Amusement DVD

Theatrical Release Date: n/a
DVD: Release Date: 01/20/2009
Director: John Simpson
Cast: Katheryn Winnick, Jessica Lucas, Laura Breckenridge, Keir O’Donnell, Tad Hilgenbrink

The Film:

Have you been wanting to see what “Saw for Dummies” would be like? Then look no further than “Amusement”, a direct to DVD release now hitting the shelves (both virtual and actual). The basic premise is that a troubled young boy is institutionalized and grows up to be a sadistic killer looking to enact his revenge on the three girls he knew from elementary school that thought he was a weirdo.

The film is told almost in vignettes, as each girl is set upon by him through various ridiculous and overly complicated means, and then tied up via the film’s conclusion … sort of. I saw ‘sort of’ because the biggest mistake you might make about this film isn’t necessarily seeing it … but in expecting plausibility and realism (as you could tell from the trailer).

Each girl essentially deserves any punishment they receive because for the most part, they make appallingly stupid decisions. I say for the most part because one of them is more the victim of her boyfriend’s stupidity than her own but then again, she is dating him … so who’s the dumber one there?

As the psycho killer (who gets about as much back story as a cameo walk-on role) wages his campaign of violence and terror (which are never so violent or terrifying considering the genre), you become more and more aware that you’re wasting your time.

I will admit that the production value is decent but most of the time, you’re wondering if the script is a falsehood and everyone just made up what they were going to do on the day of shooting. Any one of the three pretty girls (who never take off their clothes … perhaps the only horror film cliché not used here) could have saved themselves their respective fates by using their cell phone and dialing 911 and either the first, second, third, fourth or fifth time it seemed like an obvious thing to do.

If you’re a horror film fan, this is a definite pass because it delivers nothing original and fails to serve up any good scares. I usually saddle another reviewer on the site with these films because I hate being scared and tend to shun horror films … this never made me uncomfortable and on a scary scale, feels much more like an episode of “Criminal Minds” than some filmmaker’s attempt at peripherally banging the “Saw” cash drum.

I’m only giving it a 1 out of 5 because I did manage to enjoy ridiculing the film’s plot and the character’s actions. At only 85 minutes long, it didn’t necessarily shorten my lifespan to such a degree that I’m resentful … but I sure don’t feel any better for having seen the film either. If you want something scary, I’m sure you can find something much more gruesome to look at on any VH1 reality show about finding love … now those shows scare me.

The DVD:

As a direct to DVD release (though according to IMDb, this was released in theaters in Argentine for some reason), you’d think there’s be a few extras here. But you’d be wrong and there’s really nothing here to expand upon the film’s “wonderment”. Yes, you can get a digital copy of the film by visiting a WB website and entering a code included with the disc but for a film of this caliber, why would you? Aside from that, all you can do is select widescreen or full screen and add subtitles. For those reasons, all I can do is say no ratings points should go towards the DVD … because what else is there to say?


Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Widescreen (16:9) / Full Screen (4:3).


English (for the hard of hearing); Spanish.



Extra Features:

None to speak of.

The Sobering Conclusion:

It’s not a good horror film and it’s a horrifying bad DVD. You might be able to wring a few chuckles out as you laugh at the film’s implausibility and the ridiculous decisions the characters make … but more than likely, you could better use the film’s 85 minute runtime to do your taxes or maybe some laundry.