdiction. Light on the roof and siren wailing, here I go…

Oh. A bit of a false alarm. All the interview tells us is that the film will be “the latest Amityville sequel, The Amityville Tapes” and nothing more.

Digging about, though, I’ve found in old news found a piece from last September that neither named the writer or the film, yet was clearly about the same project and it didn’t take much to put two and two together.

The September news piece reported that “The film will be in the vein of the Sci-Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters” and that it is to be released direct-to-DVD.

Jay Anson’s original book that launched the Amityville series was apparently derived from 40-odd hours of tape recorded accounts made by spookhouse tenants George and Kathy Lutze . When I read the interview, I didn’t know if it was these tapes that were the tapes of the title – but I suspected not, because that’s too Session 9 and not Cloverfield enough – though it was definitely an angle.

And then I looked up this Ghost Hunters and saw it was the US equivalent of some UK shows that I do know. Shows that leave me not knowing whether or not I want to laugh or cry or go out and shake my head at people who believe in haunted houses for being so gullible. Shows that are labelled “Reality” but come with a warning that scenes have been faked for “entertainment” value.

Ultimately, the worst news about this Amityville Tapes is that might steal some thunder from Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity, be that the upcoming remade version or the micro-budget original (if we ever see it). By most accounts, Peli has managed a genuinely creepy take on the handycam horror and, if that’s true, it’d be a crying shame for a sequel to steamroll it with brand recognition and title power.

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