The 1974 murder of the DeFeo family in Amityville, New York, known by most as the Amityville horror, and the Lutz family’s paranormal experiences in the home that followed has become one of the most popular scary stories among the movie community. After several remakes, the tale will find its way back to theaters in 2017 with “Amityville: The Awakening,” but according to the film’s producer, it will be completely different from what moviegoers have seen before.
Jason Blum dished about the forthcoming thriller during an appearance at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on April 14 where he walked away with the producer of the year award for his work on “The Purge: Election Year” and “Ouija 2.”
“The storyline is completely different. We reinvented a whole mythology,” Blum told International Business Times at CinemaCon's Big Screen Achievement Awards press conference.
Unlike past versions of the film, which take place around the time of the DeFeo murders, Blum says his remake is based solely in modern times. While Blum wouldn’t divulge specific storylines about the film, which premieres Jan. 6, 2017, he did reveal it will contain some of the characteristics about the famed and allegedly haunted house.
“It is actually very different. We used the mythology of the house and built a new story that takes place in present day around that,” Blum said.
While there's no arguing the trailer for “Amityville: The Awakening” is chilling, Blum says he focuses more on the story than the scares when it comes to his films. “If you’re not that into the storytelling, you can have the scariest thing in the world happen and it’s not scary,” he said. “Really what we look for is a great kind of drama that’s baked into scares.”
Despite the film already getting some buzz, especially due to its stars Bella Throne and Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh, Blum says he doesn’t concern himself with sequels before a movie premieres.
“I have a very strict rule about this,” he said. “It's really hard… to make a low budget movie that’s a financial success and if you make a low budget movie that you’re trying to make a successful movie and then also try to make the story work for a round two, it's too many restraints.”
Despite Blum’s belief on not prepping for sequels, he confirmed a follow-up is always a possibility. “If we made a sequel to ‘Paranormal Activity 2,’ we can make a sequel to anything.”
Watch the trailer for “Amityville: The Awakening” below:
“Amityville: The Awakening” follows a mother (Jason Leigh) who moves her family to New York to receive the best neurological care for her injured son James (Cameron Monaghan). When Thorne’s character Belle starts having nightmares and seeing unexplainable things, she seeks out the history of her new home.
The last film based on the horror tale was 2005’s “The Amityville Horror.” The Ryan Reynolds mystery thriller raked in $108 million at the worldwide box office. The film followed a series of features based on the house’s events, including the James Brolin 1979 original of the same name.