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[The Amityville Horror]
Plot: On November 14th, 1974, police recieved a frantic phone call that led them to the DeFeo residence, where they made a grisly discovery- 6 bodies, the entire DeFeo family, all slaughtered with a .35 caliber as they slept calmly in their beds. Ronald DeFeo confessed to methodically murdering his parents and four siblings, and claimed it was the "voices" that told him to do it. One year later, on December 18, 1975, George and Kathy Lutz along with their three children moved into the house, thinking it was going to be their dream home. Especially if their dreams were nightmares. The Lutz family only lasted twenty eight days in their home after they were terrorized by a demonic force that drove them away. Based on the true story of George and Kathy Lutz.
Philip Baker Hall,
My thoughts:A great update to a decent horror movie.
Review:As most of you know, "The Amityville Horror" is based on the true story of a family who moved into a Long Island home, and 28 days later were brutally massacred by one of their relatives. The original movie from 1979 succeeded as being a remotely frightening film yet still a very intriguing one. The remake does a good job of keeping everything from the original movie in line and not straying off in different directions or trying to create a story extremely seperate from the original. The movie starts off with the infamous massacre scene during a thunderstorm/rainy night. A well done intro I might add. We are then intriduced to the Lutz family (Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George), and their kids Billy,Michael,and Chelsea.The families dreams come true when they manage to find a huge house for sale at what would pretty much be considered a bargain basement price for that sort of home. Pretty soon after moving in, it doesn't take long for the trouble to start, and the houses demons to make their presence felt. Most of the films early moments are spent with the usual jump scare moments. Although this sort of thing is incredibly cliche and it's nothing we haven't seen before, this particular movie manages to still make them creepy enough to keep your interest and not have you putting your hands over your face uttering *So it's gonna be another one of THESE type of movies huh?*.Were given everything from shadows on the wall, to eerie low chattering voices, silhouettes of dark figures, apparitions, etc. The great use of music and timing make these scenes work very well. The only complaint I had about them though was most of them were too predictable. I could see many of them coming due to the fact that a scene or two before was obviously setting them up. "The Amityville Horror" is basically a character study in what affect these demonic energies created by a previous tragedy have on this family throughout the course of a 28 day time span, and what effect they have on Kathy Lutzes husband George in particular. It's obvious to the viewer that the entities in the house want to recreate the tragedy that happened there previously. The movie also gives us the usual ghost kid who when spoken about by her daughter, creeps mom out more and more each time. What makes this movie intriguing yet creepy at the same time, is watching George Lutz slowly lose his mind as hes being affected by these forces. Somehow,this updated version makes that aspect of the movie more interesting than it's older counterpart ever did. The movie also has some great horror movie scenes,one of which involving the unlucky babysitter who gets trapped in the closet. I won't give anymore away than that, but it's one of my favorite scenes in the movie. "The Amityville Horror" has a nicely done climax although a bit too much chasing for my liking. I think they could've really done more dialogue scenes and lost some of the chase scenes at the end. You would think that Georges wife would ask him once or twice why is he doing what hes doing, but the scenes with Kathy and the priest and Kathy at the town library more than tie up that loose end.Another problem I had with the climax was a scene where you think a main character has died but they really didn't and it was someones premonition or fantasy. That scene really wasn't needed and didn't serve any purpose except creating confusion in one of the films most chaotic yet intense moments. All in all, despite those minor problems, and the lack of a supporting cast,this is a solid remake (despite my favorite scene from the original 1979 movie when the house yells *Get Out!* not being included in the movie). It's worth checking out in theaters because it succeeds as a good horror movie.
Pros:The creepy house provided a great creepy atmosphere for the viewer to enjoy. Reynolds,George,and even the actors who played the kids all played their parts very well. Some nice jump scares as well.
Cons:Not much of a supporting cast was present in this film, but that can be attributed to the fact that the movies main focus was supposed to be on the family and their ordeal in the house.Also as I stated above,the film could've axed (no pun intended) the psyche out death of a main character near the end.
Overall:A remake that surpasses the original by leaps and bounds. I still have mixed opinions on the current rumors of remaking a few of the sequels though.