With the psychic power of clairvoyance, an extra-sensory perception, Amy starts witnessing haunting visions as her entire Amish village begins to fall into demonic control. An ominous funeral director, Christopher, uses Amy’s special abilities to seek out the covert leader behind the possession. Amy and Christopher must stop the fall of their village before the Devil takes over Amy’s soul-forcing them to perform a controversial exorcism.
Name every Amish horror you know, starting now. Not many are there? So kudos to everyone involved in making Amy, you’ve found a rarely explored niche in the genre. Good on you. Let’s put that in the plus column. Unfortunately, that last sentence is about as far as I can go in terms of praise of Amy, because as soon as you put its rather unique backdrop to one side, what you’re left with is kind of painful. When a film has spelling mistakes in its opening credits, it does not bode well.
Amy (Jessica DiGiovanni) is your everyday, god fearing Amish. Freshly baptized, she’s ready to take the bull by the horns and do whatever it is she usually does dayto-day. Which, according to Amy, means washing clothes, being incessantly cheerful and having the smallest of small talk with her neighbours.
A metropolitan lifestyle it is not, but at least she’s happy. That is, until one afternoon whilst getting hot and heavy with her beau, Robert she spies something creeping through the woods. Robert takes her freak-out and the sun literally disappearing from the sky as nothing much more than Amy being a massive tease. For verily, Robert is stupid.
Later, upset that she is not believed, or reeling from her boyfriend’s inability to acknowledge something untoward just happened, Amy begins to see demons frolicking and possessing the townsfolk. Being the god-fearing people they are, her friends and family immediately decide that she is natural liar. In showing how narrow-minded this Amish community is, Amy also ends up insulting its audience. Making no pretense that the possessions are hidden just infuriates because it doesn’t explain why no one is taking her seriously. No one that is except for Blue Lagoon’s Christopher Atkins, who plays Chris, a funeral director from out of town. He’s also an exorcist. He may also be God. That part is slightly muddled. What isn’t muddled is Atkins’ delivery in most scenes: A husky whisper that tells of a man who wants to put this shoot behind him, so he can get on with using the paycheck to finish off his conservatory. Even during the climactic battle between Chris/God/funeral director and the cause of all this trouble – which is woeful in its reveal – is played out with less intensity than a LARP event.
But it’s not just Atkins that has a problem, practically everyone in Amy performs like this is the first time they’ve seen the script. Intonation, delivery and emotion is all over the place. And they flub their lines so much. How do I know this? I know this because director R.P Patnaik leaves the tripped over dialogue and awkward pauses in like he had a finite amount of time to shoot and he’d be damned if he was using it for reshoots.
He also clearly didn’t have a lot of patience for well-designed special effects. As well as a CGI baby that would put everything you saw in Twilight: Breaking Dawn into perspective, when evil spirits run riot over the quaint little village, you’ll swear they’re from the same gif pack as Birdemic.
To quote Roger Ebert, I hated, hated, hated this movie. It is an insufferable mess and the worst part is the waste of the backdrop. Something interesting could have been done with the Amish culture. I’d even have stood for the demons acting as an allegory of Amish life coming under pressure from the modern world that surrounds it. It could have made nods to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, as the comparisons are there to be made.
But no, this is just your average crappy, straight to DVD nonsense, but with more beards and straw hats. Any film that has to resort to evil laughter pealing over the end credits and it isn’t Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, should not be trusted. I saw Goody Amy with the Devil and it was not good.