The folks at Blood Disgusting have been doing a deep dive into some of the most outrageous offerings in the Amityville franchise, with the Witches of Amityville Academy being the most recent to be examined. Released in 2020, the movie, also known as Amityville Witches, took the franchise in an entirely new direction.
Bloody Disgusting is examining all the movies from the Amityville franchise, and their latest looks at 2020’s Witches of Amityville Academy.
The Amityville haunting is one of the most recognizable names in the horror genre. The chilling true story of the Lutz family’s terrifying experiences in their Amityville home captivated audiences in the 1979 film The Amityville Horror. Since then, Amityville, the name of a real town in Long Island, New York, has been tacked onto several B-grade films as it cannot be copyrighted, leading to a franchise.
This British-produced Witches of Amityville Academy bears the name but differs significantly from its predecessors. It abandons the haunted house concept and opts for a story about witchcraft and sisterhood. The movie also takes on a tone and visual aesthetic more akin to a daytime soap opera than the 26 Amityville titles before.
What distinguishes Witches of Amityville Academy from other films in the franchise is its unique gender dynamic.
Witches of Amityville Academy, penned by Tom Joliffe, begins with two cold openings. The first delves into the grim history of witches being hanged in 1602, while the second jumps to the present day, where viewers are introduced to white magic practitioners Sam (Kira Reed Lorsch), Lucy (Donna Spangler), and Elena (Brittan Taylor) expertly handling a pair of burglars who invade their home.
What distinguishes Witches of Amityville Academy from other films in the franchise is its unique gender dynamic. Apart from these intruders and a creepy rideshare driver, the cast comprises women, with the only major male presence being the demonic threat, Botis (Toby Wynn-Davies). This choice aligns with the film’s central theme of sisterhood and spellcasting.
The story centers on Jessica (Sarah T. Cohen), a young woman devoid of family ties, who unexpectedly receives an invitation to study drama and the arts at Amityville Academy. The institution’s headmistress, Mrs. Dominique Markham (Amanda-Jade Tyler), proves dangerous and willing to sacrifice her students to gain power.
The real-life Amityville haunting is a contentious case of alleged paranormal activity that unfolded in a house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York.
The only opposition to Dominique’s sinister plans comes from the Belle sisters. With the help of their teacher, Tild Von Erich (Niccola Wright), they only use magic for protection and healing. When Dominique recognizes Jessica’s untapped potential as a witch and attempts to eliminate her, the Belle sisters defend her.
While the film fails to live up to the Amityville name, it possesses a peculiar charm that may be attributed to witchcraft being introduced into the Amityville lore. Despite many mediocre offerings, the franchise has amassed a loyal fan base. Viewers who enjoyed the original film often watch new entries to relive the experience or see how the story evolves.
Others continue to watch Amityville-based works because of the horror movie franchise’s rich history. The real-life Amityville haunting is a contentious case of alleged paranormal activity that unfolded in a house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York. The saga began with the gruesome 1974 murders of the DeFeo family by their eldest son, Ronald DeFeo Jr., who claimed to be influenced by “voices” in the house.
Subsequently, the Lutz family moved into the same Amityville house in 1975. Over their 28-day stay, they claimed to have experienced a series of terrifying phenomena, including unexplained noises, chilling cold spots, and menacing apparitions. Their story became a media sensation, leading to the book The Amityville Horror, on which the first movie was based.
However, skepticism surrounds the case, with many doubting the Lutz family’s claims and suspecting the haunting was a hoax. Despite the controversy, the Amityville house remains infamous, changing hands multiple times. Some owners report no paranormal incidents, while others claim to experience supernatural occurrences.