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Grimmfest 2013 – Fringe (Part 1) – My Amityville Horror & Smiley


Grimmfest2013First off, a quick apology for not getting this blog updated with more film reviews from Grimmfest, its been a busy few weeks both socially and in work and there has just not been enough hours in the day, but better late than never here is the next batch of film reviews.

Having missed out of the first couple of days of the Fringe, I decided to pull my finger out and head on down to the Friday offerings, which included My Amityville Horror and Smiley.

MyAmityvilleHorrorFirst up, was My Amityville Horror, which was the main reason why I headed down, as I have had an interest in this subject for many years, which first started when I read the book back when I was 7 or 8, so I was keen to hear the story from another angle.

This is not really a film, more a documentary following Daniel Lutz, who was one of the main ‘characters’ in the original story, in fact he was arguably the one who was targeted most during the hauntings.

My view of Daniel changed many times throughout the documentary and even at the end I was still unsure of how much of the story I believed. He did not really go into too much detail about what happened and when he did describe some of the events, he seemed rather vague, when pressed for more information he often took an aggressive stance against the journalist, often verbally attacking them for calling him a lire or saying he does not like to relive the events as he has tried to move on from everything that happened.

One interesting avenue which was explored throughout the film was Daniel’s relationship with his step father, which was quite frankly strained to say the very least (Daniel stated several times that he was glad he was now dead!)

Another angle which was revealed was that at the time of the hauntings, George Lutz categorically stated that he had no interest in the paranormal, Satanism or anything remotely related to this area, but according to Daniel, this was far from the truth and George had a very keen interest (and many books related to the subject on bookshelves around the house).

Towards the closing sections of the story Daniel goes to visit Lorraine Warren (one half of a world famous paranormal investigation couple who originally investigated the house) and this is where the documentary takes another strange turn and both Daniel and Lorraine start to give the viewers quite a lecture into the benefits of Christianity which feels quite out of place with the rest of the documentary.

Overall the documentary was a very entertaining watch, it seems to uncover more questions than it resolves and if you are anything like me will take you on a path full of mixed emotions about if the haunting happened or not.

SmileyThe second film of the day was an interesting film entitled Smiley, which could well be the start of a new breed of horror character following in the footsteps of Freddy, Jason, GhostFace etc etc.

The director is clearly a fan of The Candman franchise as the basis synopsis of the film is that if you say “I Did it for the Lolz” three times in the mirror Smiley will come and kill you.

The main character in the film is a young collage student who has just moved away from home for the first time and slowly starts to lose control of her mind as she gets closer and closer to Smiley.

Throughout the film I found myself thinking that the death scenes looked rather unbelievable and seemed to somewhat let the film down, but as the film progressed I realised why this was (I won’t say any more than that – you will have to go out and watch it!)

If I am honest I would say that this film was not the best I saw at the festival as it fits into a genera which I am not a big fan of (modern ‘teen-scream’ type films such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Final Destination etc etc), but it was still worth a watch and I am glad I stuck around to watch it.

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