The Amityville Curse (2023) on Tubi Marks the Return of the Infamous Long Island Haunting 

The Amityville Curse is the latest film to resurrect the “true” story of the Amityville haunting that permeates popular culture. Based loosely on Hans Holzer’s 1982 book, this 2023 Tubi Original aims to reimagine the chilling tale for modern audiences. However, the Amityville franchise has churned out countless uninspired sequels and remakes over the years. When combined with the low expectations for most Tubi Original horror films, The Amityville Curse seems destined for mediocrity.    

Yet there are a couple of reasons why The Amityville Curse warrants cautious optimism. Director Éric Tessier has helmed unsettling psychological thrillers like 5150 Elm’s Way and Evil Words, the latter an adaptation of Patrick Senécal’s dark novel Sur le Seuil. Screenwriter Dennis Heaton penned the horror-comedy Fido, starring Billy Connolly. If anyone can inject life into worn-out franchises, Tessier and Heaton appear up to the task. The talent involved at least provides hope of transcending a formulaic Amityville film and run-of-the-mill streaming scares. 

Of course, even the most skilled creative team faces challenges resuscitating expired intellectual property and reinventing a story told umpteen times. Remaking any movie in the Amityville canon means confronting its absurd number of inferior sequels and imitators. Recent entries like Amityville: Vanishing Point, Amityville Harvest, and Amityville Prison prove the well has long gone dry. Then there is the low bar set by most Tubi Original horror movies. Merely exceeding the poor quality of Amityville Exorcism or Zombie Bro would be a hollow victory. 

Can The Amityville Curse break free from the shackles of its predecessors and streaming competitors to forge a unique vision? With a pair of gifted storytellers at the helm and source material still chilling today, there is a glimmer of hope for a genuinely unsettling reimagining. However, the odds seem stacked against it. In the end, viewers will discover if The Amityville Curse continues a trend of inadequacy or if a few passionate creatives can finally do justice to this legendary haunting. The devil is in the details.

Digging into the plot of Tubi’s The Amityville Curse

On the surface, The Amityville Curse echoes the familiar franchise tale of strangers who move into the infamous Long Island abode only to face supernatural doom. However, director Éric Tessier crafts a chilling take on the house’s corruption that taps into human frailty as much as ghosts or gore. While strange phenomena and bloody violence still haunt the home’s halls, the well-worn story feels reborn through the slow unraveling of relationships torn apart within its walls. 

The inciting incident remains the same: six friends purchase the house intending a quick flip but find evil, not equity, awaiting them. Yet rather than descending instantly into empty scares, the first act establishes their connections and dreams at length. When uncanny happenings surface, dramatic tensions between characters prove as unsettling as bumps in the night. By the time dark revelations and dire danger manifest openly, their web of trust and affections has already become ensnared in the house’s curse.  

Amityville Curse 2023 on Tubi

Of course, savage specters and acts still lurk to thrill genre fans with surreal possession, madness, and death on demand. However, the paranormal operates at the periphery for much of the runtime while human betrayals and anguish take center stage. When otherworldly frights strike, they feel an outgrowth of the relationships in tatters rather than rote routine. By the time hellish things come out of hiding for an orgiastic final act, whatever bonds of love or friendship once sheltered the protagonists from the darkness have utterly unraveled.  

While the story’s outcome never stood in doubt, Tessier accomplished something quietly radical for the franchise: crafting horror born of human frailty over supernatural contrivance alone. Rather than a parade of lifeless tropes, the house’s ancient evil plays on the cracks in connections between lost souls until there is nothing left whole to salvage. In the end, The Amityville Curse gives fans their fill of frights but through a tale of love, hope and trust torn asunder earns a fresh dose of chilling poignancy as well. The result deserves to haunt viewers long after the ghosts have receded into the realm of midnight myths once more.

The Things that I liked about the movie

While The Amityville Curse inevitably echoes familiar franchise tropes, director Éric Tessier crafts a chilling atmosphere through a gradual escalation of strange phenomena. Rather than constant empty jump scares, the first act slowly builds a sense of dread through sinister happenings just plausible enough to unsettle rather than prompt outright disbelief. By the time the evil within fully awakens for a frenzied final act of possession and violence, an ominous mood has taken hold that lingers like the house’s curse.  

When the horror begins in earnest, Tessier employs an unsettling restraint alongside flashes of gore that feel freshly unnerving rather than gratuitous. His scares tend to show less rather than more, using subtle effects to suggest “something wicked this way comes” whether viewers spy the terrors head-on or not. The judicious use of spirits and bloodshed makes their sudden appearances all the more startling while maintaining the supernatural tone essential to any effective Amityville movie. These well-timed frights punctuate the atmosphere, not serve as its sole substance.  

While the ensemble cast of doomed house-flippers won’t win any acting awards, a certain chemistry between key leads helps sell their deteriorating relationships as the sinister forces in their new investment property do their worst. As unexplained phenomena and betrayals mount, the slow corruption of their dreams into nightmares becomes as compelling as any of the jump scares or specters on display. By the climax, as all collapse into chaos and evil triumphs over hope, their unraveling feels tragically inescapable. The humanity grounding all the horror winds up the film’s most frightening element.

Rather than rest on franchise laurels or low streaming expectations alone, The Amityville Curse crafts a chilling tale of supernatural doom that commits to its mood, startles thanks more to restraint than empty spectacle, and taps into human frailty as much as otherworldly frights. While the story remains familiar enough to fulfill genre cravings, director Tessier proves adept at making the old house’s curses feel unsettlingly fresh once more. For horror fans seeking atmosphere over gimmicks, this reimagining deserves a chance to haunt them, too.

The Problems I had with the film

While The Amityville Curse deserves praise for transcending the franchise’s worn conventions at points, its more uninspired elements still haunt the proceedings. At times, the need to nod at threadbare tropes and dull audience expectations overwhelms director Tessier’s fresh vision and atmospheric craft. Characters make foolish choices to enable routine scares, uncanny events get deployed for their own sake, and tragic turns telegraph themselves scenes in advance. 

The film’s slow start, while building dread well, drags on and risks losing viewers seeking quicker generic thrills alone. Not all elements of relationships and personal drama prove compelling, relying on predictable types and dynamics. While Tessier aims higher than the series’ norm, he can’t overcome how much contrived plotting slasher fans expect and demand. At its low points, the movie seems shackled to genre requirements rather than freed by a storyteller’s imagination. 

On the technical front, a spare yet moody score serves the overall tone but digital effects fall flat when not used sparingly. The few ghosts on display appear more video glitch than otherworldly entities, and buckets of blood do not gore make. When spectacle overplays its hand, the film’s grip on psychological menace temporarily slackens. These moments expose the micro-budget and a team unable to fully realize their grander ambitions, however promising the overall result.

Of course, no indie horror film pleases all, and table scraps from a legendary franchise may leave some viewers still hungry for a feast. While more original than most in its series, The Amityville Curse won’t surprise or convert those seeking reinvention over rote revision. At the end of the day, even with fresh frights and a chilling mood, it remains but another riff on a familiar tune – if one performed with a modicum more artistry and care. For less demanding genre fans, that minor key variation provides spooks enough to satisfy until the inevitable next Amityville encore.

Should you watch the movie?

The Amityville Curse proves that stirring life into a long-exhausted horror franchise demands dark magic indeed. While director Éric Tessier summons a dose of chilling sorcery through atmosphere, restraint, and human drama over routine shocks alone, even his skills can’t fully exorcise all the series’ worn and weary spirits. At its best, the film reinvigorates a legendary haunting through relationships unraveling into madness and betrayal sparked by otherworldly influence rather than overt routine. At its worst, the need to nod at threadbare tropes and dull expectations drags it back to the familiar franchise lumbering on in lieu of imagination.

Caught between reinvention and routine, The Amityville Curse offers genre fans a spooky cellar of delights if they descend with expectations in check. For those seeking the fresh rather than formulaic, Tessier’s elegant conjuring of mood over spectacle and human frailty over contrivance will cast a lingering shadow. However, if by now the house’s creaks and groans have become all too predictable, not even the director’s dark magic may muster sufficient sorcery to raise the spirits of the jaded. 

While the Amityville series seems fated to endlessly echo itself until the end of cinematic days, Tessier proved what devilish invention a skilled storyteller might wring from its moldy walls and smoke-stained ceilings once again. When freed of servitude to worn conventions alone, the old place still boasts a few curses left to share. However, until franchise holders fully cut the strings of those marionettes gone slack from overuse, these glimmers of life in the darkness risk being snuffed out once all the familiar notes have played. The house is willing, but the flesh demands weaker fare.

If you want to watch the movie, its streaming free as a Tubi original at

You can also watch the feature trailer below.