The Amityville Moon Image

The Amityville Moon

By Bobby LePire | October 6, 2021

Some might think the bottom rung of tricking consumers would be the mockbusters (releasing a film under a similar title as a big theatrical production), but I beg to differ. See, those low-budget tie-ins still deliver something the audience expects (i.e., Jungle Run involves the jungle, animal attacks, and a monster to run away from) and, therefore, can still be charming in a goofy way. But, no, the bottom of the barrel is exploiting real places that are famous. Case in point: the plethora of movies set in or sport the name Amityville.

Stuart Rosenberg’s 1979 Academy Award-nominated The Amityville Horror was such a colossal success upon release that it is still one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time. Since Amityville is a real town in New York, filmmakers will slap its name across a product that has no bearing on the well-known franchise, nor is it based on the same 1977 book or the (allegedly) true story of the Lutz family. And this brings us to Thomas J. Churchill’s cop procedural/werewolf tale The Amityville Moon, which is based in the famous locale solely to get eyes on it. As exploitative as that is, does that mean there’s no merit to the drama-horror hybrid whatsoever?

Alyssa (Alex Rinehart) and her best friend are escaping the St. Matthias House of Rehabilitation, as they saw something too horrifying to describe. As they try to get out of the back window, an unseen entity grabs and kills the friend. The next day, Detective Kimball (Trey McCurley) is assigned the case of tracking down the escaped girls, who are still wards of the state until their time at the halfway home has ended. Unfortunately, talking to Father Peter (David B. Meadows) and Sister Ruth (Tuesday Knight) yields very little information. However, a resident, Mandy (Augie Duke), offers a few clues as to their whereabouts.

“…something scared her enough to run away and illegally buy a gun.”

Kimball catches up with Alyssa, who informs the officer that her friend died at St. Matthias during the escape. While he does not believe her claims of a creature roaming its halls, she does convince the cop that something scared her enough to run away and illegally buy a gun. So what, if anything, are the priests and nuns at St. Matthias hiding? Well, the title is The Amityville Moon, so it’s a werewolf, no mystery there.

While the film ultimately works, there are a number of elements that do not. The movie opens with a black-and-white prologue wherein an unnamed man runs away and shoots at a werewolf. Of course, it is a werewolf, so this man is died and just doesn’t know it yet. This prologue is absolutely unnecessary and needlessly pads out the runtime. It gives the werewolf game away from the jump when it would be much more enjoyable if that reveal happened simultaneously for the audience as it does for one of the resident women at St. Matthias.

Also, by getting rid of the pointless prologue, the next issue would be resolved as well. Mind you, this is a minor problem, but it is laugh-out-loud dumb, so… The title sequence follows the opening, and once the true narrative begins, we are treated to both a “10 Years Later” and “Present Day” location-establishing text. Why? Who the hell knows? One or the other would have sufficed entirely. Both is just awkward and dumb, but also hysterical in all the wrong ways.

The Amityville Moon (2021)

Directed and Written: Thomas J. Churchill

Starring: Alex Rinehart, Trey McCurley, Tuesday Knight, David B. Meadows, Augie Duke, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Amityville Moon Image

"…low-budget tie-ins still deliver something the audience expects..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jane Doe says:

    I’m sharing this in hopes that Sarah Polednak’s experience with Thomas Churchill doesn’t get swept under the rug. I’m an actress that has been warned about Thomas numerous times. At one point he was interested in casting me in a project. But in order to write the role for me I needed to go to his apartment so he could get to know me better. You know, to properly write the role. I turned him down and didn’t get cast. I also heard from other actresses that he offered them the same part under the same terms. This was par for the course for him and fit with the warnings I had heard. He plays the God loving Christian publicly but behind the scenes he is far from that. I’ve been wondering when something about him would go public. It never got to the point where he did anything to me. I am thankful for that. But he has done it to others. Sarah Polednak’s story is proof of that. I applaud her bravery in coming forward and hope other’s that have experienced this treatment from him do as well. These sorts of people don’t belong in this industry. There were always rumors about Thomas Churchill. Now we have a first hand account. Sadly, there will be more. As much as things change and we feel we are moving forward, this still exists.

  2. […] post The Amityville Moon first appeared on Film […]

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon