Nearly 15 years after 5150, rue des Ormes, Quebec filmmaker Éric Tessier returns to horror with The Amityville Curse, a new entry in the famous American horror saga.
Without being a horror fanatic, Éric Tessier is well aware of the impact of the name Amityville in this community. And for good reason: even four decades after its release, the first film in the series is still cited today as one of the essentials of the genre.
James Brolin and Margot Kidder played a newlywed couple moving into a house where horrific murders had been committed a few years earlier. And the house had obviously not forgotten these sordid events, still bearing supernatural traces.
Today, Éric Tessier is adding a sequel to this horrific legacy with The Amityville Curse< /em>. Launched via Crave in Quebec, it is carried internationally by the Tubi platform.
This new adaptation of the homonymous novel by American author Hans Holzer follows three couples moving into the infamous mansion in the hopes of turning it into as many condominiums. Obviously, their ambitions will turn into a nightmare when the house awakens to torment them one by one.
And it's in Hudson, in Montérégie, that the filmmaker and his team have unearthed the perfect house in which to camp their plot, that is to say equipped with the iconic skylights, undisputed symbol of the Amityville story. The rest of the shooting took place around Montreal, in 16 days, last year.
“The house becomes a character in itself; she is a catalyst for the tensions between the characters. It comes to amplify their fears, their emotions. It was absolutely necessary to find the right one, ”says Éric Tessier, in an interview with Journal.
Éric Tessier at the premiere of his film You will remember me, in November 2022.
While the first film in the Amityville saga has long since been elevated to cult status, the Quebecer is aware that it has since lost some of its luster over the sequels of varying quality.
In recent years, several productions with anemic budget – and wacky synopses – have tried to ride the Amityville phenomenon by embedding it in their titles. And it's far from over; we will soon be entitled to Amityville Anaconda, Amityville Leprechaun, Amityville Cocaine Bear and other Amityville Big Foot.
Titles that, to put it politely, are unlikely to be nominated at the next Academy Awards.
“The Amityville house is still an icon in the world of horror. Everyone knows his story. But all I wanted to do was make a film that was honest, consistent, and didn't take itself too seriously. I had a lot of fun shooting my Amityville Curse, I'll do a sequel tomorrow morning,” says Éric Tessier.
Rekindle the flame
Indeed, this shoot will have given him a taste for horror, a genre that he branded with a hot iron with Sur le threshold and 5150, rue des Ormes, two film adaptations of works by Patrick Senécal. But horror is not necessarily an abundant genre in Quebec, confirms Éric Tessier. A situation he would be more than happy to change.
“We have the right to make horror films, to make good ones. We have the talent and the means”, he insists.
- The movie The Amityville Curse is available on Crave.