Amusement (2008) Review

First, I want to apologize for not having a review out yesterday. I’m a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan and after their loss, I was rather depressed and just did not feel like doing anything. Please forgive me.

*NO SPOILERS

It’s rare that you find horror movie that went straight to DVD, did not gather any national attention and yet is still decent. There have been a few films over the years to achieve this feat, but not many. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Amusement was one of these films after watching it for the first time on Netflix.

Amusement is directed by John Simpson and stars a bunch of nobodies. The film opens with a shot of three girls who have are all tagged with the ability “to succeed, be famous and shine.” The opening also introduces us to a boy who noticeably mentally disturbed and the girls do not get along with. The film proceeds to unravel a three-tiered story, focusing on each of the girls individually and the boy’s quest to seek revenge on each of them.

This is not a great horror movie and barely can be considered good. The acting is piss poor. None of the actresses have the ability to show even the slightest inclination of true fear. The story forces itself at times and as a viewer, you have a hard time believing that all these dots could possibly be connected. The dialogue is so horrendously bad that all you can do is laugh at it.

Yet, there are aspects of this movie that I truly do appreciate and enjoy.

Without giving too much away, there is a particular creepy sequence that involves one of the girls (Tabitha) while she is babysitting. There was a great amount of real suspense generated by Simpson. Some of the effect is loss through poor dialogue that was given by girl and children involved but the creepiness is still effective. The idea was already done multiple times by other successful movies but Simpson did try to throw his own twist on it and in my mind, it worked.

The mentally disturbed boy (I’m not bothering with the actor’s name because it does not matter) has a maniacal laugh that is actually really freaking disturbing. After watching the film, I could hear it for a couple of hours. Its one of those laughs that just causes you to open your eyes and look around like, “What the hell?” Maybe that’s only me though because I have weird friends with strange laughs and I experience that on a daily basis.

The final stand out aspect of this movie is its length. The movie is barely an hour and twenty minutes long but that is the exact length it needs to be. It never attempts to out-do itself by prolonging scenes. I hate movies that attempt to drag out scenes, especially horror movies.

All in all, Amusement is a pretty decent direct to DVD horror film. The acting performances are pathetic but there are a few high suspense scenes that make it worth watching.

Rating: 35 out of 100

*All images were found on Google.com

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