Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

I approached this one with some trepidation, knowing well how long it’s been since there’s been a halfway decent “Amityville” movie, not to mention that it was originally scheduled for release back in 2014, but this one turned into a pleasant surprise with genuine scares. Mind you, it’s not without its flaws, like some editing and pacing issues that suggest either reshoots or post-filming restructuring that leave some of its ideas half-baked. But at its core, this is a terrific family drama about the lengths that some devoted parents are willing to go to protect their children, which makes for an unexpectedly terrific and compelling emotional backdrop for an “Amityville” entry. Jennifer Jason Leigh gives a memorable, committed performance that recalls some of her best work and expertly transcends the movie’s genre.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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