Just a note to say my review of the new version of The Amityville Horror is up at CT Movies. I had not realized until a couple days ago that the film was directed by the same man, Andrew Douglas, who made Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus (2003), a documentary that I almost saw at last year’s festival, but missed. Now I wish I had seen it, of course.
For some reason, this reminds me of how Joe Berlinger — one of the documentarians behind such pretty good films as Brother’s Keeper (1992), Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004) — also happened to make the inferior Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000). Or, for that matter, of how Errol Morris made one fiction film, The Dark Wind (1991), in the middle of his otherwise exclusively documentary-oriented career-to-date.
Some filmmakers have had great success in both fiction and non-fiction — whether they move back and forth between the two throughout their careers like Werner Herzog, or whether they start in one and then pretty much give it up for the other like Denys Arcand — but it is interesting to see how some non-fiction types only get a chance to get one fiction movie out of their systems, and how sometimes the only way they can do this is to latch onto a franchise that just happens to be going through the motions of sequels and remakes for a few extra bucks.