Dedicated ScreenCrush readers may remember a post from a year and a half ago, in which our dependable Britt Hayes remarked on the trailer for a little horror sequel called Amityville: The Awakening. The latest installment of the sprawling 12-sequel franchise branching off from paranormal blockbuster The Amityville Horror, the film loosed some angry specters on new fodder Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne for a return to its theatrical glory from direct-to-video ignominy. In her post, Britt noted that the film had already gathered a bit of dust by the time that trailer dropped; it had been shot in 2014 and shelved for a year before setting a release date for April 2015. As it turns out, that never really came together. Neither did the 2016 release.

Two years of release delays later (eat your heart out, Tulip Fever), and Amityville: The Awakening will finally see the light of day. Distributor Blumhouse has held onto their ambitions for a theatrical run, forcing the film into cineplexes on October 28, a full four years after it was announced. But prior to the big public unveiling, the film will take a sort of test run online, and for free. In a move the strategy of which I cannot claim to understand, Blumhouse will make the film available for free on Google Play for a limited time on October 12, weeks before it slashes its way into theaters. One might suppose that that would deter viewers from heading out of the house and paying money, but this is probably why I’m not a film executive.

Apart from the unorthodox rollout method, this is business as usual. Stick some telegenic young people in a house, get some grainy night-time footage, you’re pretty much good to go. In the parlance of the Coen brothers, “Whaddaya need, a road map?”

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